156 Squadron Mission Details
Target: Braunschweig/Brunswick
Mission Date: 14/01/1944
Mission Comments: 21 Aircraft detailed for operations. 1 did not take off and 5 are missing. (W/C MANSFIELD DFC, P/O BAGOT, F/O ILLINGWORTH, F/L STANNARD, AND P/O PALMER AND CREWS) ********** Slide 18 ilegible ******** and aircaft numbers do not match ORB
Rego Type Captain Departed Over Target Height Returned Flight Time Comments ORB Slide
ND357  Lancaster III  W/C MANSFIELD  16:45          T/o 1645 Warboys. Shot down by a night fighter and crashed 2035 at Kolhorn (Noord-Holland), 7 km ENE Schagen. All were taken to Huisduinen for burial on 17 January, since when their remains have been exhumed and brought to Bergen op Zoom War Cemetery. W/C Mansfield, a New Zealand born regular RAF officer, had been with the Squadron since June 1943 and his total operational sortie count had reached 53. W/O Lawrence had gained his DFM, Gazetted 19 October 1943, with 156 Squadron, but S/L Alexander RCAF had flown a tour with 419 Squadron, his award being published on 22 May 1942. TWO Yorkshire airmen who died when their bomber was shot down are to be honoured 63 years to the day they crashed on Dutch farmland. Flight Lieutenant Charles Roy Swinney and Pilot Officer Bernard Aidan Trott were aboard a Lancaster from 156 Squadron which was attacked by a Luftwaffe fighter on January 14, 1944, during a raid on Germany. It was one of 38 Lancasters from 156 Squadron shot down that night during an unsuccessful raid on the German city of Brunswick. The remains of the Lancaster have lain undisturbed for six decades but archaeologists with the Dutch Aircraft Recovery Group have now looked into the possibility of recovering the wreckage to make way for a water pumping station. Recovering the wreckage was deemed too costly and so the development plans were altered and now a memorial will be placed at the site instead. The Dutch authorities are now seeking relatives of the crew but have drawn a blank with the two Yorkshire men. Pieter Korshuize, of the Dutch Aircraft Recovery Group, believes Yorkshire Post readers may know of a relative who may wish to attend the ceremony on January 14. He said: "The plan is to unveil the monument exactly 63 years after the crash. We are now seeking any relatives of the crew members to see if they want to take part in the ceremony and maybe to obtain more information about these brave men who lost their lives in this tragic incident." Flt Lt Swinney, 26, was on his 14th bombing mission when he died and previously been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was the son of Charles Edward Swinney and Florence Mary Swinney, of East Keswick, Leeds. Pilot Officer Trott, 29, was on his tenth mission and was the son of Maud Trott, of Broomhill, Sheffield. Mr Korshuize has discovered that the Lancaster was shot down by a German night fighter piloted by Oberleutnant Dietrich Schmidt. It was the 12th plane Schmidt had downed. It crashed at 8.35pm local time on farmland near the village of Kolhorn, about 15 miles south of Den Helder. Mr Korshuize explained that the salvage plans had now been dropped. "Measurements done by the salvage team of the Royal Netherlands Air Force showed that salvage was a difficult and costly operation and that there was no risk for the environment if the crash remained untouched. "This caused a slight change of development plans but would save huge costs. So then the decision was made by the local authorities and the land owner to change plans and leave the bomber in the soil but to create a monument on the site to remember the seven crew members that were killed." The other crew were Wing Commander Nelson Reuben Mansfield, originally from New Zealand; Warrant Officer Charles Henry Lawrance, from London; Squadron Leader Edward Sudbury Alexander, from Canada; Flight Sergeant Victor Norman Cawdery, from Hertfordshire; and Flying Officer George William Penrose, from Rhodesia. Contact Mr Korshuize at pkorshuize@worldmail.nl  DSCF0013 
LM344  Lancaster III  P/O BAGOT  16:46          T/o 1646 Warboys. Crashed and burst into flames at Watenstedt, 8 km ESE of Lebebstedt. All rest in Hanover War Cemetery, having been brought here from Watenstedt.  DSCF0013 
JB483  Lancaster III  F/O PALMER  16:47          T/o 1647 Warboys. All lie in Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. W/O Hedges RAAF, a regular airman, was one of only a few Australian flight engineers flying in Bomber Command. His award of a DFC must therefore be almost unique.  DSCF0013 
JA975  Lancaster III  F/Lt STANNARD  16:49          T/o 1649 Warboys. Shot down by twin efforts of night fighter and flak, crashing at Bockern around 7km WSW from Vecht, from where burials are reported to have taken place on 17 January. Six now rest in Sage War Cemetery; F/S Bramley being commemorated on panel 215 of the Runnymede Memorial. Details of F/S Johnson's DFM appeared in the London Gazette on 11 February 1944.  DSCF0013 
JA698  Lancaster III  P/O ILLINGWORTH  17:01          T/o 1701 Warboys. Attacked at 21,000 feet from the starboard quarter by a night fighter and crashed in the target area. F/S King lies in the Hannover War Cemetery; Sgt Keetch is perpetuated on panel 232 of the Runnymede Memorial.  DSCF0013 
JB479  Lancaster III  W/C PORTER  16:44  19.12  21,000  21:47  05:03    DSCF0016 
JA912  Lancaster III  F/Lt KILVINGTON  16:48  19.09  18,000  21:50  05:02  Night Fighters very active with many flare  DSCF0016 
ND358  Lancaster III  S/L SAUNDERS  16:50  19.07  19,000  21:46  04:56    DSCF0016 
JB721  Lancaster III  F/Lt DAY  16:56  19.15  20,000  22:44  05:48    DSCF0016 
JB186  Lancaster  G/C COLLINGS  17:00  19.12  19,000  21:57  04:57    DSCF0016 
ND348  Lancaster  S/L BROOKS  16:51  19.15  18,000  22:42  05:51    DSCF0017 
ND340  Lancaster  W/O PURNELL  16:57  19.13  20,000  21:43  04:46    DSCF0017 
JA941  Lancaster III  W/O MARSHALL  16:58  19.09  18,000  22:33  05:35    DSCF0017 
JA673  Lancaster  P/O HEWITT  17:03  19.15  17,000  22:29  05:26    DSCF0017 
JB217  Lancaster III  S/L HOPTON  17:05  19.19  20,000  22:38  05:33    DSCF0017 
ND342  Lancaster  F/Sgt NEIGHBOUR  16:52  19.19  19,000  22:00    Attacked on two occasions by single Me109s. Both E/A damaged. ND342 damaged on both occasions. (Info supplied by Michael Wright)  DSCF0018 
ND406  Lancaster III  F/O LITTLE  16:53  19.11  18,000  22:21      DSCF0018 
JA921  Lancaster III  P/O BLAMEY  16:54  19.08  19,000  22:27      DSCF0018 
EE108  Lancaster  F/Sgt MCLEAN  16:55  19.16  20,000  21:55      DSCF0018 
JB302  Lancaster III  F/Sgt STREET  16:58  19.19  21,000  22:37      DSCF0018