Crew: Stevenson

Stevenson
Louis Stevenson

CREW

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.

 

FROM THE ORB
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(+).

 

Stevenson, John Mallaber
John Mallaber
MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE CREW
This crew joined 97 Squadron on 27th March 1943, having come directly from 1661 CU. The crew – Stevenson, Brett, Christie, Bradford, Mitchell, Malaber and Pugh – remained together for the many operations flown between April and September, one of the most eventful of which was that to Bochum in June. The Combat Report can be read below.
COMBAT REPORT

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.

 

The reinterment of the crew in 1950 is described in the letter below to Stevenson’s wife.
Stevenson - Letter
The letter and the photo of Stevenson were sent in by Andrew Murie, his great-nephew.
The photo of John Mallaber was sent by David Pickering.

"We Guide to Strike", "Achieve Your Aim"