Personnel Index - Detail
10/11th August, 1943; NUREMBURG:
Over 650 heavy bombers made a successful attack on the centre and southern areas of the city. 49 Squadron sent 12 aircraft on the raid... 11 made good their attacks, but the twelfth never made the target: ED625 B-Baker being flown by P/O Johnny Moss and crew was on course for Nuremburg when disaster struck.
Sgt Len Bradfield, bomb aimer, recalls the Lancaster’s final moments:
"We were on time and flying at 21,000 feet when attacked by two JU 88s. The first came in from 4 o'clock high hitting and setting fire to the port outer engine; the second came from astern, 6 o'clock level. He raked the fuselage and during this action, the cannon fire may have killed both our gunners, Terry Wood in the mid upper turret and Ronnie Musson in the rear. The bomb bay was set on fire and Johnny immediately ordered the crew to bale out. At the time, Sammy Small our wireless/op had gone back to see if he could help the gunners. I went out through the nose hatch as the remainder made their way into the nose behind me."
As Len left the stricken bomber he could see enemy tracer still striking the Lancaster... then suddenly, the bomb load exploded in a blinding flash. Seconds later, the pilot found himself floating to earth on an open parachute. His last recollections were of holding the aircraft steady as the navigator and flight engineer climbed down into the nose to bale out; at that moment the aircraft must have exploded. Sadly just two members of the crew, Len Bradfield and Johnny Moss survived the ordeal with their lives.
Pilot, Johnny Moss became a prisoner (Luft 3) but managed to make his escape later in the war, joining up with American Infantry troops.
The remaining squadron aircraft all returned safely, but Bomber Command had lost 16 aircraft.
Lancaster ED625 (EA-B)
P/O J.H. Moss Pilot (P.o.W.)
Sgt E.H. Roden F/E (Killed)
Sgt D.G. Jones Nav (Killed)
Sgt R.J. Small W/AG (Killed)
Sgt T.A. Wood A/G (Killed)
Sgt L.F. Bradfield B/A (P.o.W.)
Sgt C.R. Musson A/G (Killed)
Crew on their 16th operation
Ernest Roden's first grave marker
Heather Burton visiting the grave of her father in the Rheinberg War Cemetery
All additional images and documentation courtesy of Heather Burton