March 1944


Tonight this was the 27th operation of squadron 78 during the air-battle of Berlin and William Uyen's 13th active operation.

Believe it or not, but unfortunately this one was on a Friday.


Last day of the battle of berlin.

This would normally have been the moon stand-down period for the Main Force, but a raid to the distant target of Nuremberg was planned on the basis of an early forecast that there would be protective high cloud on the outward route, when the moon would be up, but that the target area would be clear for ground-marked bombing. A Meteorological Flight Mosquito carried out a reconnaissance and reported that the protective cloud was unlikely to be present and that there could be cloud over the target, but the raid was not cancelled.

795 aircraft were dispatched - 572 Lancasters, 214 Halifaxes and 9 Mosquitos. The German controller ignored all the diversions and assembled his fighters at 2 radio beacons which happened to be astride the route to Nuremberg. The first fighters appeared just before the bombers reached the Belgian border and a fierce battle in the moonlight lasted for the next hour. 82 bombers were lost on the outward route and near the target. The action was much reduced on the return flight, when most of the German fighters had to land, but 95 bombers were lost in all - 64 Lancasters and 31 Halifaxes, 11.9 per cent of the force dispatched. It was the biggest Bomber Command loss of the war.

49 Halifaxes minelaying in the Heligoland area, 13 Mosquitos to night-fighter airfields, 34 Mosquitos on diversions to Aachen, Cologne and Kassel, 5 RCM sorties, 19 Serrate patrols. No aircraft lost.

3 Oboe Mosquitos to Oberhausen (where 23 German civillians waiting to go into a public shelter were killed by a bomb) and 1 Mosquito to Dortmund, 6 Stirlings minelaying off Texel and Le Havre. 17 aircraft on Resistance operations, 8 OTU sorties. 1 Halifax shot down dropping Resistance agents over Belgium.




Squadron 78

18 aircraft detailed for operations, Target Nuremburg.
2 aircraft did not take off,
9 aircraft reached and attacked target.

This afternoon the ground crew was placing the bombs and filing up the LK758, LV795, LV901, HX241, LV899, LW515, LV916, LW515, LV916,
LV788, LV869, LV915, LV949, LV876, LV905, LW511, LW520 and LK762
for a long flight to Nuremberg.

On-fortunately on this Friday night, it was William Uyen's 13th flight and it would be his last.



March 30, 1944



Handley Page Halifax III

HX241 EY-P




March 30, 1944

Target Nuremburg


22:23 hour, Breighton Yorkshire




01:10 hour




01:15 hour, (Stadt)Allendorf

Crew HX241 EY-P

F/L Hudson, Harry.



F/L Taylor, Allen.



F/O Uyen, William



Sgt. Monks, Harrold.



Sgt. Hillis, John.



Sgt. Nugent, leslie



Sgt. Morris, John William.






Shot down by night fighter on March 31st 1944 at 01:15 hour above Allendorf (now Stadtallendorf)

According to previous investigations it could have been Lt. Hans Schaefer of the 7. Staffel des Nachtjagdgeschwaders 2 (7./NJG 2) who with his crew, radio operator Sergeant Heinz Manter and gunner Ogfr. Gliebmann Charles, was in a Junkers Ju 88C-6 that has launched in Langendiebach to this mission.
Approaching from behind down under, the JU 88 fired his guns, hitting the HX241 just missing the mid-upper gunner and setting the plane on fire.

The HX241 EY-P Handley page B Halifax III of the78 Squadron. began his run at 22:23 hour as one off the 16 bombers that taken off from the airfield of Breighton and flew to rendezvous over the North Sea to the first turning point which was set to be at 51° 50' North 2° 30' East with the Lancasters and Halifaxes of No 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 Groups that would make up the main bomber stream, on there way to Nuremberg.
At this point over the North Sea, they started a steady climb, switching off all lights and when the turn was completed they were heading a course of 130°. The leading aircraft crossed the Belgium coast at 23:22 hour at approximately 8000 feet and at 23:45 hour the stream reached the next turning point at 50° 30' North 4°36' East, just south of Charleroi; there they altered course to port, gradually climbing to there bombing height to to make the run to there last turning point before the target, at Fulda Germany 50° 32' North 10° 36' East.

