Personnel Index - Detail

First Names
William George
Service Number
Crew Position
Date of Death


Photographed by Malcolm Brooke

3/4 November, 1943; DÜSSELDORF:

It wasn't until 3rd November that Bomber Command was able to send a large force out again, when almost 600 bombers were sent against the German city of Düsseldorf. The 'rest' period had enabled most squadrons to replenish their establishment of aircraft and 49 was no exception. Now re-settled back at Fiskerton (from Dunholme Lodge), the unit was able to provide 18 aircraft for the evening’s operation. The raid was successful with many fires reported but Command did lose 18 aircraft and crews.
For the second raid in succession 49 Squadron lost two aircraft. The experienced crew skippered by F/Lt Cecil Thomas were on their 20th op, and carrying a 'second dickie' pilot, P/O Teager. A night fighter got them, with only three crew members able to escape before the aircraft exploded near Cologne.

Lancaster ED438 (EA-R)
F/L C.G. Thomas Pilot (Killed)
P/O J.E. Teager 2ndPilot (P.o.W.)
Sgt N.D. Panter F/E (P.o.W.)
F/S W.G. Clutterbuck NAV (Killed)
Sgt W.A. Payne W/AG (P.o.W.)
Sgt H. Minns A/G (Killed)
F/O C.P. Ross B/A (Killed)
Sgt G.E. Boxer A/G (Killed)

Crew on their 20th operation

Unfortunately, the original photograph of the 'Thomas Crew' is somewhat blurred - crew and groundcrew photographed on a bomb trolley
Image courtesy of Gerry Panter (son of F/E Sgt Norman Panter)

The amazing story of the navigator's map

Tony Waterfield writes:
Many years ago, probably 25 or so, we holidayed on the Isle of Wight near Bembridge. It was a strange holiday from the start, very impromtu and someone gave me a name and number for some good accomodation.
It turned out that although we had rented a family sized house, it was in fact part of Bembridge School. As it was out of term time we had the run of the whole school for the three weeks we were there, tennis courts swimming pool private beach the lot!

Deep in the grounds of the school were the remains of some Nissen hits, and early one morning, before the family woke I set off to explore the inners of the derelict site. However there was nothing very exciting in my adventure, those huts that were still part standing were empty save for bits of broken furniture. However on top of an old cupboard I found an aviation map and took it as a souvenier of my adventure and then returned to my family for breakfast.

I have had the map ever since and not given it a second thought until it was recently "rediscovered". On examining the map I saw the name W G Clutterbuck written in one corner.

Photographed by May Brooke

The Webmaster continues:
Tony kindly sent me the map showing the name W G Clutterbuck. 49Squadron had an airman of the same name (quite unusual) who was also a Navigator. The map is dated 1942. We have no evidence that the '49Sqn Clutterbuck' was the owner of the map but the probability must be quite high.
How the map came to be on the Isle of Wight remains a mystery.

Photographed by May Brooke
The navigational map dated 1942 showing the area of the Lake District