Personnel Index - Detail
From the panel at Runnymede
(From L to R)
"Taff"....F/O Brynley James (came from the Rhondda),
"Batch" ....F/O Harold Batchelor.
"Skip"....S/Ldr Richard Todd-White,
"Fred"..... F/O Fred Plant,
Sgt George Humble,
"Brock"....Sgt Thomas Brocklehurst.
With thanks to Ruth Baldasera and Anne Stewart for their investigative work.
L to R....F/O Batchelor, F/O James, S/Ldr Todd-White, Sgt Purrington and F/O Plant.
(Image via Colin Cripps and Kjell Olsson...Military History of Gotland and its Troops www.tjelvar.se)
17/18 August, 1943; PEENEMUNDE:
This was a 'special' raid in which BomberCommand was tasked to attempt a night time precision raid on the German research establishment at Peenemunde, on the Baltic coast. It was here that the V-2 rockets were built and tested. It was essential that a decisive blow be struck against this target, and crews were made well aware at briefing that they would have to return the following evening if sufficient damage was not incurred. Such was the importance of this raid, that most of the squadrons operating, were led by their Wing Commanders. A force of 596 bombers started leaving their home airfields on a pleasantly warm summer’s evening. Twelve Lancasters had been detailed from the squadron; at 21.35 the first aircraft and crew speed down Fiskerton's runway. Five miles beyond the runway’s end lay the city of Lincoln with its majestic Cathedral silhouetted against the setting sun.
S/Ldr Richard Todd-White and crew were flying on only their second trip of a second tour. All the crew died when S-Sugar was brought down; five members were never found (possibly parachuted into the Baltic). The pilot is buried in Sweden and his 19 year-old gunner, Sgt George Humble is buried in Poland.
The crew had only been on the squadron a week.
Lancaster ED805 (EA-S)
S/L R.N. Todd-White Pilot (Killed)
Sgt A. Purrington F/E (Killed)
F/O H.O. Batchelor Nav (Killed)
F/O B. James W/AG (Killed)
Sgt G. Humble A/G (Killed)
F/O F. Plant B/A (Killed)
Sgt T. Brocklehurst A/G (Killed)
Crew on the 2nd operation of their 2nd tour.