Personnel Index - Detail
16/17 March, 1945; WÜRZBURG:
The squadron prepared to send 17 aircraft on the 5 Group attack to the virgin target of Würzburg. The first aircraft took off at 17.53hrs. The operation proved to be a devastating attack for Würzburg, by 225 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitoes of 5 Group. Post-war reports suggest that almost 90 per cent of the built-up area was destroyed. 6 Lancasters failed to return, of which 2 belonged to 49 Squadron.
Four members of F/O Doug Whent's (ME454) crew survived being brought down. Sadly, Sgt Frank Haylock flight engineer, and air gunner Sgt George Leeke were killed and are now buried in Choley War Cemetery, France. Sgt Bert Darbyshire has no known grave but is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.
Lancaster ME454 (EA-E)
F/O D.I. Whent Pilot (Survivor)
Sgt F.R. Haylock F/E (Killed)
Sgt F.P. Anderson NAV (Survivor)
F/S R.H. Usher W/OP (Survivor)
Sgt G.C. Leeke A/G (Killed)
Sgt E.J. Sullivan B/A (Survivor)
Sgt H. Darbyshire A/G (Missing)
Crew on their 4th operation
Colin Cripps (Association Researcher):
Possibly a victim of Hptm. Helmut Gaul of 1./NJG6