Personnel Index - Detail

Name
BIRBECK
First Names
Douglas Brigg
Rank
Sgt
Service
RAF
Service Number
1685263
Crew Position
Air Gunner
Age
21
Date of Death
16/03/1944
Cemetery

 



Photographed by Malcolm Brooke
 

15/16 March, 1944 -STUTTGART:

A large force of 863 bombers flew across France, almost to the Swiss border before turning north to approach Stuttgart.
High winds over the target caused many problems for the PFF and despite clear conditions the markers and bombing were well scattered, much falling in open countryside. In the early hours of Thursday morning the first returning squadron Lancaster called up 'Passout' control for permission to land. During the next hour, villagers throughout Lincolnshire would have their slumber disturbed by scores of Merlin engines, as hundreds of Lancasters returned home. Fierce combats with night-fighters around the target had accounted for many of the 37 bombers that failed to return.
Back at Fiskerton, the new crew of P/O Thomas Waugh was sadly posted as missing. The 23 year-old pilot and crew are buried in a collective grave at the Durnbach War Cemetery.

Lancaster ND474 (EA-T)
P/O T.W. Waugh Pilot (Killed)
Sgt R. Hoole F/E (Killed)
F/S T.C. McEneaney NAV (Killed)
Sgt W.E. Hardy WOP (Killed)
Sgt D.B. Birbeck A/G (Killed)
F/O J.J. Knowles A/B (Killed)
Sgt J.G. Wise A/G (Killed)

Crew on their 1st operation


This crew is remembered on a memorial in the German village of Bolstern.

Information from Louise Jennings-Hoole:
The image of Douglas Birbeck is courtesy of his godmother - Betsy Sewall. 
Researcher Mandy Stieber can take all the credit for this discovery, she has committed four year’s work in order to assist the families of the crew.
This coloured version was created by John Ward, Association President.




The crew of ND474 were remembered on the 73 anniversary of their loss by the villagers of Bolstern in Southern Germany. 
A prayer service of remembrance, attended by the Parish Priest and many of the villagers, was held at the memorial that was placed at the crash site in 2014.