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kev stevens 16th December 2006 22:53

Research Bomber command
I have had considerable success in searching National Archives, AHB and loads of other places about the BC raid on Magdeburg on 21/01/1944. I had a relative killed on this raid flying Halifax HX324. The records showed that this a/c was shot down by nightfighter near Hanover. After speaking to the Nav of HX324 and visiting the AHB (helpful as I'm in RAF) I have found that this a/c crashed quite a way from Hanover. It crashed 1/2 km west of Weitsche, near Luchow and Dannenburg. I would like to complete my research by seeing if there is anyone with access to either the town records for Wietsche, Luchow and Dannnburg. I've tried looking for addresses etc but no avail. I'm also after information from Luftwaffe sources, are there any war diaries or books available?

Also if anyone needs a helping hint to research a Bomber raid then drop me a line, I know of most places to look and the classes at the national archives.

Many thanks and hope I can help others


dfuller52 3rd December 2008 22:54

Re: Research Bomber command
Hi Kev,

I have just signed on to this board and noticed you are researching this raid. I have two crews who were lost that night that I am looking into: one from 102 Sqn ( LW274) and another from 427 Sqn (LL139), which is interesting for the fact that it was the first all-commissioned crew to be lost. It had a visiting CO on board at the time.

I would be interested in what you know about the Magdeburg raid and your tips on how to research one.

...and just noticed that this is a bit off topic in this forum, so I will ask if anyone can point me to and online source for the Luftwaffe claims for this raid.

kev stevens 28th June 2010 23:29

Re: Research Bomber command
Hi dfuller,

I haven't been on this site for a while but I'm researching and writing up the magdeburg raid. So what would you like to know?

I've been to the national archives and found a great deal of information.



dfuller52 29th June 2010 13:18

Re: Research Bomber command
Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the reply. I am particularly interested in the two a/c mentioned. The one from 102 Sqn was lost over the north sea somewhere off the coast of Yorkshire. I'm not sure if it was on the way out or back. Alan Clogg is my subject on that one.

Sqn Ldr Arnot, was on the a/c from 427 Sqn, which was shot down by a nightfighter as it left the target area but I don't have any details other than the one crew member, Thom, survived to become a POW. I traced him just recently through an obituary. He just died within the past year or so.

Henk Welting 30th June 2010 14:33

Re: Research Bomber command
Have a note that in KTB (Kriegstagebuch) Luftgau (Air Defence Area) XI is mentioned as crash location for HX324: Rehbeck N of Lüchow 15 km S of Dannenberg.


FrankieS 30th June 2010 21:13

Re: Research Bomber command
1 Attachment(s)
Hi Kev Stevens !

There are several communal archives. I post here email adresses of 2 archives of Lüchow-Dannenberg. You can email them the german text below, hopefully they respond.
Rathaus Stadt Lüchow/Wendland
Theodor-Körner-Straße 14
29439 Lüchow (Wendland)

"Guten Tag ! Ich befasse mich mit einer Recherche zu einem im 2. Weltkrieg
zwischen Dannenberg und Lüchow abgestürzten Militärflugzeug der Royal Airforce (RAF).
Laut mir vorliegenden Dokumenten erfolgte der Absturz am 21.04.1944 und es handelte
sich um ein Flugzeug des Typs Halifax, die Kennung der Maschine war HX324.
Als Absturzort werden "500 m westlich Weitsche" oder der Ort "Rehbeck" angegeben.
Gerne würde ich erfahren, ob es in Ihrem Archiv Unterlagen zu diesem Vorfall gibt,
wobei mich jedes weitere Detail interessieren würde.
Gibt es evtl. noch ein anderes Archiv, das Auskunft geben könnte.
Könnten Sie diese email evtl. auch an das Stadtarchiv weiterleiten ?
Ich bedanke mich schon vorab für Ihre Bemühungen, mit freundlichen Grüssen,

(your Name and Address)

Airborne 2010 21Jan44 from Graveley. Shot down by a night-fighter near Hannover. Those killed are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. S/L J.J.Jagger DFC KIA
F/S W.Percival KIA
P/O J.R.Humberstone PoW
F/L T.P.McGarry DFC PoW
W/O D.Smedley PoW
F/S N.J.Rapere KIA
P/O J.R.Humberstone was interned in Camp L3, PoW No.3366.
F/L T.P.McGarry in Camp L1, PoW No.108661. Landed, unhurt, in a fir tree without his parachute opening. Hospitalised before captivity.
W/O D.Smedley in Camps L6/357, PoW No.671.

kev stevens 1st July 2010 22:20

Re: Research Bomber command
Hi Frankies,

Thankyou very much for your help and the addresses. I will e-mail them and see what happens. I was in the RAF up until 2 years ago and was able to look at the MREU report. The are closed to the public at the moment. I have heard that German town archives are very helpful. I have spoken to Theo Boiten a while ago and I believe that Eduard Jacob shot HX324 down and that the aircraft exploded at quite a low altitude

Again many thanks



kev stevens 1st July 2010 22:35

Re: Research Bomber command
Hi Henk,

Do you have copies of the relevant documents, I was sent a couple of pages from the US archives at NARA but they concerned other aircraft, particularly Herbert Krentz's aircraft. This wasn't a typical crew as the pilot was 33 when he was killed. John Jagger, Don Smedley, William Percival, Eric Hie and Nelson Rapere were all married. Normally considered unlucky to have married crew members.
Thanks for any help.

kev stevens 1st July 2010 23:13

Re: Research Bomber command
Hi Dfuller, here is what I have on your crews and national archives numbers.

102 lw274

From air14/3420.

4 Group. In addition 1 of 102sqn were contacted and are down in sea but so far unlocated. Those aircraft and crews are counted as missing.

I will scan the next document and send to you, Air15/595, the text reads

Darky call "flamborough Head & light seen there. a/c reported in sea nw of Flamborough.

2ASR vessels dispatched at 1349 on 22/1 to look for them, nothing found

As for the other aircraft that is more difficult as a good proportion of the losses were in and around Magdeburg. The CWGC war graves website should give details. I've just checked for Arnot and Nickerson and they are both listed with relatives, service numbers and they are buried in row 2 k in Berlin war cemetery. So you can get all the crew from the CWGC site. You could also try the RCAF archives. For commission DFC award dates try the london gazette website, found S/L Jaggers commission date on that site.

Also try They list the squadrons and you may find someone who has posted something about either crew. Found Don Smedley from HX324 that way.

I have a post raid report and planning orders that I will scan and send to you.

Will look at my luftwaffe combat claim books to see if there is a definite claim, unfortunately most of the claims that night give pilot and time but not location, which is the most important piece we need.

Hope this helps and need to start scanning!


dfuller52 7th July 2010 21:46

Re: Research Bomber command
Thats' marvellous Kev, thanks.

I have quite a bit on Arnot, including his DFC citation, and Clogg from their RCAF service files. I also have all the relevant gen from CWGC and Chorley etc.

So the additional material on the raid will be very helpful. I have updated my e-mail address on my profile just recently so check it.

thanks again.

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