CRASH OF A 460 SQUADRON LANCASTER
DURING AN OPERATION TO SCHWEINFURT ON 24 FEB 1944

 

A Lancaster from 460 Squadron RAAF crashed during an operation to Schweinfurt on 24 February 1944 killing the whole crew. The Lancaster was either LM315 or ND394 (Can anyone confirm the correct aircraft please?)

Those killed were:-

Yates R (Pilot)
Halke D J (Engineer)
Mark A R (Bomb Aimer)
Lloyd F (Navigator)
Goldman M (Wireless Operator)
Lerigo N H (Gunner)
De Celles L L (Gunner)

 


 

Subject:    460 Squadron RAAF
Date:             Thu, 26 Aug 1999 16:09:00 -0400
From:           "Norman DeCelles" <ndecelles@medinfocenter.com>

Just a note to say that my uncle, L.L.N. De Celles (Leo Lorne Norman) was a Canadian P/O flying in 460 Squadron when he was killed 24 Feb. 1944 over Schweinfurt. As I was named after him (my father was in the Canadian infantry). I was always interested in the uncle I never met. In 1995, I was able to visit the Commonwealth War Grave in Germany where he and many others are buried. It was a very moving experience to see first hand the names of the many air crew, and the huge loss of life really sinks in when you realize this is only a small gravesite.

In any event, I would appreciate if you or others would have any additional info on him or his crew, or the missions they flew.

P.S. in the Roll of honour you have mis-spelt his name!! (now fixed)

Thanks
Norman DeCelles

 

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Subject:    460 Squadron
Date:             Fri, 10 Sep 1999 14:05:10 -0400
From:           "Norman DeCelles" <ndecelles@medinfocenter.com>

I am just buying a scanner this weekend!! What I will do in the near future is send you a copy of the "missing in Action" notice that has his photo. This was taken from the Montreal newspaper that my Aunt saved all these years. I also have a photo of myself beside his grave. I wish I had realized it at the time, but my research on the 460 Squadron website gave me the names of the other crewmembers. (Not one Aussie....Probably too hung over from the previous night Ha Ha !!) Checking on the Commonwealth Graves Commission site showed that they were all buried beside each other. It would have been nice to get a photo of the other markers.....Next Time..

Keep up the good work, and I will get the pics out as soon as my rather busy scedule allows me the time to do so.

Regards
Norm DeCelles

 

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The following information is from the Commonwealth War Graves home Page. The book "Strike and Return" indicates shows there were two Lancasters from 460 Squadron lost the night of the death of Leo De Celles.

 

In Memory of

ALFRED ROTHWELL MARK

Flying Officer
J/25770
Air Bomber
460 (R.A.A.F.) Sqdn, Royal Canadian Air Force
who died on Friday, 25th February 1944. Age 26.

Son of David McKillop Mark and Catherine Mark, of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Cemetery: DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY, Bayern, Germany
Grave Reference/Panel Number: 7. A. 1.

 

In Memory of

RONALD YATES

Flight Sergeant
1454669
Pilot
460 (R.A.A.F.) Sqdn, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
who died on Friday, 25th February 1944. Age 21.

Son of George and Eveline Yates, of Leeds, Yorkshire.

Cemetery: DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY, Bayern, Germany
Grave Reference/Panel Number: 7. A. 6.

 

In Memory of

DONALD JOHN HALKE

Sergeant
1802238
Flt. Engr.
460 (R.A.A.F.) Sqdn, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
who died on Friday, 25th February 1944.

Cemetery: DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY, Bayern, Germany
Grave Reference/Panel Number: 7. A. 4.

 

In Memory of

FRANK LLOYD

Flight Sergeant
1430128
Nav.
460 (R.A.A.F.) Sqdn, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
who died on Friday, 25th February 1944. Age 22.

Son of William Harry and Emily Lloyd, of North Ormesby, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire.

Cemetery: DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY, Bayern, Germany
Grave Reference/Panel Number: 7. A. 3.

 

In Memory of

MAURICE GOLDMAN

Sergeant
1393901
W.Op./Air Gnr.
460 (R.A.A.F.) Sqdn, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
who died on Friday, 25th February 1944. Age 22.

Son of Harry and Anna Goldman, of Antwerp, Belgium.

Cemetery: DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY, Bayern, Germany
Grave Reference/Panel Number: 7. A. 7.

 

In Memory of

NORMAN HENRY LERIGO

Sergeant
2217448
460 (R.A.A.F.) Sqdn, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
who died on Friday, 25th February 1944. Age 33.

