Personnel Index - Detail

First Names
Richard Francis
Service Number
Crew Position
Date of Death


Photographed by Malcolm Brooke

11/12 August, 1940; RUHR - "RAZZLE":

Recent intelligence reports suggested that Germany's armament reserves were being stored in numerous areas within the Black Forest. British scientists soon came up with an unusual weapon with which to counter these 'scattered' objectives. Given the curious name of 'Razzle', it consisted of two square sheets of celluloid about six inches long, and in the middle, surrounded by damp cotton-wool, was placed a piece of phosphorus. The idea was for the 'razzle' to be dropped into the forest and once the cotton-wool dried, the phosphorus would smoulder and set light to the celluloid which burnt with a fierce flame for about 10 seconds. Pilots were requested to plan routes to their primary targets so that they passed over areas of the Black Forest. So it was on the night of the 11th August, that the squadron received the unusual order; '9 to stand-by for 'Razzle' and to destroy the oil refinery at A 108'.

P/O Richard Gower and crew in R-Robert, were shot down by flak over Dortmund. All the crew were killed and are now buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

Hampden L4036 (EA-R)
P/O R.F. Gower Pilot (Killed)
P/O E.A. Harris NAV (Killed)
Sgt A.J. Baum W/OP (Killed)
Sgt P.W.N. Jelley A/G (Killed)

Additional information:
Their aircraft was coned by 2/Res Flakscheinw Abt 248 and then subsequently engaged by 3/Res Flak Abt 221 and 1/Flakregt 25, hit and shot down.
The aircraft crashed at Homert with the loss of all four crew. They were initially buried in Lüdenscheid before being moved to Reichswald.