Lancaster ME732

Avro Lancaster III / ME732 (QR-P) “P Peter”
61 Squadron (5 group) RAF

ME 732 (“I Go – I Come Back”) took off from its base at Skellingthorpe Lincolnshire on the evening of Saturday 23/09/44 carrying a crew of eight as part of a raid intended to breach the Dortmund-Ems Canal at a key point near Ladbergen Germany. The raid was a success and the canal was breached and drained for a length of almost 10kms. On the return leg she was attacked and brought down by a night fighter, crashing on Hoffkampstraat Almelo at 2113 hrs, hitting the school and the home of the Netelenbos family killing six people on the ground, from the aircraft only the two gunners managing to bale out. ME 732 was one of four 61 squadron aircraft lost that night.

An incredible eyewitness account of the crash is contained within the moving & thought provoking memoirs of John Krispyn, a schoolboy at the time in Almelo.

The six men listed below lie alongside Gerald Hood in Almelo general cemetery;

PILOT*
Flight Lieutenant 152068 Donald Edward Ross Stone
(RAFVR)
Son of Edward and Lillian Stone,
Carshalton Surrey
Unmarried
Age 21.

SECOND PILOT (On “second dickie”)
Flying Officer 183600 Norman Frederick Aldred
(RAFVR)
Son of Mr & Mrs Samuel Aldred,
Husband of Mrs Maud Matilda Aldred
Penarth, Glamorganshire
Age 23.

BOMB AIMER
Flying Officer J/22423 William (Bobby) Stirling Burns (RCAF)

Son of Thomas & Elizabeth Burns
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Unmarried
Age 23.

NAVIGATOR*
Flight Sergeant 1436352 Ernest Hill (RAFVR)

Husband of Dorothy
Father of Phillip (born after his death)
Leeds, Yorkshire
Age 23.

WIRELESS OPERATOR*
Flight Sergeant 1204048 Phillip Marcus Matthews (RAFVR)

Son of Bernard and Alice Matthews
Northfield, Birmingham
Age 24.

FLIGHT ENGINEER
Flight Sergeant 1629785 Frederick Arthur Scales
(RAFVR)
Son of Arthur & Nellie Scales
Leverington, Cambridgeshire
Unmarried
Age 20.

*** The remains of the pilot, navigator and wireless operator are buried in a communal grave (three separate headstones close together) along with remains from some of those killed on the ground as separation and identification was not possible.

 

The two surviving crew members were:

MID-UPPER GUNNER
Flight Sergeant ……William Frank (Teddy) Ravenhill (RAFVR)

Hounslow Middlesex
Baled out, captured and hospitalised with injuries sustained
Survived the war as a POW
Age 22.

REAR GUNNER
Flight Sergeant Alfred Roy Fellows (RAFVR)

Walsall.
Baled out, came down near Delden and evaded, sheltered in Hengelo along with “Bill” Paston-Williams and John Downie from LM658.
Appears in Hengelo liberation day group photograph.
Age 19.

We have had the privilege of being in regular touch with Roy whose memoirs and photos of him and his crew can be seen at;

 Aircrew Remembered – Lancaster ME732

We at the Lancaster LM658 website fully support and encourage the ethos and aims of the Aircrew Remembered website, we also look forward to our future co-operation.

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