CAPTAIN: CALLAN

LANCASTER JB300 OF-B
19 March 1944, crashed in the general area of Kaiserslautern. All crew killed immediately except Callan, who died on 25th March

CREW
Pilot: Neville John Callan
Flight Engineer: John Winston Scholey
Navigator: Henry Sutherland Tait
Bomb Aimer: Jack Gomersall
W/Op: William Gordon Davies
M/U Gunner: Douglas Oliver Tunbridge
Rear Gunner: Robert Arthur Read

ADDITIONAL DETAILS

From the ORB

22.3.44        Some training was carried out in the morning and 14 Lancasters were detailed for operations tonight.  Frankfurt was the target and the attack opened on time at 21.45.   A fair concentration was achieved, timing was good, and marking was well maintained.  Large fires were seen around aiming point and fires quickly extended with smoke rising to 10,000′ and fires were visible 200 miles away.  There was slight H/F, searchlights numerous but ineffective.  Enemy fighter activity below normal.  P/O Cooper and crew failed to return, no news having since been received.  F/O Moroney and crew also failed to return, the last message heard was at 20.38 hours, position given as 53.21N 03.45E baling out.

ND351P  P/O R.E.Cooper, Sgt F.S.Witcher, F/Sgt McFadyen, Sgts H.Lunt, H.A.Smith, P.Copus, R.R.Hinde.  Up 1850 – aircraft missing ( 4 x TI, 1 x 4000lb, 2 x 1000lb, 600 x 4lb incs, 40 x 4lb incs).

Extract from Bomber Command Losses – 22/23.3.44
Lancaster III  ND351  OF – P.  Op Frankfurt.  T/O 1850  Bourn.  Crashed in wooded and hilly countryside in the general vicinity of Hannover where F/S Hinde is buried in the local war cemetery, known locally as the Limmer Friedhof.
P/O R.E.Cooper(pow), Sgt F.Witcher(pow), F/S A.McFadyen(pow), F/S A.Lunt(pow), Sgt N.A.Smith(pow), Sgt P.J.Copus(pow), F/S R.Hinde(+).

Any information on this crew?

Please email

jennie.gray@
97squadron.co.uk

Neville John Callan, John Winston Scholey, Henry Sutherland Tait, Jack Gomersall, William Gordon Davies, Douglas Oliver Tunbridge, Robert Arthur Read

Battle of Berlin November 1943-March 1944
Battle of Berlin, March 44
JOHN SCHOLEY, the Flight Engineer

With many thanks to his niece, Lynne Anderson

From the ORB

18.3.44        21 aircraft detailed for operations – crews briefed, take off approx 21.15 hours.  The attack was made in clear sky – visibility poor, hazy.  Defemces negligible – searchlights numerous to south of town, Frankfurt – fighter activity below average and only in target area.  18 photos attempted.  Attack made from 12,800′ to 21,500′.  Attack on Frankfurt opened early and the timing was good, but poor visibility over target prevented identification by the visual marker and TIs were only occasionally seen glowing thinly through haze.  In consequence most crews brought their TIs back.  Some flashes from large bombs were seen in built up area and glow of incendiary bombs seen but no other results were generally seen.  F/O Callan (NZ) and crew failed to return, no news has since been heard.

JB300B  F/O N.J.Callan, Sgt J.Scholey, F/Sgt H.S.Tait, F/Sgt J.Gomersall, F/Sgt W.A.Davies, F/Sgt D.Tunbridge, F/Sgr R.A.Read.  Up 1940.  4 x TI, 1 x 4000lb, 720 x 4lb incs.  Aircraft missing.

Extract from Bomber Command Losses – 18/19.3.44
Lancaster III  JB300  OF – B.  Op Frankfurt.  T/O 1940 Bourn.  Crashed in the general area of Kaiserslautern, to where a critically injured F/O Callan was taken.  He died here on 25 March, and was buried locally.  Since 1945 his body has been exhumed and re-interred in Choloy War Cemetery, France.  His crew, however, rest in Rheinberg War Cemetery.
F/O N.J.Callan RNZAF(inj – +), Sgt J.W.Scholey(+), F/S H.S.Tait(+), F/S J.Gomersall(+), F/S W.G.Davies(+), F/S D.O.Tunbridge(+), F/S R.A.Read(+).