Personnel Index - Detail
Image courtesy of Paul Connor
The handwritten names on the rear of the photograph.
8/9 February, 1945; POLITZ:
The synthetic-oil plant at Politz was selected to receive a double attack by 475 Lancasters and 7 Mosquitoes from 1, 5 and 8 Groups. It was decided to send 5 Group (to get the pot boiling!) in first using their own marking method, to be followed by 1 Group using 8 Group Pathfinders.
The raid proved to be a total success with accurate bombing from both waves, which caused tremendous damage. The squadron had 15 Lancasters attacking the target, flying at between 9,000 and 11,000ft. Most crews reported large yellow and red explosions with billowing black smoke. Defences within the target area had been tough with heavy, accurate flak; 13 Lancasters failed to return.
At 03.20hrs, there was one 49 Squadron aircraft still outstanding... Jock Galloway (ME353) and crew flying their 26th operation had failed to return. All very popular characters within the squadron, the sad loss of Galloway's crew was deeply felt by everyone: F/Lt Somerville Russell Galloway along with five fellow members of his crew have their graves in Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland. It was unknown at the time, that F/Sgt Ernie Ellis the mid-upper gunner, had managed to escape with his life.
Lancaster ME353 (EA-Q)
F/L S.R. Galloway Pilot (Killed)
Sgt H.W.J. Hardy F/E (Killed)
F/S T.O. Bolton NAV (Killed)
F/S L. Randall W/OP (Killed)
F/S E. Ellis A/G (P.o.W.)
F/O G.W.A. Kidd B/A (Killed)
F/O W. Dron P/A/G (Killed)
Crew on their 26th operation
Colin Cripps (Association Researcher):
A victim of possibly two nightfighter pilots..........either Hptm. Ernst-Georg Drünkler 1./NJG5 or Fw. Egon Engling 12./NJG3.