Personnel Index - Detail
Images of George Illingworth courtesy of Jeff Smith (George was a nephew of Jeff's maternal Grandfather)
From the panel at Runnymede
11/12 November, 1944; HARBURG:
Weather over the target was clear, and much ground detail could be seen as 237 Lancasters from 5 Group passed over the oil refinery at Harburg. F/O Hay (PB504) reported: "One stick of bombs seen to straddle the target and cause an orange explosion with clouds of grey smoke."
Aircraft returning to England were once again confronted with poor weather conditions over Lincolnshire. Fulbeck sent 49's flock up to Carnaby in Yorkshire, where most had landed by 21.56hrs; This just left the O/C of ‘B’ Flight, S/Ldr Harold Gorton (PB369) and crew, flying in A-Able outstanding.
It was later confirmed that the Squadron Leader's Lancaster was one of 7 that were lost on this Harburg operation. The pilot, along with three of his fellow crew members are buried in Hamburg War Cemetery, the other four (including 2nd pilot F/O Illingworth) have no known graves but are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.
Lancaster PB369 (EA-A)
S/L H. Gorton (O/C B Flt) Pilot (Killed)
F/O G.E. Illingworth 2nd Pilot (Missing)
Sgt F.E. Jones F/E (Killed)
F/S W.G. Hannon NAV (Missing)
F/O D.A. Ellis RAAF W/OP (Missing)
P/O F. Tingle A/G (Killed)
P/O L.T. Francis A/B (Killed)
P/O F.E. John A/G (Missing)
Crew on their 16th operation
Further information via Colin Cripps (49Sqn Researcher):
The of loss of PB369 was due to heavy flak and the aircraft finally impacted at Hohe Schaar near Wilhelmsburg at 19:21 hrs.