T.F. McCrorie crew 19.6.43 †

19/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Krefeld
Fourteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lb., 1,000lb., and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft returned early as it was hit by A.A. fire in the fuselage, mainplane and mid upper turret. The Flight Engineer made a really good effort to overcome the damage by hacking his way through the fuselage into the port wing to get at the petrol tank controls, which he then operated by hand. The BREUIL STEEL WORKS was very badly damaged and appeared to have the roof missing. Large fires and huge explosions were seen in the target area. An aircraft captained by P/O Sedunary, lost the outer propeller , just before bombing. He carried out his bombing successfully and returned to base. At the beginning of the attack little light and heavy A.A fire and one searchlight were encountered, but as the attack progressed the defenses were thoroughly disorganised. There was no cloud in the target area and visibility was excellent, except for smoke from out flares. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III EH889 AA-Z

F/O Thomas Fraser McCrorie, 1365093/ 68770 – Pilot.
P/O William Stuckey, RAF 51042 – Navigator.
Sgt. James Leonard Richards, RNZAF NZ404946 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Richard Douglas Tod, RCAF R.91741 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Eric Grainger, RAFVR 625045 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Ernest Tod, RCAF R.91742 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S R.C. Scott, RAFVR 969278 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:57 – Landed 04:42
Flight Time 06:45

22/06/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim (actually Mülheim)
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lbs and 4lbs. Four aircraft failed to return and the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large concentrated fires and some explosions were seen the whole RUHR area was smoke palled. A very heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights was encountered and five aircraft were slightly hit by A.A.fire, some enemy aircraft were seen and three short combats took place, but no damage was sustained by our aircraft. There was 3/10ths cloud on the target area but visibility was fairly good, except for smoke haze. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirling Mk.I EF399 captained by F/S Burbidge, Mk.III EF408 captained by Sgt. Wood, MK.III BK810 captained by W/O McKenzie and Mk.III EH889 captained by F/O McCrorie.

Stirling Mk.III EH889 AA-Z

F/O Thomas Fraser McCrorie, 1365093/ 68770 – Pilot.
P/O William Stuckey, RAF 51042 – Navigator.
F/S James Leonard Richards, RNZAF NZ404946 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Richard Douglas Tod, RCAF R.91741 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Eric Grainger, RAFVR 625045 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Ernest Tod, RCAF R.91742 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1003148 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:48 – Landed –
Flight Time Missing
Stirling Mk.III EH889 AA-Z was shot down by a night-fighter (Oblt Lothar Linke, IV /NJG1) at 01:58hrs, crashing into the Ijsselmeer. All on board died, their bodies later washing ashore. F/L McCrorie was buried in Hemelumer-Oldeferd (Molkwerum) Protestant Churchyard. P/O Stuckey rests in Wonseradeel (Makkum) Churchyard. The Todd twins lie in Medemblik General Cemetery. Sgt Kennedy is buried at Wieringermeer (Middenmeer) General Cemetery. The others are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Lothar Linke (23 October 1909 – 14 May 1943) was a German Luftwaffe night fighter ace and recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Lothar Linke claimed 27 aerial victories, 24 of them at night. On 14 May 1943 Linke and his crew were forced to bail out after their Bf-110 was hit by British fighters. He struck the tail end of the plane and was killed. On 19 September 1943, he was posthumously awarded the Knight’s Cross. (Wikipedia)
– Linke’s identification as the Pilot responsible for shooting down the McCrorie crew seems to be contradicted slightly by Linke apparently being killed some five weeks previously……

F/L Thomas Fraser Mccrorie, RAFVR 68770 – Pilot.
Killed age 27.
Son of John andrew and Margaret Mccrorie; Husband of Joan Mccrorie, of Broom, Warwickshire.
Buried Hemelumer-Oldeferd (Molkwerum) Protestant Churchyard, Holland.     .
Grave location – Grave 190.
‘There’s some corner
Of a foreign field
That is forever England’

P/O William Stuckey, RAF 51042 – Navigator.
Killed age 29.
Son of William Edwin and Alice Mary Stuckey; Husband of Peggy Stuckey, of Mildenhall, Suffolk.
Buried Wonseradeel (Makkum) Protestant Churchyard, Holland.     .
Grave location – Row O. Grave 31.
‘Beloved in life
And cherished in remembrance’

F/S James Leonard Richards, RNZAF NZ404946 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 25.
Son of Henry Edward and Jessie Elizabeth Richards, of Methven, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 199.

W/O Richard Douglas Tod, RCAF 2 R/91741 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 23.
Son of Alexander and Mary Edith Tod, of St. Vital, Manitoba, Canada. His Twin Brother Robert Ernest Also Died On Service.
Buried Mebemblik General Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Grave 250.
‘Your memory hallowed
In the land you loved’

Sgt. Eric Grainger, RAF 652045 – Flight Engineer.
Lost without trace age 21.
Son of William Henry and Myra Grainger.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 151.

W/O Robert Ernest Tod, RCAF 2 R/91742 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 23.
Son of Alexander and Mary Edith Tod, of St. Vital, Manitoba, Canada. His Twin Brother Robert Ernest Also Died On Service.
Buried Mebemblik General Cemetery, Holland.      .
Grave location – Grave 249
‘To save mankind –
Yourself you scorned to save’

The citation DFM (7 May 1943) for Robert Tod reads as follows:
This airman was the wireless operator of an aircraft which was damaged by anti-aircraft fire during an operational flight over enemy territory. The aircraft gradually lost height and the pilot was eventually compelled to bring it down on the sea. Meanwhile Sergeant Tod coolly worked his apparatus, maintaining contact with base. His excellent work enabled the aircraft to be continuously plotted from the ground and plans for rescue to be made. The entire crew of the aircraft were picked up within 15 minutes of coming down on the sea. This airman displayed great coolness and unswerving devotion to duty throughout“.
(A little more about this incident here)

Sgt. Raymond Anthony Kennedy, RAFVR 1033748 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 28.
Son of Patrick Michael and Florence Ann Kennedy, of St. Marylebone, London.
Buried Wieringermeer (Middenmeer) General Cemetery, Holland.     .
Grave location – Grave 1448.
‘In loving memory of my son,
Who gave his life
That we might live.
Rest in peace’

 

 

 

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