Pilot: Louis Stevenson
Flight Engineer: John Brett
Navigator: Robert Gunn Christie
Bomb Aimer: John Dennis Bradford
W/OP: Harold George Mitchell
Mid-Upper Gunner: John Mallaber
Rear gunner: Thomas George Griffiths Pugh
LANCASTER ED868 OF-A
Shot down 23rd/24th September 1943, the entire crew was killed.
23/24 September 1943 – Mannheim
ED868A W/O L.Stevenson, Sgt J.Brett, F/Sgt R.G.Christie, Sgts J.D.Bradford, H.G.Mitchell, J.Mallaber, T.G.Pugh. Up 1939. 4 x TI, 1 x 4000lb, 5 x 1000lb. Aircraft and crew missing.EXTRACT FROM BOMBER COMMAND LOSSES
Extract from Bomber Command Losses – 23/24.9.43
Lancaster III ED868 OF – A. Op Mannheim. T/O 1939 Bourn. Crashed at Ruchheim, 10km W of Ludwishafen. All were laid to rest at Ruchheim since when their bodies have been brought to Rheinberg War Cemetery. The DFM awarded to F/O Christie RCAF was not promulgated until 10 April 1945.W/O L.Stevenson(+), Sgt J.Brett(+), F/O R.G.Christie DFM RCAF(+), P/O J.D.Bradford DFC(+), F/S H.G.Mitchell(+), Sgt J.Mallaber(+), Sgt T.G.G.Pugh(+).
On night of 12/13 June 1943 Lancaster A bound for Bochum. Position 11 miles north of target, heading 197M, 21,000′. Rear gunner sighted Me109 approaching from 400 feet below and astern, range 800 yards. Enemy aircraft closed in to 500 yards and rear gunner opened fire and ordered pilot to carry out diving turn to port. Enemy aircraft broke away to starboard down. Lancaster continued to take evasive action and fighter did not again appear. Enemy aircraft did not open fire. No strikes observed and no claim made. Gunner fired approximately 100 rounds. No searchlight activity or visible ground markings. Visibility good, bright moonlight.
Rear Gunner – Sgt Pugh Mid Gunner – Sgt Mallaber
There is no mention of this fight in the ORB for that night, possibly because all the detail went into the combat report. The ORB entry for the night reads:
ED868A F/Sgt L.Stevenson, Sgts J.Brett, R.G.Christie, J.D.Bradford, H.G.Mitchell, J.Mallaber, T.G.Pugh. Up 2255 Down 0416. Primary objective reached and bombed. 20,000′. Very light, thin cloud. Red TI markers in sight when bombs released. Large number of red fires observed in target area.