The war wasn’t yet won by no means for Bomber Group 6…
Not for Flight Lieutenant Brittain it wasn’t.
And for some it was their last night on this Earth.
February 14/15 1945
66 Halifaxes from 408, 415, 420, 425, 426, 427, 429, and 432 Squadrons were joined by 52 Lancasters from 419, 424, 428, 431, and 434 Squadrons on an attack at Chemnitz. The crews were over the target at between 18,000 and 20,000 feet, releasing 431,000 lbs on incendiaries and 291,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, the target was cloud covered with some damage caused.
P/O A. Brown from 408 Squadron was attacked by an enemy aircraft, there was no claim or damage.
W/O1 R. Craven and crew, flying Halifax III MZ-495 coded EQ-V, were attacked by an FW-190 and an ME-110, there were strikes seen on the FW-190.
P/O L. Clarahan and crew, flying Halifax VII PN-223 coded EQ-X, were attacked by a rocket, it was fired upon and went vertically to the ground and exploded, claimed destroyed.
P/O J. McKenzie from 415 Squadron returned early as they were unable to raise the under carriage.
F/O L. Minkler landed at Brussels on return due to a fuel shortage.
F/Lt C. Piper and F/O R. Evans landed at Hardwick on return.
F/O C. Widdecombe and crew from 419 Squadron, flying Lancaster X KB-814 coded VR-N, were attacked by an unidentified twin engine enemy aircraft, strikes were seen and shortly after a aircraft was seen to crash to the ground, it was claimed as a probable.
F/O W. Anderson RCAF and crew from 420 squadron flying Halifax III NA-179 coded PT-B had the stbd outer engine fail shortly after takeoff. On return while turning on final approach the Halifax stalled and spun to earth.
Sgt H. Evans RAF
F/O J. Sinden RCAF
F/O L. Jones RCAF
F/O S. Hay RCAF
F/Sgt W. Giles RCAF
P/O E. Sills RCAF
All the crew was killed except the mid upper gunner.
P/O E. Cole and crew, flying Halifax III NP-951 coded PT-Y, were hit by flak, stbd inner was damaged and u/s. They were also attacked by an FW-190, there was no additional damage or claim. The landed at Juvincourt, France on 3 engines due to a fuel shortage.
F/Lt H. Ledingham landed at Molesworth on return.
F/O V. Roy RCAF and crew from 427 Squadron flying Halifax III MZ-422 coded ZL-N failed to return from this operation.
Sgt H. Mayer RCAF–POW
F/Sgt A. Williams RCAF–POW
Sgt A. Morrison RCAF–POW
F/Sgt A. Scorah RCAF
F/Sgt A. Cybulskie RCAF
F/Sgt H. Gallagher RCAF
4 crew were killed and 3 POWs on their 1st operation.
F/O D. Payne and crew from 428 Squadron, flying Lancaster X KB-757 coded NA-C, were attacked by a JU-88, there was no claim or damage.
F/O D. Murray from 431 Squadron returned early as 3 engines were running poorly.
F/O J. Patterson and crew, flying Lancaster X KB-872 coded SE-N, were attacked by an unidentified enemy aircraft, there was no claim or damage.
P/O J. Durand from 432 Squadron landed at Halesworth on return.
P/O R. Bradley landed at Hardwick on return.
F/Lt W. Miller and P/O J. Daly landed at Hardwick on return.
S/Ldr J. Thompson RCAF–POW and crew flying Halifax VII RG-449 coded QO-S failed to return from this operation.
Sgt G. Sorrell RAF
F/O J. Serne RCAF–POW
F/O A. Borland RCAF–POW
F/O S. Harrison RCAF–POW
F/Sgt R. Stringer RCAF–POW
P/O R. Thomson RCAF–POW
6 crew were POWs and 1 was killed after being shot down by a JU-88 on return.
F/Lt R. Fern and crew from 434 Squadron, flying Lancaster X KB-824 coded WL-E, were attacked by an unidentified enemy aircraft, there was no claim or damage.
F/O D. Magrath RCAF and crew flying Lancaster X KB-741 coded SE-C failed to return from this operation. This crew borrowed this aircraft from 431, their sister Squadron.
P/O B. Granka RCAF
F/O G. Barlow RCAF
F/O J. McElhone RCAF
F/O L. Medynski RCAF
P/O G. Robertson RCAF
Sgt G. McLarty RCAF–POW
6 crew were killed and 1 POW.
While some crews were attacking Chemnitz, 10 Lancasters from 424 and 433 Squadrons were joined by 10 Halifaxes from 427 and 429 Squadrons on a mining operation to the Kattegat. The crews were over the garden at 15,000 feet, sowing 90@1500 lb mines.
F/Lt C. Lundeen from 424 Squadron returned early as the navigation aids were u/s.
F/Lt F. Aldworth RCAF and crew flying Lancaster I PB-899 coded QB-A failed to return from this operation.
P/O L. Davis RAF
F/O E. Reaney RCAF
F/Sgt K. Miller RCAF
P/O G. Guthrie RCAF
P/O V. Smith RCAF
F/Sgt K. McMurchy RCAF
All were lost without a trace.
F/O J. Mulholland from 427 Squadron returned early as the navigation aids were u/s.
S/Ldr W. Brittain RCAF–POW and crew flying Halifax III MZ-355 coded ZL-W failed to return from this operation.
Sgt P. De Metz RAF–POW
F/O C. Driscoll RCAF–POW
F/O H. McKay RCAF–POW
F/O R. Dallin RCAF–POW
P/O E. Ford RCAF
P/O J. Peak RCAF
5 crew were POWs and 2 killed after being shot down by flak.
F/Lt R. Charlton RCAF and crew from 429 Squadron, flying Halifax III MZ-865 coded AL-V, failed to return from this operation.
P/O W. Fedorchuk RCAF
F/O R. Thorne RCAF
P/O R. McCallum RCAF
F/O K. Rainford RCAF
F/Sgt G. Barnes RCAF
F/Sgt S. Bostwick RCAF
All were killed after going into Swedish airspace and being shot down by anti-aircraft fire.
Source of the above