Personnel Index - Detail

First Names
James Charles
Service Number
Crew Position
Bomb Aimer
Date of Death


Photographed by Malcolm Brooke

The Beatson crew, image courtesy of Carole King.
Left to Right: F/O J.C King (BA), F/O L McGonagal (W/Op), F/O J.W Murray (MuG), F/O C. Beatson (Pilot), F/O F. Bourton (Nav), Sgt A Stephen (RG) and Sgt D Harrison (FE).

6/7 October, 1944; BREMEN:

1 and 5 Groups combined their efforts once again, when 246 Lancasters delivered a tremendous 'hammer blow' to Bremen. On a clear moonlit night, the Mosquitoes had little difficulty in marking the aiming point before calling the Main Force in to bomb. Large fires were soon started and crews reported that the glow from the fires could be seen 100 miles away and the target, the river and other features could be clearly seen.
The squadron had dispatched 17 aircraft, deciding to send five new crews on the raid. Aircraft started to request landing instructions shortly after 22.00hrs but by 22.38hrs, only 15 had landed back at Fiskerton. Into the early hours of Saturday morning, it became clear that for the first time since 28/29 July the squadron had suffered casualties. Two 49 crews failed to return from the operation; the 'freshman' crew of F/O Cyril Beatson plus the crew captained by F/O Ken Harrop. The Beatson crew are all buried alongside each other in the Beckligen War Cemetery at Soltau in Germany.

Lancaster PB429 (EA-)
F/O C. Beatson Pilot (Killed)
Sgt D. Harrison F/E (Killed)
F/O E. Bourton NAV (Killed)
F/O L.R. McMonagle RAAF W/OP (Killed)
F/O J.W. Murray RAAF A/G (Killed)
F/O J.C. King A/B (Killed)
Sgt A. Stephen A/G (Killed)

Crew on their 1st operation

All images courtesy of Carole King (F/O King was her Godfather/Uncle)

Training and service:

26/01/43           Bombing & Gunnery School Jarvis Ontario
28/03/43           Air Observer School Chatham, New Brunswick
05/06/43           Bombing & Gunnery School Jarvis Ontario
01/07/43           Air Observer School St John Quebec
26/02/44           Halfpenny Green Stourbridge
20/04/44           Bruntinghorpe Warwick
28/04/44           OTU Link Trainer
24/07/44           H.C.U. Wigley, Notts
02/09/44           L.F.S. Syerston
09/09/44           49 Squadron

Additional information courtesy of John Johns:
Coned by of 2 & 3/Flakscheinw Abt 269. Hit by 4/schw Flak Abt 531, 5/schw Flak Abt 390 and 2/schw Flak Abt 542. Fell Leuchtenburg at 20:10.
(Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1944 Part 4 - Theo Boiten)

Fg Off King initially buried in Osterholz Cemetery. Reinterred Becklingen - 15th August 1946.

Fg Off Beatson, Sgt Harrison, Fg Off Bourton, Fg Off McMonagle RAAF, Sgt Stephen and Fg Off Murray RAAF were initially buried in Wessermunde Civil Cemetery. Reintered Becklingen -  3 August 1946.

Click this link to view the detailed report by the Graves Investigation Team....opens in a new window.