Personnel Index - Detail
Part of the panel at Runnymede
Image courtesy of Don and Roy Palmer
21/22 June, 1944; WESSELING:
There was nothing unusual about Wednesday 21 June, 1944; the weather, as with previous days remained dull and the slight northerly wind kept temperatures a little chilly. For aircrew the morning passed slowly, whilst activity on the airfield indicated that ops were on the menu for that evening. There had been no operations for the past five days so just after lunch a small crowd had gathered as an airman pinned up the Battle Order; twenty aircraft were detailed with the main briefing at 20.00hrs. For those crews listed, the usual pre-operational routine began, then later, after a noisy meal in the Sgts' Mess and with coffee flasks filled, crews walked or were ferried over to the main site for specialist briefings and then the main briefing. The tape on the wall map showed a route ending just below the Ruhr... Germany for a change.
A force of over 130 Lancasters from 5 Group was to attack the synthetic-oil plant at Wesseling, 15 miles south of Cologne - marking would be by 5 Group Mosquitoes using the 'Newhaven' method.
At 03.32hrs, combat exhausted 49 Squadron crews began landing back at Fiskerton. Their opening remarks gave the first hints of the disaster that had befallen the aircrew of 5 Group.
P/O Alex Ross and crew have no known grave, but are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial. The circumstances of their loss have yet to be established, but it is thought they came down in the North Sea after combat with a night fighter.
Lancaster ND695 (EA-B)
P/O A.R. Ross Pilot (Missing)
Sgt D.W. Palmer F/E (Missing)
F/S C.G. Morton NAV (Missing)
Sgt C.C. Holden W/AG (Missing)
Sgt A.D. Griffin A/G (Missing)
P/O G.F. MacGregor RCAF B/A (Missing)
Sgt D.W.E. Hardy A/G (Missing)
Crew on their 8th operation