Personnel Index - Detail

Name
UNDERWOOD
First Names
L R
Rank
Sgt
Service
RAF
Service Number
1323136
Crew Position
Bomb Aimer
Posting Details
Posted in 7/43 and out 4/44

 

Flew 23 operations with 49Sqn.

After the ditching on 4th September he flew again on 7th October.

3/4 September,1943; BERLIN:

Because of recent heavy losses suffered by Halifaxes and Stirlings when attacking Berlin, only Lancasters were sent on this raid. Some damage was caused by the 316 Lancasters but most bombs fell short of their target. Again losses were heavy with 22 Lancasters going down.

On return from Berlin, the Lancasters were diverted to bases in Northern England. This was the last thing F/O Harold Coates and crew needed after nursing their badly damaged Lancaster back from Berlin, where JB126 had been hit by flak 10 seconds after bombs away! When 15 miles from Blyth, off Tynemouth, in heavy mist, the struggling pilot was forced to ditch his crippled plane.

Such were the sea conditions that the aircraft broke up on impact. Sadly Sgt's Pawson, Kendrew and Jack, died before the Rescue launch arrived. The unfortunate flight engineer, Sgt Sacre, was seen in the water but was subsequently lost. The pilot was last seen in his cockpit under the water.

Sgt Underwood the bomb aimer and Sgt Nelson RAAF air gunner, were both taken to hospital with slight injuries and shock. The ditching occurred at 03.57hrs. Of the remaining squadron aircraft, six landed at Middleton St George, one at Croft, one at Wyton and three at base.

Lancaster JB126
F/O H.K. Coates Pilot (Killed)
Sgt J.G. Sacre F/E (Killed)
Sgt H. Jack NAV (Killed)
Sgt C. Kendrew W/AG (Killed)
Sgt R.S Nelson RAAF A/G (Injured)
Sgt L.R. Underwood B/A (Injured)
Sgt G.S. Pawson A/G (Killed)

Crew on their 11th operation



A report was submitted to the Air Ministry detailing the circumstances of the crash and deaths.
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