Son of William and Ellen Lerigo; husband of Ruby L. A. Lerigo, of Dudley, Worcestershire.

Cemetery: DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY, Bayern, Germany
Grave Reference/Panel Number: 7. A. 2.

 

LEO LORNE NORMAN DE CELLES

Pilot Officer
J/92028
Air Gnr.
460 (R.A.A.F.) Sqdn, Royal Canadian Air Force
who died on Friday, 25th February 1944. Age 21.

Son of Leo and Maud De Celles, of Westmount, Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada.

Cemetery: DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY, Bayern, Germany
Grave Reference/Panel Number: 7. A. 5.

 

Cemetery: DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY, Bayern, Germany
Grave Reference/Panel Number: 11. B. 16.

Location: Durnbach is a village 16 kilometres east of Bad Tolz, a town 48 kilometres south of Munich. Durnbach War Cemetery is 3 kilometres north of the village Gmund am Tegernsee. Using the A8 from Munich, turn off at the junction Holzkirchen, taking the 318 road in the direction of Gmund am Tegernsee. At the crossroads with the 427, turn left into Miesbach. The cemetery is situated approximately 500 metres on the left from the 318/472 crossroads.

Historical Information: The site for the cemetery was chosen, shortly after hostilities had ceased, by officers of the British Army and Air Force, in conjunction with officers of the American Occupation Forces in whose zone Durnbach lay. The great majority of those buried here are airmen shot down over Bavaria, Wurtemberg, Austria, Hessen and Thuringia, brought from their scattered graves by the Army Graves Service. The remainder are men who were killed while escaping from Prisoner of War camps in the same areas, or who died towards the end of the War on forced marches from the camps, to more remote areas. One of the graves in the cemetery contains the ashes of an unknown number of unidentified war casualties, recovered from Flossenburg. Within the Indian section of the cemetery will be found the Durnbach Cremation Memorial, commemorating 23 Non-Commissioned Officers and men of the army of undivided India who died while prisoners of war in various places in France and Germany and who were accorded the last rites required by their religion - committal to fire.

 


 

Subject:     460 Squadron
Date:              Wed, 5 Jul 2000 16:06:52 -0600
From:            "Victor Mark" <markvict@cadvision.com>

Hi there!

My mom's cousin's husband's cousin (complex enough?) was Alfred R. Mark, a Canadian that served in the 460 Squadron and was killed in 1944. He eventually was interred in Durnbach War Cemetary and my mom's cousin would like to find out which plot.  Any suggestions on how to go about this? My searches either yield false leads, German sites, or nothing. Your site is the closest I've come. I appreciate any help you can offer.

Thank you,
Elizabeth Shepherd
sunsprawl@yahoo.com

 


 

The following information is from John Watsons' Crew Lists for 460 Squadron:-

 

F15 Fulloon C S - 1943/44 -                                          29 Ops
(P2)s 15/2/44, Anderson R R, 19/2/44 Yates R.
   27/11/43 Heavy Damage to wings and fuselage.
--------------
(E) Ranger J W     Mc Kenzie A W  Ranger J W     Halke D J
(B) Prout B        Prout B        Prout B        Mark A R
(N) England E M    Stewart T O    Stewart T O    Stewart T O
(W) Guthrie R J    Guthrie R J    Guthrie R J    Guthrie R J
(G) Wintle L       Davis K L      Wintle L       Lerigo N H
(G) Burrows L J    Burrows L J    Burrows L J    Burrows L J
             1             1              17             1
                 ----------------------------
(E) Owen R         Owen R         Leaney W H     Holloway J H   Ross J B
(B) Prout B        Prout B        Prout B        Prout B        Prout B
(N) Stewart T O    Stewart T O    Stewart T O    Stewart T O    Stewart T O
(W) Guthrie R J    Pender H A     Guthrie R J    Guthrie R J    Guthrie R J
(G) Wintle  L      Wintle L       Wintle L       Wintle L       Wintle L
(G) Burrows L J    Burrows L J    Burrows L J    Burrows L J    Cherry R J
            3             1             1              1              1

 

Y01 Yates R + 24/2/44 All KIA                              (See F15) 3rd Op
-----------
(E) Halke D J      +
(B) Mark A R       +
(N) Lloyd F        +
(W) Goldman M      +
(G) Lerigo N H     +
(G) De Celles L L  +
               2

 


 

Subject:      460 Squadron - F.O. Alfred R Mark
Date:               Thu, 6 Jul 2000 16:43:13 -0600
From:             "Victor Mark" <markvict@cadvision.com>

Dear Peter:

I cannot thank you enough for your prompt response to the e-mail letter sent by Elizabeth. (She is the daughter of my wife of almost 50 years, Monica, cousin). Elizabeth accomplished what I was unable to do, ie. locate your web-site.

