Personnel Index - Detail
8/9 February, 1945; POLITZ:
The synthetic-oil plant at Politz was selected to receive a double attack by 475 Lancasters and 7 Mosquitoes from 1, 5 and 8 Groups. It was decided to send 5 Group (to get the pot boiling!) in first using their own marking method, to be followed by 1 Group using 8 Group Pathfinders.
The raid proved to be a total success with accurate bombing from both waves, which caused tremendous damage. The squadron had 15 Lancasters attacking the target, flying at between 9,000 and 11,000ft. Most crews reported large yellow and red explosions with billowing black smoke. Defences within the target area had been tough with heavy, accurate flak; 13 Lancasters failed to return. One close flak burst actually blew W/O Cluer's (SW274) aircraft over on its back. With great skill and effort, the captain managed to regain control of G-George, but tragically, during this action, the mid-upper gunner, Sgt Ron Wiggins had been killed. It is believed that he died from asphyxiation, strangled by his own communication cord during the aircraft's violent manoeuvres; the 28 year old gunner is buried in Danbury Churchyard, Essex.