For this night F/O J.D. Lane was replaced by Sargent John William Morris as rear gunner, because the W/C (Wing Commander) had asked him to fly a little notice with a ' sprog ' or rookie crew who had not been flying over Germany. The proper navigator, Robertson, from Saskatoon was ill, and could not fly. (He was always air-sick, but flew). It was something more serious that night.
Robertson was eventually lost on November 21 1944

Unfortunately the HX241 didn't make it to the last turning point, as they were shot down by a enemy aircraft over Stadtallendorf, approximately 30 km North of the the planned route.
As told by the sole survivor Leslie Nugent from the HX241 after the attack by night fighter:
“I realized the plane was doomed and, in all probability, the rest of the crew were already dead. I was on my knees becoming weaker and weaker without oxygen and started to feel for the escape hatch situated mid-way between my own turret and the rear turret. Next thing I knew was that I was hard up against the rear turret. I had no control over my actions but something guided me back and unwittingly felt the door handle. One twist and I was out, spinning through the air like a top.
I didn't need to jump – the air rushing past plucked me out like a mammoth vacuum cleaner picking up a fragment of dust.”

After being shot from end to front by a night fighter, the Halifax HX241 approached the village from the west already burning, circled once and broke in half before crashing.
The main part of the airplane crashed with a full load of bombs on the premises of the factory for chemical recycling of the present Rheinstaße. The into the air broken tail section crashed at the site of today's outdoor swimming pool.
Since the former factories in Allendorf acted to explosives plants, one can certainly imagine what would have been through the crash of the bomber, everything couth hapen.

F/S Leslie Nugent came unhurt down with his parachute, but was soon taken prisoner in Allendorf.
Because of the fact that there was another crash of a Lancaster at Erksdorf not far away and also at Wahlen a Bomber was shot down, the German authorities that night could not resolved, to which he was occupying.
The burgemaister and the local people buried the six crew members in the local cemetery. The funeral services being conducted by the local Lutheran Minister.
Al in all cases in the Marburg district the graves were well looked after. There was a plain wooden cross inscribed “Hier ruhen 6 unbekante Englische Flieger – Maerz 1944”

At the crash of the Halifax at Allendorf remembers today not much more.
Only in a museum in Ebsdorfergrund there is still one of the Browning Machinegun of the bomber, which was found at the point in the forest.



Returned early


returned early owing to Wireless Operators parachute opened accidentaly Furthest point reached 15 km. East of Thetford at 52.37N/01.00E

Returned early


returned early owing to port outer engine being unserviceable
Bombs jettisoned safe in the sea.

Returned early

LV905 EY-W

returned early owing to engine failure.
Furthest point reached at 50.30N/06.40E
Bombed position 50.30N/06.40E. Just after reaching the German border.

Returned early


Mission abounded and turned at 50.30N/00.20E Mid Channel
were the bombs were jettisoned safe in the sea.


In Combat

LW901 EY-N

LW901 EY-N combat when flying over koblenz on 22.000 ft.

For as Combat report: at 00.31 hour at a posiyion of 50.31North / 07.50East, a unidentified single enemy aircraft was seen by Rear gunner Sgt. Chittenden when the LW901 was flying outbound with a speed of 160 I.A.S. Port quarter up at 900 feet. Sgt. Mc.Cullogh gave order to dive at too feet range.
Enemy aircraft opened fire at 600 yards with a long burst and close to 200 feet.
Sgt. Mc.Cullogh opened fire at 400 feet with only one gun
fired approximately 10 rounds.
Mid upper Sgt. Chittenden could not obtain a sight to fire.
Enemy aircraft broke away to starboard quarter up and was
observed to carry a white light. Rear gunner Mc.Cullogh
could only fire 10 rounds from one gun because all guns
stopped in no. 2 position.
At 00.37 hour Rear gunner first observed a second
unidentified single-engine enemy aircraft on starboard
fin quarter up at 800 yards range. Rear gunner
Mc.Cullogh gave order to pilot F/S Boswell to corkscrew
starboard and enemy aircraft opened fire with a short burst immediately after order was given.
Enemy aircraft was lost in corkscrew, so breakaway was not
Gunners were not able to fire as enemy aircraft was lost sight of.
Enemy aircraft fired a short burst.


In Combat

LK758 EY-L

flying outbound over the Forrest north-west of Selters ( 50,37N / 08.30E )
with a speed of 160 I.A.S. On 22.000 feet.

For as Combat report: On 00.38 hour, Rear gunner Sgt. Wilson first saw the JU88
on port quarter slightly up at 500 yards range. He gave
combat maneuver to dive to port. JU88 opened fire slightly
before rear gunner Sgt. Wilson returned fire at 300 yard.
JU88 ceased firing at 250 yards range, but closed at 100 yards
range before breaking away to starboard quarter down
and was lost sight of. Rear gunner fired 20 rounds each gun.
But guns ceased firing owing to no.1 stoppage.
Mid-upper P/O Sanderson managed to fire a short burst of
twenty rounds from two guns as JU88 was breaking away.
No hits observed on enemy aircraft.



