BK817

 

Date Target Notes Code Pilot Duration
1 17/05/43 Mining off the West Coast of France AA-B Sgt. Thomas 06:30
2 21/05/43 Mining in the Gironde Estuary AA-B F/O Joll 06:09
? 23/05/43 Dortmund  A/c double entered for this Op AA-B F/O Joll 04:11
? 23/05/43 Dortmund AA-B S/L Laud 04:02
4 25/05/43 Dusseldorf AA-B F/O Joll 03:56
5 29/05/43 Wuppertal AA-B F/S Whitehead 04:17
6 11/06/43 Dusseldorf AA-B S/L Laud Missing
Total Op hours 29:05

 

11/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Dusseldorf
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lb.,1,000lb. and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft failed to return and two returned early owing to engine trouble. The remainder of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Many large fires and huge explosions were seen. Moderate and heavy A.A.fire co-operating with search lights were encountered. One aircraft was coned by searchlights, but violent evasive action eventually avoided them with difficulty. Some enemy aircraft were seen and two short combats took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. The weather was clear and the visibility was good except for haze caused by the fires. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stiring Mk.III BK817 captained by Squadron Leader R.H. Laud, (“A” Flight Commander).

Stirling Mk.III BK817 AA-B

S/L Ronald Hugh Laud, RAF 40625 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Herbert Russell, RAFVR 1338131 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Hugh Steel McQuade, RAFVR 1349542) – Navigator.
Sgt. Henry Stephen Mulholland, RAFVR 1332768 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Thomas, Whatmough, RAFVR 1059932 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Aubrey Reginald Waite, RAFVR 575638 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frederick John Hawkins, RAFVR 1299618 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. M.K. Matthews, RAFVR 848364 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:48 – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

Stirling Mk.III BK817 AA-B was shot down en route to the target at 01:35hrs by a night-fighter (Oblt Wilhelm Telge, Stab II/ NJG1), crashing at Frodthier (Liège), 6 miles North of Verviers, Belgium. All but the Rear Gunner died and they are buried at Heverlee War Cemetery. Sgt Matthews survived and was taken as a POW.

(S/L Laud was a New Zealander, from Campbells Bay, Auckland, who joined the RAF prior to the outbreak of war)

S/Ldr. Ronald Hugh Laud, RAF 40625 – Pilot.
Killed age 27.
Son of Norman Charles and Mabel Laud, of Auckland City, New Zealand; Husband of Doris Laud (Nee Wilson), of Campbell’S Bay, Auckland.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – 9. D. 1.
‘Love deep as thine
Lays here its broken flower’

Sgt. John Herbert Russell, RAFVR 1338131 – 2nd Pilot.
Killed age 21.
Son of Herbert and Bertha Millie Russell, of Crayford, Kent.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave 9. D. 2-7.
‘In loving memory
Of our dear son.
Always in our thoughts.
Mum and dad’

Sgt. Hugh Steel Mcquade, RAFVR 1349542 – Navigator.
Killed age 21.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave 9. D. 2-7.

Sgt. Henry Stephen Mulholland, RAFVR 1332768 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 20.
Son of James Alex and Louisa Mulholland, of Holloway, London.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave 9. D. 2-7.
‘Farewell, in hope and love
Till He whose home
Is ours above
Unites us there’

F/S Thomas Whatmough, RAFVR 1059932 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 30.
Son of Thomas and Mercer E. Whatmough; Husband of Alice Mary Whatmough, of Patchway, Gloucestershire.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave 9. D. 2-7.
‘He died
That we might live
Too dearly loved to be forgotten’

Sgt. Aubrey Reginald Waite, RAF 575638 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 20.
Son of Reginald John and Minnie Rhoda Waite, of Reading, Berkshire.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave 9. D. 2-7.
‘Always remembered
With greatest love
Mother and dad’

Sgt. Frederick John Hawkins, RAFVR 1299618 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 22.
Son of Charles Gerard and Fanny Elizebeth Hawkins, of Ringwood, Hampshire.
Buried Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium..
Grave location – Coll. grave 9. D. 2-7.
‘Remembered by all’

Sgt. M.K. Matthews, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: not known
Prison Camps: not known
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known