Personnel Index - Detail
The crash site of ED440
2/3 February, 1943; COLOGNE:
On the night of Tuesday 2 February, 7 Lancasters climbed out of Fiskerton through layers of thick cloud. Over the North Sea they were still in cloud at 21,000ft with temperatures down to -40 degrees.
A force of 161 four-engined bombers converged over a cloud-covered Cologne where Pathfinders had dropped markers by using both Oboe and H2S. Damage reports show that the city sustained bombing over a wide area, but with no serious concentration. Bomber Command lost 5 aircraft in total; 3 Lancasters, 1 Halifax and 1 H2S equipped Pathfinder Stirling. The Stirling, along with its secret H2S set had literally 'fallen' into the Germans hands. Eventually the Germans were able to develop a device which enabled their night fighters to home in on a bomber using H2S. The squadron suffered the loss of a crew this night; F/Lt Bob Jackson (ED440) and crew had
taken-off at 18.51hrs flying their first operation from Fiskerton. Their aircraft was shot down by a night fighter and crashed between Kessel and Helden in Holland. Six of the crew are buried in Nijmegen Cemetery.
The crew were on their first operation and the Lancaster Mk III, ED440 (EA-L) was flying its 4th operation.
The full story of Sgt J.R. McMahon and additional details of the crash can be read in "Almost a Lifetime" by John McMahon.
F/L R.A Jackson Pilot (Killed)
F/S H.M. Magder RCAF NAV (Killed)
F/O E.J.F Dunand RCAF W/AG (Killed)
Sgt A.J. Clover A/G (Killed)
P/O A.W. Lane B/A (Killed)
Sgt J.R. McMahon F/E (P.o.W.)
Sgt L.G. Alexander A/G (Killed)
Mike Alexander (son of Leopold Alexander) flew from Australia to meet Paddy McMahon (Flight Engineer and only survivor).
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