Difficult for those of us in the Geritol Set, ie. suffering from old age, to do all the things these machines are capable of.

My wife and I will be going to Oberamagau, Germany(Sp?) in Sept. to the every 10 years Passion Play. Our library has told me that Durnbach is about 70 to 80 Kilometers from Oberamagau. Am going to try and make my way over to the Cemetary to see Alfred's grave. Your information will make it much easier for me. Hope the Cemetary is open in the evening. If not I may have to climb a fence. (easier to repent than it is to get permission)

Monica and I visited Sydney, Australia in 1975 - really enjoyed it. Are you living in Australia now?

During the War (WW ll), I was in Air Cadets, Sgt. in No 12 Edmonton Squadron. Many Aussies and New Zealanders trained at No. 2 A.O.S where my father, Alfred's Uncle, worked as a machinist/mechanic servicing the Anson's used in training.

Following the was I became an officer, Lieut. (S) in the R.C.N.(R), and served in the Reserve for many years.

Victor F. Mark

P.S. Monica & I have our 50th wedding anniversary Oct. 21. We have 7 children and just have our 28th grandchild 2 weeks ago.

Alfred's sister Elizabeth ( about 80+ years old ) and her husband Carlton Taylor, are having their 50th on July 31, in Edmonton.

 


 

Subject:      Durnbach War Cemetary - hours of operation
Date:               Wed, 2 Aug 2000 13:00:01 -0600
From:             "Victor Mark" <markvict@cadvision.com>

Dear Peter:

We will be arriving in Oberanagau, Germany, on Thursday. Sept. 7th, 2000, sometime after 1500.

Our travel agency is trying to see if there is some way they can get me transportaion over to Durnbach that afternoon.

Do you have any information as to what the hours of the Cemetary are. I woudn't want to get over there and find out the place is closed. I would look funny trying to Climb the walls!!

I just had the thot that I might be able to con a fellow Rotarian from the nearest club into getting me over there. Am going to work on that immediately.

Will appreciate any help you are able to give me.

Victor.

 


 

Subject:     Letter2000-Oct-01
Date:              Sun, 1 Oct 2000 10:16:38 -0600
From:            "Victor Mark" <markvict@cadvision.com>

To:  <jackpark@silk.net>, "purnell" <mission@kalianet.to>, <bcmorley@juno.com>, <mlow@telusplanet.net>,
<mark.william@bedford.va.gov>, <mgdylke@nucleous.com>, "Elizabeth" <sunsprawl@yahoo.com>,
<pdunn@st.net.au>, "Teri Mark" <artmark@ihc.com>

Dear Family/Friends/Missionaries,

Much has happened since we last wrote. We left Sept. 5th for Europe, returning last Friday, the 29 about 1545. Sept. 29th was a killer day - lasted about 24 hours from the time we got up in Frankfurt at 0600, until we got hone and into bed, about 2230. There is a 9hour time difference between Germany and Calgary - so do the math and you will see the reason.

Our trip, with Clark & Norma Leavitt and about 28 others, was wonderful. We did and saw so much, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. All of our group but the four of us left to return home on the 18th of Sept. from Frankfurt. We left the group there, rented a car - an Opel (German General Motors) station wagon with a 5 speed standard transmission - and upgrade from a smaller Mercedes mini-van. We drove it over 1800 Kilometers (almost 1100 miles)

Our first most outstanding experience was being able to visit Durnbach Military Cemetary, about a 45 minute drive thru beautiful country side - much like our British Columbia or the western States of the USA. Getting there we went thru some quite heavy rains. Fortunately for us we arrived at Oberammergau where the Passion Play took place and reached our very nice country hotel just outside of Mober'u. Very prompty we were able to obatin a taxi (turned out to be a good sized VW van, ad arrived at the Cemetary before dark. It had mostly stopped raining by then, but is was quite overcast. I could not believe by eyes when I saw that Cemetary. It was a very beautiful sight to be behold and just off the highway we were on. It was beautifully kept and very green. Evidently the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is well enough funded to look after the site.

On rough estimation there are about 1800 to 2000 servicemen who were killed in action or trying to escap from prisoner of war camps. Others had died during force marches from one point to another as the Allied Forces closed in toward the end of the war.

We were able to find my cousin Alfred Mark' grave with relative ease as they gravesites are well marked. It was a very emotional moment for me - he was so young-26 years and was killed in action over Schweinfurt (sp) on February 26th, 1944. The epitaph on the memorial marker was short and simple - the usual mame, rank, service ID number, age and date of death. There was also the words "Greater love hath no man than this" engraved on the Memorial Marker.