In Combat

LV795 EY-H

was in combat at 50.32N / 09.40E, flying at 0.49 hour on 21.500 feet whit a speed of 165 I.A.S. Heading 094 Magnetic.

For as Combat report: Rear gunner Sgt. Taylor first observed a F.W.190 dead astern and well below at a range of 900 yards. Previous to sighting enemy aircraft, rear gunner had notified the pilot that the intercom was cutting out when turret was turned to port.
Enemy aircraft moved over from dead astern to port and when rear gunner Sgt. Taylor tried to give combat maneuver, the pilot was unable to hear the instructions. By the time the rear gunner was able to get through on the intercom, and warn the pilot enemy aircraft had closed to within 600 yards. At 500 yards own aircraft did a diving turn to port and rear gunner opened fire with a long burst. Hits were observed to enter the enemy aircraft which climbed vertically, and rear gunner was able to fire a long burst underside of the F.W.190 which immediately burst into flames and dived straight down. Three members of the crew witnessed E/A down and explode when it hits the ground.
Enemy aircraft did not open fire and is claimed as destroyed.


Lost in Combat

LK762 EY-Z

Airborne 22:15 30 March 1944 from Breighton,
Outbound, shot down from 22,000 feet by a night-fighter, crashing near Westum in the southern outskirts of Sinzig.
Sgt Ronald Arthur Horton KIA plot 10.C.7.
Sgt J.H.Connoley PoW Sgt Jack J. Ord KIA plot 10.C.9.
F/O R.D.Holland PoW
Sgt Colin Victor Byatt KIA plot 10.C.11
Sgt James William Love KIA plot 10.C.5.
Sgt F.R.Wilson PoW.
Sgt J.H.Connoley was interned in Camps L6/357, PoW No.3421 with
Sgt F.R.Wilson, PoW No.3420.
F/O R.D.Holland in Camp L1, PoW No.4100.


Lost in Combat

LV899 EY-Q

Airborne 22:19 30 march 1944 from Breighton.
Home bound, flew well to the North of track and was shot down by a night-fighter, crashing 3 km SW of Maybert- Fontaine (Ardennes), 26 km NW of Charleville-Mezieres, France.
P/O Frederic Wills Topping J/86167 RCAF KIA
Sgt Walter Acklam Littlewood KIA
F/O William Lorn Cruse J/22072 RCAF KIA
F/S George Dungeon Torbet R/160418 RCAF KIA
Sgt William Joseph Batchouski KIA .
Sgt T.Lanaghan KIA
Sgt J.G.Vaughan RCAF KIA


  • Lost in Combat

    HX241 EY-P

    was initially issued to No.51 Sqdn. Airborne 22:23 30 March 1944 from Breighton. Outbound, shot down by a night-fighter, crashing at Allendorf (Stadtallendorf), where those killed were initially buried. Their graves are now located in the Hanover War Cemetery.
    F/L H.McC.Hudson was an American serving in the RCAF.
    F/L Harry McCcormic Hudson J/20047 RCAF KIA Sgt John Hillis KIA
    F/O Alan GeorgeTaylor DFC KIA P/O William Uyen J/23464 RCAF KIA
    Sgt Harrold Monks KIA Sgt John William Morris KIA
    F/S Leslie Nugent PoW, F/S Leslie.Nugent was interned in Camps L6/357, PoW No.3538.

    Crew Biographies:
    F/Lt Harry McCormick Hudson RCAF, J20047, Pilot
    From (Tampa bay) Largo, Florida, USA Posted to 78Sqdn on 22-10-1943
    F/Lt Alan George Talor. DFC, RAF, 120348 Navigator
    From Beckingham, Kent, England Posted to 78Sqdn on 28-10-1943
    F/O William 'Bill' Uyen RCAF, J23464, Bomb Aimer
    From Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Posted to 78Sqdn on 23-10-1943
    Sgt John Hillis RAF 1567503, Flight Engeneer
    From Inver, Co, Antrim, Ireland Posted to 78Sqdn on 22-10-1943
    Sgt Harrold 'Harry' Monks RAF, 1580257, Wireless Operator
    From Hyde, Cheshire, England Posted to 78Sqdn on 22-10-1943
    F/Sgt Leslie. Nuggent RAF, 1534643, Airgunner
    Pow 3538, Luft 357, Survived the war.
    Sgt John W. Morris RAF, 1589893, Airgunner
    From Hexham, Northumberland, England Posted to 78Sqdn on 22-10-1943

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