Personnel Index - Detail
Part of the panel at Runnymede
Ronald Wilkins is on the left
8/9 April, 1945; LUTZKENDORF:
1 Group Lancasters had attacked the Lutzkendorf refinery the previous night achieving moderate success. At Fulbeck, 49 Squadron crews assembled for the main briefing just after lunch. At the conclusion of the briefing, W/Cmdr Botting (with a piece of paper in his hand) announced that F/O Lee's crew was to stand down and that the reserve crew (F/O Cluer's) would take their place; he would tell the Lee crew the reason for their withdrawal after the squadron had taken off. Just after 18.00hrs on Sunday evening, 231 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitoes from Lincolnshire's 5 Group, set out to finish the job.
The crew reported to the Wing Commander as ordered and he told them that were were tour expired since the signal he had received during briefing had reduced the number of operations required from 36 to 33. Ron Wilkins the pilot/rear gunner, had completed about 3 less trips than the rest of the crew (because of illness) and since the rear gunner in the reserve crew had contracted ear trouble, Ron volunteered to take his place.
The raid itself was a total success with the refinery being rendered inactive. The cost had been 6 Lancasters and their crews.
Next morning, Ron's bed was still empty and his crew hoped he may have landed elsewhere - but nothing more was ever heard of him or the crew with which he was flying.
Lancaster PB374 (EA-N)
F/O R. Cluer Pilot (Missing)
Sgt P. Lipp F/E (Missing)
Sgt P.F.C. Jackson NAV (Missing)
F/S J.H. McGuigan W/OP (Missing)
Sgt G.A. MacLennan A/G (Missing)
F/O M.R. McKay RCAF A/B (Missing)
F/S R.E. Wilkins A/G (Missing)
Most of the crew on their 8th operation