Objective: Saint Maximin
On the afternoon of 3 August 1944 bomber command sent a force of 372 Lancasters and 5 Mosquitos to Saint Maximin - Trossy : It seems as if this raid should have been carried out by the USAAF.
A force of 372 Lancasters & 11 Mosquitos was despatched to attack Trossy / Saint Maximin.
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The following aircraft from each squadron is detailed below:
61 Squadron: PA162 QR-L,
166 Squadron: ME839 AS-N,
460 Squadron: PB125 AR-L,
619 Squadron: ME568 PC-F,
625 Squadron: LM163 CF-J,
Pilot Officer Zenon Krzeptowski’s first action in August 1944 was another Ramrod operation (1154) on 3rd August (D + 58) escorting Lancaster’s bomb Trossy St. Maximin. Twelve Spitfires IXF led by Wing Commander Checketts, D.S.O; D.F.C took off at 13.10 and were over the target by 14.45 with intense high flak aimed at the bombers all the way in. The bombing was very concentrated and observers reported sighting of more than twenty-five enemy aircraft 25 miles N.W of Paris at 30,000ft. None were seen and the flight returned to base at 15.13.
Sgt Fred Whitfield, Rear gunner of 9 Squadron:
"Two planes crashed alongside us, and the last I saw was pieces of aircraft floating down to earth. We stuck our noses down and got below the rest of them for safety. While the anti-aircraft fire was bursting about four thousand feet above us we were quite safe and got home."
P/O Ron Biggs of 44 Squadron:
"The following day we had another raid on Trossy with 372 aircraft and this time 5 were lost, at least two of them due to bombs through the wings."
61 Squadron Lancaster PA162 QR-L came down over the target (Trossy). 6 of the crew were killed. F/O W.D.Forbes escaped.
F/O Francis O. Gilmore (pilot)(RCAF), P/O Bernard L. Rowland (RAF), F/O Wilbert Stephens (RCAF), P/O Edward R.Durant (RAF), P/O Harold D. Thomson (RCAF), P/O Russ E. Sutherland (RCAF). The crew are buried at Creil cemetery. (unknown crash site, Saint Maximin area)
166 Squadron Lancaster ME839 AS-N crashed over target (Trossy). Sgt Sid Witham escaped, Hubert Wagner was captured.
F/O H.A.L Wagner (POW) (RAF), Sgt Sid Witham (evd) (RAF), F/O W.S. Richard (RCAF), Sgt J.R. Davis (RAF), Sgt H.C.J Buckler (RAF), Sgt F.J Graham (RAF), Sgt L.J. Arthur(RAF)
The Four are buried at Creil whilst Sgt Arthur is buried at Beauvais Marissel cemetery.
460 Squadron Lancaster PB125 AR-L crashed at Saint Maclou de Folleville (Seine Maritime) in the local Church yard.
417296 Flying Officer (Pilot) Robert Clive Fidock RAAF
1626766 Sergeant (Flt. Engr.) Derek Cecil Stock
1464205 Flight Sergeant (Nav.) Robert Hugh Jones
427328 Flight Sergeant (Air Bomber) William Roy Hullett RAAF
423729 Flight Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Keneth Frederick Heidtman RAAF
1636341 Sergeant (Air Gnr) John Edward Trollope
619 Squadron Lancaster ME568 PC-F crashed over target:
All RAF: W/O Roland Bennett (pilot),P/O Edwin C.T Davies, F/S Francis P.Lyford, F/S Arthur Griffiths, F/s William Cobb, Sgt Martin Cody are buried at Beauvais Marissel cemetery whilst Sgt Forrest is buried at Villeneuve St George.
625 Squadron Lancaster LM163 CF-J crashed 10 minutes after Target, in the Forges les Eaux area? The cause and exact location of the crash are not recorded although Henry Jones always maintained that they were hit by bombs dropped by an aircraft flying above them.
The two which died are buried at Beauvais Marissel cemetery.
F/O A. Jobson (POW), Sgt H. Jones (POW), P/O A.G. Reed (POW), Sgt S. Cottam (died), Sgt J. Murray (POW), Sgt J Madden (died).