LANCASTER W4327 SHOT DOWN
BY A GERMAN NIGHT FIGHTER
ON THE EVENING OF 29/30 MARCH 1943

 

Lancaster W4327 UV-S (AR-S, & AR-Y) of 460 Squadron RAAF was shot down by a German night-fighter piloted by German Ace Uffz. Christian Költringer, of NGJ 1 Unit on the evening of 29/30 March 1943 on a raid from Breighton to Berlin. The Lancaster left Breighton at 2157 hours.

The Lancaster was shot down at 0417 hours on 30 March 1943 at a location 1 kilometre south west of Kloosterhaar (Overtjssel), 10 km SSE of Hardenberg in Holland. All of the crew were killed and were buried in the town's Protestant Cemetery.

It is reported the crew's gunners return fire hit the German night-fighter, which also crashed out of control, killing its crew.

The crew of Lancaster W4327 was as follows:-

RAAF 403735 Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Hugh Grenfell, Captain (Pilot)
RAAF 403754 Flying Officer Stephen Falcon Scott McCullagh, (Navigator)  **
RAF Sergeant Ronald Cordingley, (Bomb Aimer)
RAAF 411010 Flight Sergeant Phillip "Pip" Wesley Dunn, (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
RAF Sergeant George E. Lewis, (Flight Engineer)
RAAF 406680 Flight Sergeant Robert Lincoln Potter (Air Gunner)
RAF Sergeant Sidney G. Webb, (Air Gunner)

** Flying Officer Stephen McCullagh was attached to 3 AFU and was born in Seattle, USA.

It is believed the crew all bailed out over Sidculo in the Netherlands but were too low and none of the parachutes opened and they only found the seventh crew member, Phillip Dunn on 13 April 1943 when his body was found under the aircraft.

Robert B. Lewis, the nephew of Sgt George E. Lewis (RAF), has visited the graves in Hardenberg, Holland on a few occasions. Robert has become quite friendly with the Dutch man Gert Flierman and his wife Jennie, who look after the graveyard in their spare time. There are 22 aircrew graves in total which are all well looked after by the local council and schoolchildren and Robert's Dutch friends who look after the graveyard overall but with special attention to the airmen.

Robert has photos of the graves if any relatives are interested.

Donald Lewis, brother of Sgt. G. E. Lewis, who was an ex-Halton apprentice, also lost his life while on Active Service. Donald Lewis was in the SAS and is buried in another local graveyard in Moussay France. He was captured and later executed by the Germans. Robert B. Lewis has also visited his grave a couple of times as well.

Hardenberg Protestant Cemetery is located in the Overijssel are of the Netherlands. Hardenberg is a small town 38 kilometres north-east of Zwolle, on the road to Coevorden. The cemetery is on the eastern side of the town, about 500 yards north-west of the station.

 


Photo:- Robert B. Lewis

Hardenberg Protestant Cemetery in November 2006

 


Photo:- Robert B. Lewis

Sergeant George E. Lewis

 


Photo:- Robert B. Lewis

Flight Sergeant Phillip "Pip" Wesley Dunn

 


Photo:- Robert B. Lewis

Sergeant Sidney G. Webb

 


Photo:- Robert B. Lewis

Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Hugh Grenfell

 


Photo:- Robert B. Lewis

Sergeant Ronald Cordingley

 


Photo:- Robert B. Lewis

Flying Officer Stephen Falcon Scott McCullagh

 


Photo:- Robert B. Lewis

Flight Sergeant Robert Lincoln Potter

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Clive Lynch and Robert B. Lewis for their assistance with this web page.

I'd also like to thank Leigh McGregor, cousin of Kenneth Hugh Grenfell for his assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

I need your help

Copyright

©  Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 15 February 2010

This page last updated 04 February 2015