The markers were all similar, with the individuals unit crest at the top. Alfred's was of course the R.C.A.F. crest.

The atmosphere at the site was one of great calm and peace. You could almost feel the spirits of all those servicemen. It is probably the best maintained and laid out cemetary, I've ever seen, rivaling Forestlawn in Los Angeles, where my maternal grand mother is laid to rest. Even with directions and accompanied by and aunt who had been at the sight,  we never did find her resting place. (Not to say that Forest Lawn is not a very beautiful place - it is).

On the way to Ober'u we were treated to a cruise along the Rhine River - Very lovely, with may historic sites. During our stop overs in Prague, Vienna, Budapest, and Warsaw, we were able to see many incredably beautiful historical Cathedrals, Castles, Etc. (I'm about Church, Cathedral, monument and generally sight seeing played out for life)

Part of the entertainment were folk dancing and Choirs. Knowing Monica, you know we could not miss a concert or opera. We took in Tosca, I forget where. (everything starts to run together after a while.

When we left the group at Frankfurt on the 18th, we went on our own to Leipzig, Berlin and Hanover. All very beautiful country, and was well kept, especially the agriculture fields, towns and cities - much pride evident. (Less so in Poland, and some other areas where they had been under Soviet domination for 50 years. They are, however making a valiant attempt to catch up to their more developed Western neighbors.

The technology and farm machinery , especially in Germany, is very advanced. Poland is doing very very considerin the fact that about 12% of the total population died during WW 11.

While in the Berlin area we went to visit the site of the Buchenwold Concentration Camp. The buiding that housed the cremation furnaces is restored in a very graphic manner. 1000 individuals were hung on hooks in the basement of that building and strangled to death. (Apparently to save the ammunition it would have taken to shoot them)

While in Berlin, we stayed at a Pension/Bed & Breakfast, in Potsdam (the city where Truman, Churchhill, Stalin & others, divided up Berlin, the rest of Germany, Poland etc. in 1945.

One evening trying to find our way back to Potsdam from sight seeing, we stopped at a service station to refuel and ask directions into Potsdam. The attendant told us the direction to take, and we proceeded to follow his instructions (This was about 2300 or so, after a concert we attended in Berlin) so it was late when we reached the service station. About 45 to 60 minutes later we realized we wer away out in country away from Potsdam, and should have turned left instead of right as the attendant had told us. Here we were in a very rural area asking taxi drivers, any pededstrians or cyclists who were still out and not in bed, as everyone else was. We finally reached the B&B about 0100. It was quite a tour - good thing we had filled up when we did, it would have been really catastrophic to have run out of gas out in the boondocks at that wime of night. We had a great many laughs over that and our efforts to communicate. Fortunately, Clark Leavitt knew a little German from what he had taken in college more than 50 years ago.

It just so happened that Exp0 2000 was on in Hanover. We managed to cathc a day of that for us (1 1/2 for the Leavitt's - Monica and I were so played out we slept til noon the day they returned to Expo) Outside of one morning where everyone else toured a castle or something, I had to stay at the bus due to being unstable and dizzy - overstressed and tired, I guess. Unfortunately, I missed being in a very good group picture that was taken of every one else.

Have to end now it is time to get ready for church. Davd an Laura's son, Glenn has his 4th birthday today. He is also giving the spiritual thot and opening prayer in Primary at Church today, and he phoned to ask us to come and listen to him. Following Church, we are going over to his home to share in his birthday party/dinner.

With much love to all.

Victor.

 


 

Subject:   460 Squadron
From:           "Victor Mark" <markvict@cadvision.com>
Sent:           Friday, November 17, 2000 3:36 PM

Dear Peter:

Don't know if you received the e-mail letter I sent in late Sept. or early Oct. recounting our trip to Durnbach Military Cemetary on about Sept 6th from Oberramagau.

Following the info received from you we were able to find Alfred's grave very quickly. The cemetary is a remarkable place with a tangible spirit of peace about it. Probably 1500 to 2000 servicemen KIA buried there.

It is very well tended. Flowers growing at each headstone. The lawns were a very lush green and meticulously trimmed.

Thank you very much for the assistance you have rendered us. Alfred's two living sisters, both in their 80's were happy to get all the above info plus the pictures we took. The pics did not turn out too well due to the late evening sun, obscured by a drizzle. Nevertheless, they were better than the nothing they had.

Victor Mark

 

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

I need your help

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This page first produced 13 November 2000

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