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[Home] [Profiles 103 Sqn N to Z] [Charles R Phillips and crew 103 Sqn]

F/O Charles R Phillips RAFVR and crew – 103 Squadron – RAF Elsham Wolds – 1944

Failed to Return – 12/13th July 1944 – Avro Lancaster I – ME674 – Op Revigny.

103 Squadron Phillips

Charles Phillips ( pictured above ) and crew were posted to 103 Squadron at RAF Elsham Wolds on the 13th May 1944 from Heavy Conversion Unit 11 Base. They were lost on their 6th operation. See below :-

Charles Phillips flew his second dickie trip with Gerald Chase 24/25 May to Aachen.

23-Jun-44 - Saintes - Lancaster - JB746 - F/O CR Phillips

25-Jun-44 - Flers - Lancaster - JB746 - F/O CR Phillips

28-Jun-44 - Chateau Benapres - Lancaster - JB746 - F/O CR Phillips

29-Jun-44 - Domleger - Lancaster - JB746 - F/O CR Phillips

30-Jun-44 - Oisemont Neuville au Bois - Lancaster - JB746 - F/O CR Phillips

12-Jul-44 - Revigny - Lancaster - ME674 - F/O CR Phillips - FTR - Collision near target with LL796 of 550 Sqn and crashed at Couvonges, France.

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F/O Charles Ronald Phillips RAFVR – Pilot - 103 Sqn - Son of Charles R. H. Phillips and Mary E. Phillips; husband of Hannah Florence Phillips of Carr Mill, Lancashire - Couvouges Churchyard, France

Sgt James Stanley Eastham RAFVR – Flight Engineer - 29 - 103 Sqn - Son of James and Sarah Ann Eastham, of Preston, Lancashire; husband of Betsy Eastham of Preston - Couvouges Churchyard, France

Sgt Kenneth Gaythorpe RAFVR – Air Bomber - 21 - 103 Sqn - Son of Frank and Mary Elizabeth Gaythorpe of Middlesbrough, Yorkshire - Couvouges Churchyard, France

F/S George Orlando Olsen RCAF ( pictured below ) – Navigator - 31 - 103 Sqn - Son of Swan and Mabel O. Olson of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada - Couvouges Churchyard, France

Sgt John Rhodes RAFVR  ( pictured below ) – 31 - Wireless Operator - 103 Sqn - Husband of Edith Rhodes of Fagley, Bradford - Couvouges Churchyard, France

Sgt James Kilgour RAFVR – Air Gunner - 21 - 103 Sqn - Son of James Bogie Kilgour and Margaret Melville Kilgour of Stanley, Perthshire - Couvouges Churchyard, France

F/S William Stuart Bancroft RAFVR ( pictured below ) – Air Gunner - 31 - 103 Sqn - Son of William Stuart Bancroft, and of Louisa Bancroft of Stretford, Lancashire - Couvouges Churchyard, France

103 Squadron Olson Phillips

F/S George Orlando Olsen RCAF with mother and father and young family members.

103 Squadron Olson

F/S G O Olson RCAF

103 Squadron Phillips crew Initial Grave Marker

103 Squadron Rhodes

Sgt John Rhodes RAFVR

John Rhodes was a married man from Bradford and worked for Norman Fawcetts Ltd. He enlisted in the RAFVR in 1942. Pre enlistment he was an outstanding amateur racing cyclist being a member of the Bradford Racing Cycling Club and Yorkshire Road Club teams and took part in races all over the country

103 Squadron Bill Bancroft

F/S William Stuart Bancroft RAFVR Pictured on a cycling holiday in Wales 1935

Pre war Bill Bancroft was a keen cyclist and was an active member of the Grosvenor Wheelers Manchester club for many years.

During his short time at 103 Squadron he also flew 2 operations as a spare bod with Danny Josey and crew. 9/10 June to Flers and again on the 12/13 June to Gelsenkirken

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12-Jul-44 - Revigny

103 Squadron detailed 19 aircraft for this attack on the marshalling yards at Revigny France. Weather for take off was fair, 5/10ths cloud, and for the route it was good. Over the target area it was covered with cloud and in the resultant mix up some crews bombed the glow of markers while other brought their bombs back. The Master Bomber was very poor and indistinct and all round it was a poor attack. 8 crews bombed from 2500 ft to 8000 ft. Some flak was encountered in the target area but most of our losses were thought to be due to collision rather than fighters as the assembly point was marked but the whole area was covered with cloud. On return to base the weather had closed down and all machines had to be diverted due to lack of fuel. P/O Durrant had to bale out on orders from Carnaby due to lack of fuel. Three other machines are missing. :- P/O Harrison, F/O Abbott and F/O Phillips.

Bomber Command detailed a total of 378 Lancasters and 7 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 5 and 8 Groups for this attack on railway targets at Culmont, Revigny and Tours. Culmont and Tours were accurately bombed but cloud interfered with the all-No 1 Group raid at Revigny and only half of the force bombed. 10 Lancasters were lost on the Revigny raid and 2 on the Culmont raid.

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Lancaster - ME674

103 Squadron Chase and Lancaster ME674

Gerald Chase pictured in the cockpit of T – Tommy ME674 at the end of his tour.

This machine was a veteran of 38 operations. It was the regular machine of Gerald Chase DFC RCAF and crew who flew it on ops 29 times. Its first operation was with Gerald and his crew on the 15/16th March 1944. See below :-

15-Mar-44 – Stuttgart – Lancaster – ME674 – F/S GW Chase RCAF

Item compiled by David Fell with photo from the Chase family. Olsen photos courtesy of the Canadian Virtual War Memorial. Thanks to John Jones for his input. Phillips and Rhodes photos from my archive. Bancroft photo per Chris Ward

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