Personnel Index - Detail

First Names
Lester Bertram
Service Number
Crew Position
Date of Death


Image courtesy of Joanne Real
Standing (from left to right):
W B Barlow (mid upper), V Callagher (bomb aimer), C Lacy (pilot), J C Wellein (rear gunner)
D J Ryan (wireless operator), L B Holmes (navigator)

Photographed by Malcolm Brooke

18/19 July, 1944; REVIGNY:

Crews, exhausted from their pre-dawn exploits were roused from their beds to be told they were 'on' again that night. Two railway targets at Aulnoye and Revigny in France had been selected for attack by 253 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitoes of 1,3,5 and 8 Groups. Both targets were hit, severing the rail lines to the battle front, although several bomb aimers reported confusion caused by fires burning near the Red Spot. At interrogation, crews once again reported an extremely large amount of fighter activity.

F/O Cliff Lacy DFC, and his experienced crew including two Aussies and one Canadian, also fell victims during the savage air battle over Revigny. The two gunners, Sgt Barlow and P/O Wellein RCAF, were the only survivors and were taken to Luft 7. The remainder lie at rest in St Ouen-en-Domprot Churchyard near Marne.

Lancaster PB231 (EA-H)
F/O C. Lacy DFC Pilot (Killed)
Sgt I. Shingles F/E (Killed)
W/O L.B. Holmes RAAF NAV (Killed)
F/S D.J. Ryan RAAF W/OP (Killed)
Sgt W.G. Barlow A/G (P.o.W.)
F/S V. Gallagher A/B (Killed)
Sgt J.C. Wellein RCAF A/G (P.o.W.)

Crew on their 16th operation

Details of their loss researched by Colin Cripps:
Two night fighters claimed Lancasters but it cannot be ascertained who shot down which aircraft.

Ofw Herbert Altner of 8./NJG5 claimed a Lancaster as "Abschuss", his 17th kill. The Interception was at 01.25hrs in the Maillly le Camp area at a height of 2,400m. This was either PB231 or another 49 Sqn Lancaster JB178.

Fw Gunter Zimmermann of 8./NJG4 claimed a 4 motored aircraft as "Abschuss, his 2nd kill. Interception was at 01.33hrs in the Mailly le Camp area at a height of 1,800m. This was either PB231 or another 49 Sqdn Lancaster JB178.

Altner survived the war with the rank of  Leutnant having 22 night victories and 1 day.
Zimmermann was posted "Missing" overnight on the 6-7th of August 1944, during a night fighter sortie in the Mortain-Avranches area.
He attained 2 victories.