Failed to Return

F/O A W L Lohrey and Crew

Two members of the crew of RA502 lost their lives on 1 February 1945 while returning from a raid on Ludwigshaven. This 550 Sqdn Lancaster collided with a 170 Sqdn Lancaster, crashing near Fleville, in France. The crew baled out over Paris. The five survivors returned to North Killingholme. The two dead airmen are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, but there is also a memorial to the crew in Fleville, France. The memorial also commemorates the R/AG from the 170 Sqdn aircraft, P/O Fernquist (RCAF), who was also killed in the crash (although the pilot of the 170 Sqdn aircraft succeeded in nursing NG202 back to England).

The F/O Lohrey crew were:

Pictured below the F/O Lohrey crew:

Click image L-to-R: F/O Lohrey, Sgt E C Westhorpe, Sgt W G Anderson, Sgt V B Cassapi, Sgt N Tinsley, Sgt A James, Sgt A Jarnell
Click image L-to-R: F/O Lohrey, Sgt E C Westhorpe, Sgt W G Anderson, Sgt V B Cassapi, Sgt N Tinsley, Sgt A James, Sgt A Jarnell

Flying some ops with this crew were the following:

The entry on the 550 Squadron Roll of Honour is available here.

Other information about the flight and the target available here.

See also the Fleville Memorial page.

There is also an Aircrew Remembered page for the F/O Lohrey crew.

Station Narrative No.10

The loss of RA502 is described in the narrative included in the Station Operational Record Book as follows:

Click image Station Narrative No. 10
Lohrey crew, Ludwigshafen, 1/2 Feb 1945
Click image (pg 2 of 2)

Flight Engineers Group Photo

Click image "Frank Hodgson Pilot Brigade"
The picture was named "Frank Hodgson Pilot Brigade"; and therefore implied that it was a group photo of a number of pilots. Apart from the identification of Sgt Frank Hodgson (P/F/Eng) none of the others are identified, except ...
Vic Cassapi (F/Eng Lohrey crew) was identified in the photo (back-row, 2nd from the extreme right), and confirmed it was him as he has a copy of the same photo. Vic notes that this was a photo of Flight Engineers
The picture is thought to be ca. June 1945, possibly in North Killingholme
The numbers "24" are clearly seen on the aircraft, so this might make this either NG243 / BQ-M2 Mike-Squared or NG246 / BQ-G
F/Sgt Hodgson (P/F/Eng) flew with the F/Sgt Hodgkiss crew
Picture courtesy of Jan Care (daughter of Frank Hodgson)

The Express October 1988


On 25 October 1998 there was an item in The Express about a return visit made by the crew survivors to the site of the crash of RA502.

Click image Click image Click image

Daily Mail July 2022


On 23rd July 2022 there was a full-page item in The Daily Mail about a number of letters discovered during a building renovation describing the details surrounding the loss of 550 Lancaster RA502 and in particular Sgt. Norman Tinsley of F/O Lohrey crew.


F/Sgt J McVey (Nav)


The following images kindly made available by Keith Gould (son of F/Sgt D S Gould (W/Op)).

Click image F/Sgt J McVey
Click image F/Sgt J McVey, 1st op with 550 Sqdn
Click image F/Sgt J McVey
Operation report involving F/Sgt McVey on 2/3rd February 1945 while on ops with 576 Sqdn (thus before he transferred in to 550 Sqdn). The crew were in receipt of Caterpillar Club badges as a result.