Failed to Return

W/O Peasgood Crew

Lancaster EE107 (BQ-O) was shot down on the night of 21/22 January 1944 on operation to Magdeburg.

The crew on this operation was:

Sgt. Sykes, the only survivor, died in 2000.

Other information about the flight and the target available here.

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

Click image W/O George Peasgood was only 21 years old when he died.
Picture courtesy of Les Finn
Click image F/Sgt W P Morris RCAF (Nav)
Picture courtesy of Joerg Helbig
Click image F/Sgt Garth Walker (A/B)
Picture courtesy of Denise Ewing (niece of F/Sgt Walker)
Garth Walker was 28 years old when he died on 21/22 January 1944. Sadly seventy years on there is now only one person alive in the family (a cousin of his) who knew him.
Click image Sgt Sidney James Louis Jones (MU/AG)
Text on the rear of the photo: "Sydney had his photo taken on April 19th 1943 Missing on Jan 21st 1944 After 21 flights"
Picture courtesy of Aaron Telford (whose mother, while working for a time in Birmingham, lodged with the mother of Sgt Jones)

Air-Gunner Remembered

Click image Sgt Sidney James Louis Jones (A/G)
Newspaper article (June 2013) about commemorations for this crew-member in his home parish, Chadwick End
Picture courtesy of Paul Lee

Conflicting Accounts

The story recounted by Sgt Sykes to his son, is that the crew saw a night fighter and next minute they were heading down. Sgt Sykes blacked out, and when he came to he managed to bail out of the plane. No sooner had his parachute opened that he hit the roof of some houses and then rolled onto the ground. He was picked up a short time later by the police and was interned in a POW camp for the rest of the war.

The following quote is from the Lost Bombers site http://www.lostbombers.co.uk/bomber.php?id=4215:

Those killed are buried in Holland at Venray War Cemetery. [...]
The CWGC state that Venray was liberated in mid-October 1944 and that burials in the cemetery date from this time. 
This suggests that the above crew were brought here from another cemetery, possibly from one on Germany. 
Sgt S.Sykes was interned in Camp 4B, PoW No.270085 (possibly 270885)"

Recent Research

A German researcher in contact with this site thinks the re-interment date suspect. This is based on research he believes points to the aircraft being lost over Bernburg. Summarising his research:

Click image Memorandum relating to Lancaster EE107, crashed Roschwitz, Germany
Image kindly made available by Joerg Helbig: source Ottawa, 129847 F/Sgt Morris RCAF
Click image Identification of crew based around identification of "S Jones"
Image kindly made available by Joerg Helbig: source Ottawa, 129847 F/Sgt Morris RCAF
Click image Report of Burial
Image kindly made available by Joerg Helbig: source Ottawa, 129847 F/Sgt Morris RCAF
Click image Report of Burial (side 2)
Image kindly made available by Joerg Helbig: source Ottawa, 129847 F/Sgt Morris RCAF
Click image Sgt Sykes statement (Stalag IV B, POW 270085) concerning the fate of F/Sgt Morris
Image kindly made available by Joerg Helbig: source Ottawa, 129847 F/Sgt Morris RCAF
The aircraft must have reached target and bombed, leaving target to the south (as planned). 
It should have turned back to NW for home - but flew over the town of BERNBURG (Saale) was coned by Flak and shot 
down at 23.30 hrs local time.
The Crew was first laid to rest (one survivor as above) probably in BERNBURG and here were also buried some B-17 crew.
The Americans must have found the dead crewmen and brought them (all) out of Germany as ultimately they were 
buried at Venray in The Netherlands.

The Flak that opened fire was a "Flakzug" railway Flaktrain Number 228 IV (Lancaster Bernburg) stopped at the
Bernburg railway station or was based at the station.

The exact crashpoint is thought to be BERNBURG-ROSCHWITZ a SE suburb of the town: specifically BREYMANNSTRASSE 
as it seems to have destroyed some buildings (although but this is unconfirmed by our contact).

However BREYMANNSTRASSE disappeared during the time of the DDR and was possibly renamed (although what to is unclear).

Suggestions from WR Chorley about the second burial at Venray (dated after mid-October 44) are doubtful.

Bernburg area was liberated April 45 so the earliest date of an exhumation on location is April 45. 
It is thought that late 1945, the Americans came into the town and asked about allied war-graves and when they exist 
they marked them first and returned at a later date to exhume the bodies.
Exhumation is exactly what they have done in this particular case. We do not know the exact date that the Americans 
exhumed the crew at Bernburg - but it was almost certainly months after the war was over and not 1944.

The investigations were conducted using records in the UK, Germany and indeed Canada (one crew member was RCAF).