Lancaster JD734


Aircraft code:  ?

Date: 9/10 April 1944

Mission:  Mining in Baltic off Danzig

Crash Site:  Gunderup, north of Varde, west part of Jutland.


F/Sgt. William George Boyce RAAF KIA
Sgt. Sidney Edwards RAF KIA
Sgt. Thomas McKinstry RAF KIA
F/Sgt. Donald Henry Martin RAAF KIA
F/Sgt. Edgar Oberhardt RAAF KIA
P/O Robert John Proud RAAF Pilot KIA
F/O Leonard Myles Ryan RAAF KIA

Remarks:  Shot down at 04:00 hours, probably by nightfighter.  Crew buried at Esbjerg Cemetery.

This event is described in Peter Firkin's "Strike and Return" as follows:-

"Another heavy loss during this period was sustained on the mine-laying trip to Danzig Bay on 9th April when of 12 aircraft dispatched, three very experienced crews were missing, and two others - those of Pilot Officer R.N. Wade and Flight Lieutenant A.V. Willis, D.F.C. - came back severely damaged from flak.  Flight Sergeant W.D. McKenzie's crew, doing their first op., crashed on take-off and all were killed."

"Not only did the crews have to contend with tremendous heavy flak over their "Gardening" area, but they also had to withstand numerous night-fighter attacks whilst flying over Denmark."

"The minelaying operations were all part of the plan to bottle up the Baltic Sea and stop seaborne supplies from reaching the Russian Front."


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This page first produced 10 January 1998

This page last updated 21 February 2020