Memorial for the Crew of  ND577 - Lost on 7/6/44

7 - 8 June 1944

COMMUNICATIONS

337 Aircraft - 195 Halifaxes, 122 Lancasters, 20 Mosquitos - attacked railway targets at Acheres, Juvisy, Massey-Palaiseau and Versailles. Bombing conditions were better than conditions on the previous night. All targets were accurately bombed, and although no details are available, it is probable that fewer civilians were killed. The targets were mostly more distant from the battle front than those recently attacked and German night fighters had more time to intercept the bomber forces. 17 Lancasters and 11 Halifaxes were lost 8.3 per cent of the forces involved.

(Above details from Bomber Command War Diaries - Middlebrook & Everitt)

Lancaster ND577 was involved in the attack on Versailles as Deputy Master Bomber. Nothing was heard of this aircraft after it answered the Master Bomber some minutes before the Master Bomber dropped his bombs

The aircraft crashed at Les Mesnuls and the crew were buried in the local churchyard.

Pilot - Squadron Leader   C. G.  HOPTON  DFC
Nav1 - Flight Lieutenant   H. D.  GILLIS  DFC
Wop - Flight Lieutenant   P. J.  MOYES  DFC
F/E -  Flight Sergeant     L. E.   GIBBS 
Nav2 - Flight Lieutenant  W. M. CONLON  DFC  ***
Vis   - Flight Lieutenant   D. T.  WOOD
M/G - Warrant Officer  A. R. P. LARKINS
R/G - Sergeant                    I.  CAMPBELL

*** Flight Lieutenant R. B. LEIGH DFC was the usual second navigator with this crew.  I believe I have read that he missed this operation as he was on compassionate leave attending his fathers funeral. On his death in 2005 he was buried in the same grave as his old crew.

Summary provided by Master Bomber on this raid:

Task. VERSAILLES-MATELOTS. Target attacked at 0225 from 6,000 ft. We descended below cloud. We did not get positive identification but saw the railway line. We instructed Main Force to come below cloud. Green TI's were seen to fall at 0221 and 0222 hrs backed up in good concentration. Instructing Main Force to wait, we dropped our red TI's a little short. We instructed the Main Force to bomb the centre of all TI's with a one second overshoot. As bombing seemed to be falling short we later instructed Main Force to bomb with a second overshoot. At 0227 hrs red TI's fell in the centre of all TI's visible. Bombing was accurate and concentrated on the TI's. ** A cluster of Red TI's which were genuine ones fell 5 to 7 miles South of the target area at 0230 hrs. Moderate L/F (Light Flak), accurate. One fighter seen in the target area. One photo attempted. Bomb Load 6 TI red LBA1, 10 x 500 GP.

** Were these perhaps from ND577, jettisoned as the result of a fighter attack, or flak hit?

 

Aerial View of Crash Site

 

Les Mesnuls Churchyard

                                              

War Memorial      Detail      Communal Grave    Communal Grave

 

Individual Grave Panels

Hopton     Gillis     Moyes    Gibbs    Conlon    Wood   Larkins  Campbell

 

  Crash Site Photos

                     

Memorial  Debris    Debris        Debris      Pic 1        Pic 2        Pic 3       Pic 4

Donor & Friend

        

Jerome     & Friend   & Friend

All the Photos on this page and other grave site photos of this crew in the general section were provided by Jerome LeBlanc.

Thanks Jerome for all your contributions.