24/25.06.1943 No. 7 Squadron Stirling III EF392 MG-N Sq/Ldr. John R. Savage
Date: 24/25th June 1943
Unit: No. 7 Squadron
Type: Stirling III
Base: R.A.F. Oakington, Cambridgeshire
Location: North Sea – exact location unknown
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. John Ronald Savage AUS/402882 R.A.A.F. Age 26. Missing
Pilot 2: P/O. Frederick John Haines 149607 R.A.F.V.R. Age ? Missing
Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Godfrey Hippesley Cox 569405 R.A.F. Age 23. Missing
Nav: Fl/Sgt. Sidney James Barnes 656215 R.A.F. Age 23. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Sydney Arthur Errington 1507631 R.A.F.V.R. Age ? Missing
W/Op: Sgt. Arthur Ashton Caley 1377873 R.A.F.V.R. Age 27. Missing
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Norman Robert Morrison R/140004 R.C.A.F. Age 19. Missing
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Derek Richard Spanton 1323191 R.A.F.V.R. Age 21. Missing
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 2328 from RAF Oakington to attack the Elberfeld half of Wuppertal, the Barmen half of the town having been devastated at the end of May. The Pathfinder marking was accurate and the Main Force bombing started well but the creep-back became more pronounced than usual. 30 aircraft bombed targets in more western parts of the Ruhr (Wuppertal was at the eastern end of the area).
A total of 171 factories and businesses were destroyed and another 53 seriously affected. There was also an estimated 18.000 people lost their lives.
Believed to be shot down by Lt. Heinz Strüning 2./NJG1 at 03:02 over the Dutch coast, crashing into the North sea. The body of Fl/Sgt. Barnes was eventually washed ashore and is buried in Bergen General Cemetery, the others have no known graves.
One of three 7 Squadron Stirlings lost on this operation:
Stirling R9281 MG-V flown by F/O. Arthur J. Davis killed along with his 6 other crew members.
Stirling ED595 MG-Q flown by W/Cmdr. Robert G. Barrell D.S.O. D.F.C. and bar, killed with 2 other crew members with a further 3 made pow’s and another escaping capture. 3 D.F.M’s and 2 D.F.C’s held by members of this crew.