HK553

 

Air Historical Branch: Air Movement Cards

Air Historical Branch: Air Movement Cards – HK553

Date Target Notes Code Pilot Duration
1 24/05/44 Boulogne AA-S F/S Burtt 02:00
2 28/05/44 Angers AA-S F/S Brown 07:05
3 31/05/44 Trappes AA-S P/O O’Connor 04:30
dnc 02/06/44 Wissant ORB lists 12 aircraft as failing to find indicators and bringing their bombs back. Douglas Trigg’s logbook identifies the Perfrement crew as 1 of these 12 AA-S F/S Perfrement 02:30
4 05/06/44 Ouistreham AA-S P/O Bonisch 03:10
5 06/06/44 Lisieux AA-S P/O Bonisch 03:50
6 10/06/44 Dreux AA-S F/S Donaghy missing
23:05

10/06/1944 – Attack Against Dreux
Of the twenty four aircraft detailed to bomb Dreux, twenty two successfully attacked in good weather, the marshalling yards being visually identified until they were obscured by smoke. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU.88. The aircrafts captained by NZ422098 P/O. L. Bonisch and NZ422267 F/S. Donaghy, T. failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I HK553 AA-S

F/S Thomas Rodgers Donaghy, RNZAF NZ422267 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard Parkin, RAFVR 1567334 – Navigator.
Sgt. William Iorwerth Williams, RAFVR 1413546 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Harry Douglas Mitchell, RAFVR 1395992 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Jack Vernon Lea, RAFVR 1472369 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. K.E. Jackson, RAFVR 1336192 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt Norman Hylton Dew, RAFVR 749538 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:10 – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

Lancaster Mk.I HK553 AA-S was attacked by a night-fighter to the Wwest of the target and crashed near Tilliers- sur-Avre, where six of the crew were buried. Sgt Jackson, RAF, the Mid Upper Gunner, survived the crash and successfully evaded capture.

F/S Thomas Rodgers Donaghy, RNZAF NZ422267 – Pilot.
Killed age 33.
Son of Elizabeth Mary Donaghy; husband of Janet Brown Donaghy, of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand.
Buried Tillieres-Sur-Avre Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave. 3

Sgt. Richard Parkin, RAFVR 1567334 – Navigator.
Killed age 22.
Son of Richard and Elizabeth H. Parkin, of Burnopfield, Co. Durham.
Buried Tillieres-Sur-Avre Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave. 6
‘God grant him
Thy peace
And let light perpetual
Shine on him.
“Thy will be done”‘

Sgt. William Iorwerth Williams, RAFVR 1413546 – Air bomber.
Killed age 23.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Williams, of Llanelly, Carmarthenshire.
Buried Tillieres-Sur-Avre Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave. 7
‘God has you in His keeping,
We have you in our hearts’

Sgt. Harry Douglas Mitchell, RAFVR 1395992 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 21.
Son of Henry James Mitchell and Ethel May Mitchell, of Thetford, Norfolk; husband of Alice Elizabeth Mitchell, of Thetford.
Buried Tillieres-Sur-Avre Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave. 5

Sgt. Jack Vernon Lea, RAFVR 1472369 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 22.
Son of Frederick George Lea and of Irene Lea (nee Lavender), of Watford, Hertfordshire; husband of Joan Annette Lea, of Watford.
Buried Tillieres-Sur-Avre Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave. 4
‘O valiant heart
Who to your glory came’

Sgt. K.E. Jackson, RAFVR 1336192 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Evader
Sgt. Jackson’s debrief by MI.9 on his return to the United Kingdom included the following information:
“We took off at 23:31 hrs on the 10th of  June 1944 from Mepal to bomb Dreux. Just after we had bombed the target, and while still in the target area, we were attacked by a Ju88 and the order was given to bale out. I saw the aircraft explode just after it hit the ground. I landed in the middle of a cornfield and immediately buried my parachute and harness and then made for a wood nearby. I remained hidden in the wood for the rest of the night as I had sprained my ankle on landing and my forehead was burnt. At dawn (11th of  June) I walked to a cart track near the cornfield . A farm labourer came along and when I told him who I was he went to the village to look for somewhere for me to stay. He returned with a hay cart and took me to a farm near the village of Tilliers-sur- Avre. I remained there until the Americans arrived and they arranged my journey back to England. Departed Bayeux 26th of  August 1944.”

Date of return to United Kingdom: 27th of August 1944

Sgt. Norman Hylton Dew, RAFVR 749538 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 29.
Son of Thomas and Annie Mabel Dew, of Thamesford, Ontario, Canada.
Buried Tillieres-Sur-Avre Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Coll. grave. 2
‘He gave all
For righteousness sake
And deemed it
A glorious privilege’