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LW333 DY-K

This article is based on information to assist Christopher Dunn in finding out what happened when his uncle Flt. Sgt. Frederick Thomas DUNN, Bomb Aimer was killed in a mid-air collision when returning from an operation on the 21st of November, 1943 near Pocklington.

LW333 DY-K

Roy Alfred DABNOR,.Pilot Officer (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner), 162864. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. 102 Squadron, Royal Air Force. Died Monday 22 November 1943.

Aged 21. Son of Alfred Harry Peter and Sarah Dabnor of Knockholt, Kent, he is buried in St. Katherines Churchyard, Knockholt, Kent.

Roy had been amongst the seven man crew on Halifax bomber LW333 DY-K, when it took off from R.A.F. Pocklington, North Yorkshire at 1631 hours on 21 November 1943. Halifax bomber LW333 DY-K was being flown on the mission by 24 year old Pilot Officer (Pilot), Walter Hughes of Walton, Liverpool, Lancashire.

The Halifax was amongst a force of 764 aircraft which was comprised of 469 Lancasters, 234 Halifaxes, 50 Stirlings, and 11 Mosquitoes that were taking part on a raid on Berlin, Germany. The raid on the night of 21/22 November 1943, was carried out by the larges force of R.A.F. aircraft that had been sent to Berlin at that time, and was also the last raid in which Stirlings were sent to Germany. Bad weather kept most of the German night fighters on the ground, and the bomber force was able to take a relatively 'straight in, straight out' route to the target without suffering undue loss of aircraft or life.

Of the 26 aircraft that were lost on the mission to Berlin, 11 were Lancasters, 10 Halifaxes, and 5 Stirlings. Berlin had been completely cloud covered, and returning bomber crews could only estimate that the marking and bombing was accurate. It was later revealed that the mission which cost Roy his life, was in fact the most effective raid on Berlin during the Second World War. A vast area of destruction stretched from the central districts of the city westwards across the mainly residential areas of Tiergarten and Charlottenburg, to the separate suburb city of Spandau. Because of the dry weather conditions, several 'firestorm' areas were reported, and the following day a German aircraft measured the height of the smoke cloud as reaching 6,000 metres (almost 19,000 feet).

It was estimated that approximately 175,000 people were bombed out as the result of the raid. Interesting entries among the lists of buildings destroyed or severely damaged are:- Thehe KaiserWilhelm-Gedächtniskirche (the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church) in West Berlin, the Charlottenburg Castle, the Berlin Zoo, much of the Unter den Linden, the British, French, Italian and Japanese embassies, the Ministry of Weapons and Munitions, the Waffen SS Administrative College, and the barracks of the Imperial Guard at Spandau.

Among the numerous industrial premises that had been hit, were five factories of the Siemens electrical group, and the Alkett tank works which had recently moved to the city from the Ruhr.

Roys aircraft was not lost due to enemy action, as it collided in the air with a 77 Squadron, R.A.F. Halifax bomber (LW 264 KN-K) in the Pocklington circuit, which was returning to R.A.F. Elvington North Yorkshire from the same raid on Berlin. Both of the aircraft crashed at 2345 hours, near Newlands Farm, (Mohair Farm) on the York Road, Barmby Moor, Yorkshire. In November 1984 fourteen oak trees, each of which was named after an airman killed in the above tragedy, were formerly commemorated at Newlands Farm. Formerly a Sergeant (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner), Roy was commisioned as a Pilot Officer, R.A.F. (V.R.) on 10 November 1943.

(Source: http://www.kentfallen.com/PDF%20REPORTS/KNOCKHOLT%20LYCH%20)

The crews were:

LW333  DY-K 102 (Ceylon) Squadron, Pocklington


Pilot Officer.  Walter Hughes - Pilot - Aged 24 – RAFVR

Sgt William Waterson Cottle - Navigator - Aged 28 - RAFVR

Sgt Roy Alfred Dabnor - Wireless Operator - Aged 21 - RAFVR

Sgt John Boxall - Flight Engineer - Aged 28 – RAFVR

Sgt Roland Barnsley Bainbridge - Air Gunner - Aged 23 - RAFVR

Sgt David Willington - Air Gunner - Aged 32 - (R.C.A.F.)

Sgt. Frederick Thomas Dunn - Bomb Aimer - Aged 22 - RAFVR


 LW264  KN-K  77 Squadron, Elvington

Flight Sgt (?Flt Lt?). Lineham – Pilot

Sgt. West

Flight Sgt. Godsen

Sgt. Twedle

Sgt. Elder

Sgt. Bennet

Sgt. Thompson