Personnel Index - Detail
22/23 October, 1943; KASSEL:
The squadron dispatched 11 Lancasters. Eight Pathfinder 'visual markers' found the centre of Kassel after the H2S 'blind' marker overshot the target. The consequences proved to be horrendous for this German city. The bombing, by nearly 570 was so concentrated that a firestorm was created, but not on the scale of the Hamburg storm in July.
Returning crews found bad weather conditions over base and were widely diverted throughout Lincolnshire.
Bomber Command paid heavily for their success with 24 Halifaxes and 18 Lancasters failing to return. Sadly two of the missing Lancasters were from 49 Squadron... the crew piloted by 21 year old F/Sgt Alan Hodgkinson was all killed over Germany and are buried together in Hannover; their 23 year-old rear gunner Frank Ricketts had only been married a few weeks.
Two claims both by Wilde Sau aircraft.
Ofw Kurt Welter of 5./JG301 claimed a 4 motored aircraft, 4kms north west of Kassel at 21.04hrs probably Lancaster JB416.
Note: claim not listed in OKL/RLM 5./JG301. Confirmed Abschussübersicht.
Ofw. Ernst Haase of 1./JG302 claimed a Lancaster over Kassel at 21.06hrs, probably Lancaster JB416.
Note: claim not listed in OKL/RLM 1./JG302. Confirmed Abschussübersicht.
F/S A. Hodgkinson Pilot (Killed)
Sgt R.E. Harnett F/E (Killed)
Sgt A.G. Fisher Nav (Killed)
F/S J. Foley W/AG (Killed)
Sgt D. Durrell RCAF A/G (Killed)
Sgt R.A. Ford B/A (Killed)
Sgt R.F. Ricketts A/G (Killed)
Crew on their 11th operation
There is a memorial plaque in Chewton Mendip (St. Mary Magdalene Church) Somerset which remembers Sgt R.F. Ricketts KIA 22/10/43