Personnel Index - Detail
Image courtesy of Chris Allan
7/8 July, 1944; ST LUE-D'ESSERENT (CRIEL):
5 Group paid a second visit to the V1 storage dump at St Leu on the 7th. A slightly smaller force of 208 Lancasters led by Pathfinder Mosquitoes, accurately bombed the tunnels in which the flying bombs were stored. But the cost in men and aircraft was to be high; 29 Lancasters and 2 Mosquitoes were lost as German night-fighters again took their toll.
The second crew reported missing was that piloted by F/O Cyril Baker (LL976); again there were no survivors. This crew lie at rest together in Marissel Cemetery, Oise, France.
Lancaster LL976 (EA-A)
F/O C. Baker Pilot (Killed)
Sgt J.M. Moss F/E (Killed)
W/O J.H. Stibbard RAAF NAV (Killed)
Sgt W. Higgins W/OP (Killed)
Sgt E.W. Everett A/G (Killed)
F/S H.H. Hewitt A/B (Killed)
Sgt R.E. Nineham A/G (Killed)
Crew on their 4th operation.
This crew is remembered on a memorial in Beauvoir en Lyons.
Information and images received from Chris Allan:
Ronald Nineham (1875420). Born in 1925 was a sergeant in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was a tail gunner in Lancaster LL976 of 49 Squadron. According to William Tack from Barley who was his pal; "He appeared to enjoy it. Ronnie volunteered to go on a mission in place of a friend who had been taken ill. Never have the words, "Greater love hath no man than this. That a man lay down his life for his friend", been more true than on that day". On the 7/8th July, 1944, 5 Group was on a mission to attack the V1 rocket base at St Leu with a force of 208 Lancasters led by Pathfinder Mosquitoes. They accurately bombed the tunnels in which the flying bombs were stored but at a terrible cost with 29 Lancasters and 2 Mosquitoes lost as German night-fighters took their toll. Ronnie Nineham's Lancaster, on just its 4th operational mission, was shot down by an ME 110 night-fighter at Beauvoir-en-Lyons, with all seven crew lost. He was aged just 19 years old and is buried at Marissel National Cemetery, Oise, France. There is also a memorial to the crew of LL976 at Stele & Beauvoir en Lyons and in August 2006 a touching ceremony was held at the local church to remember their sacrifice.
He is still remembered in the village with affection.
The above images of the Barley village war memorial and the closeup showing Ronald Nineham's name are courtesy of Roger Bedford.