J. Webb crew 4.4.43 †

04/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Kiel
Ten aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets, with incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. Four of the aircraft however returned early owing to engine trouble and one of the aircraft failed to take-off. The remaining five aircraft successfully bombed the target, although it was impossible to accurately assess results owing to heavy cloud, but nevertheless red glows were seen silhouetted against the clouds. Both light and heavy A.A. Fire was encountered, with searchlights co-operating. Some enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. There was ten tenths cloud in the target area and visibility was not very good. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III? W7513 AA-G

Sgt. John Webb, RAFVR 657412 – Pilot.
Sgt. David Vernon Jones, RAFVR 1337506 – Navigator.
Sgt. Daniel Thomas Anthony, RAFVR 1315996 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Richard William Lowther, RAFVR 1380534 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James Robertson Inglis, RAFVR 979322 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leonard Roy Cunningham, RAFVR 643601 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Edward John Letherbarrow , RAFVR 1315524 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:40 – Landed 22:50
Flight Time 02:10

08/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Duisburg
Nine aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks, with bombs of 1000 lb. and incendiaries of 30 lb. and 4 lb. Four of the aircraft however were forced to return early owing to severe icing conditions, which prevented the aircraft from gaining height. Four of the remaining aircraft successfully bombed the target through cloud. Large fires were seen glowing below the clouds. A fair amount of heavy predicted A.A.Fire was encountered, some enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was 10/10ths cloud, with electrical storms, rain and severe icing. Which prevented this operation from being a complete success. Navigation was very good. Stirling III, BK770, captained by W/O Walsh, was returning to base at 01.10 hours a message was received from him, but this was the last heard of the aircraft until it was reported to have crashed at Bressingham, Norfolk, soon after this time. The aircraft exploded on impact and burnt out, and unfortunately the whole of the crew were killed.

Stirling Mk.III BF337 AA-?

Sgt. John Webb, RAFVR 657412 – Pilot.
Sgt. David Vernon Jones, RAFVR 1337506 – Navigator.
Sgt. Daniel Thomas Anthony, RAFVR 1315996 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Richard William Lowther, RAFVR 1380534 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James Robertson Inglis, RAFVR 979322 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leonard Roy Cunningham, RAFVR 643601 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Edward John Letherbarrow , RAFVR 1315524 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:25 – Landed 00:35
Flight Time 03:10

10/04/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Frankfurt
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1000lb and incendiaries of 30lb and 4lb. Three aircraft were forced to return early as they failed to maintain height. Eight of the remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. It was not possible to see the target owing to thick cloud, a large red glow was nevertheless seen. Both light and heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights was encountered, although they were ineffective. Several enemy aircraft were seen and two short combats took place. There was 10/10ths cloud in the target area, but it was clear and dark above our aircraft. Navigations was excellent. Stirling III, BF455 captained by F/Sgt. Rothschild was hit over the target by A.A. Fire and also chased by enemy Fighters. This caused him to run short of Petrol over the English Channel on the way home, and he eventually crash landed in the sea, 3 miles off Shoreham. The wireless procedure had been perfect, and Spitfires escorted it over the French coast, and a Walrus Flying Boat was waiting for it to crash land. Dingy drill was perfect and all the crew got in safely after an immaculate landing – the Stirling floating for 25 minutes. The final scene was enacted in the Channel as the Walrus collided with the Dinghy and dropped all the crew in the sea. No Ill-effects except for Sgt. Grainger, the Flight Engineer, who suffered from shock. Stirling III BF456 captained by Sgt. Webb failed to return.

Stirling Mk.III BF456 AA-J

Sgt. John Webb, RAFVR 657412 – Pilot.
Sgt. David Vernon Jones, RAFVR 1337506 – Navigator.
Sgt. Daniel Thomas Anthony, RAFVR 1315996 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Richard William Lowther, RAFVR 1380534 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. James Robertson Inglis, RAFVR 979322 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leonard Roy Cunningham, RAFVR 643601 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Edward John Letherbarrow , RAFVR 1315524 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:05 – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

Stirling Mk.III BF456 AA-J crashed some 200 miles South East of Frankfurt near Steeg, a small village at 8,700ft in the Lechtaller Alps, Austria. The aircraft was clearly heading in the wrong direction and flying well below safety height in this mountainous region.

Sgt. John Webb, RAF 657412 – Pilot.
Killed age 23.
Son of John and Isabella M. Webb, of Dundee.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 18. E. 3-7.
‘Until the day break
And the shadows flee away’

Sgt. Daniel Vernon Jones, RAFVR 1337506 – Navigator.
Killed age 20.
Son of Daniel Jenkin Jones and Elizabeth Mary Jones, of Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 18. E. 3-7.
‘Asleep with the stars’

Sgt. Daniel Thomas Anthony, RAFVR 1315996 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 21.
Son of Daniel and Gladys Maud Anthony, of Dowlais, Glamorgan.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 18. E. 3-7.
‘The gates of death
For ever past, in Paradise
With Christ at last’

Sgt. Richard William Lowther, RAFVR 1380534 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 21.
Son of Robert William and May Maud Amelia Lowther, of Dagenham, Essex.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 18. E. 1.
‘He did his duty
Sadly missed
Mum and dad’

Sgt. James Robertson Inglis, RAFVR 979322 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 23.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 18. E. 2.

Sgt. Leonard Roy Cunningham, RAF 643601 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 23.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 18. E. 3-7.

Sgt. Edward John Letherbarrow, RAFVR 1315524 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 21.
Son of Thomas and Mildred Letherbarrow.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – Coll. grave 18. E. 3-7.
‘Thy will be done’

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