Tag Archives: Wellington Mk III DF639

Hardenberg Protestant Cemetery, Netherlands.

crew comp red

Further thanks goes to Philip for the continuing presentation of photographs he has kindly donated to the gravestone project.

At approximately 7.00pm on the 6th of October 1942, 14 Wellington bombers from 75(NZ) Squadron RAF joined 68 Lancasters, 38 Stirlings and 36 Halifax bombers to attack Osnabrück. A single Wellington from the Squadron, 2 Lancasters, 2 Stirlings and 2 Halifaxes were lost that night.

Wellington Mk.III DF639 was shot down by a German night-fighter at approximately 23.30hrs near the small town of Hardenberg (Overijssel), 70 miles East of Amsterdam, Netherlands, while returning to base following the raid on Osnabrück. The crew were all killed.

Sgt. George William Rhodes RAFVR 1331658 – Pilot. Age
Sgt. Walter John Howes RAFVR 1378338 – Observer/Navigator. Age 29
F/S John Forman RCAF R.80334 – Front Gunner/ Air Bomber. Age 21
Sgt. Geoffrey Slater RAFVR 1287890 – Wireless Operator. Age 22
Sgt. John Forbes RAFVR 1314891 – Rear Gunner. Age 21