Personnel Index - Detail
28 February/ 1 March, 1943; ST NAZAIRE:
The weather all the way through February had been unpredictable, and the last day of the month was no exception. The morning started fine, but high gusting winds soon developed bringing with it rain squalls.Weather-beaten crews gathered at briefing to learn that the evening’s target was St Nazaire; the second U-boat base to be selected for demolition. A large force consisting of 437 aircraft was dispatched. Fiskerton's contribution (8 aircraft) was a mixture of experienced crews and novices.
The raid caused widespread damage to the port and the town, with 49 Squadron crews reporting good results and 'very extensive fires'.
Bomber Command lost 5 aircraft; 2 Wellingtons, 1 Stirling and 2 Lancasters. Sadly, one of the Lancasters came from Fiskerton. The aircraft, flown by 26 year old Canadian pilot W/O Fred Duncan and crew, came down in the target area; sadly all onboard perished. Some rest in a joint grave at Loire-Atlantique in France, with crew members of an 83 Squadron Lancaster brought down on the same night.
Lancaster ED467 (EA-E)
Sgt F.C. Duncan RCAF Pilot (Killed)
Sgt R. Brookes F/E (Killed)
F/O R.G. McCracken NAV (Killed)
Sgt H. Kay W/AG (Killed)
Sgt D.W. Belsham A/G (Killed)
F/S A.M. Dickie RCAF A/B (Killed)
Sgt J.A. Kelly A/G (Killed)
Crew on their 9th operation
It would appear that the crew were killed on their next raid. Sgt G J Green continued his tour with a different crew serving until September 1943 when he was KIA.
Image of Sgt Duncan at 19 OTU, Kinloss - Course 42, 30th June 1942.
Image courtesy of Paul Markham (77Sqn Association)