Failed to Return
W/O A T S Collier and Crew
W/O Collier and crew were posted to 550 Sqdn on squadron start-up from 100 Sqdn w.e.f. 25/11/1943:
- W/O A T S Collier RAAF (P)
- Sgt F Turner (F/Eng)
- F/Sgt P E Lee (Nav)
- F/Sgt H S Bennett (A/B)
- F/Sgt J A Cromie RAAF (W/Op)
- Sgt W F Dowson (MU/AG)
- Sgt E A Topham (R/AG)
Lancaster LM301 was being flown by the W/O Collier crew when it was lost on the 2nd/3rd December 1943 on an operation to Berlin. The aircraft had departed Grimsby/Waltham at 1653 for Berlin. It was intercepted at 5800M in the Hannover-Braunschweig area by a Nightfighter captained by Fw Hans Meissner (6/NJG1) and shot down at 1955 for his 4th Abschuss. The aircraft crashed at Wasbuttel, Germany. Six crew were killed, while one, F/Sgt Cromie, became a PoW. F/Sgt Cromie was presumably blown clear of the exploding Lancaster as he could not recall baling out. The members of the crew killed are buried in Hannover War Cemetery.
The entry on the 550 Squadron Roll of Honour is available here.
Other information about the flight and the target available here.
Sgt Frank Turner (F/Eng)
A memorial plaque to Sgt F Turner (F/Eng) can be seen in the Methodist Chapel, Rawtenstall (Longholme), Lancashire. A number of photos are shown below. Thanks to Samantha Mackulin (Communications and Engagement Worker, Rossendale Methodist Circuit) for taking the photos and sending them in to the Association.