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[Home] [Profiles 103 Sqn A to M] [Donald I McDonald RAAF and crew 103 Sqn]

F/O Donald I McDonald RAAF and crew – 103 Squadron – RAF Elsham Wolds – 1944

Failed to Return – 24/25th December 1944 – Avro Lancaster III – NG420 – Op Cologne/Nippes

Donald McDonald and his crew were posted to 103 Squadron at RAF Elsham Wolds from Heavy Conversion Unit October 1944. They were lost on their 8th operation. See below :-

06-Nov-44 – Gelsenkirchen - Lancaster - ND861 - F/S DI McDonald RAAF

09-Nov-44 - Wanne Eikel - Lancaster - PD236 - F/S DI McDonald RAAF

18-Nov-44 - Wanne Eikel - Lancaster - LM131 - F/S DI McDonald RAAF - Bad weather at base. Diverted

27-Nov-44 - Freiburg - Lancaster - LM131 - P/O DI McDonald RAAF

29-Nov-44 - Dortmund - Lancaster - LM131 - P/O DI McDonald RAAF

04-Dec-44 - Karlsruhe - Lancaster - LM131 - P/O DI McDonald RAAF

06-Dec-44 - Leuna - Lancaster - ME649 - F/O DI McDonald RAAF

24-Dec-44 - Cologne/Nippes - Lancaster - NG420 - F/O DI McDonald RAAF – FTR - Night Fighter victim and crashed at Sindorf, Germany.

Claim by Lt Walter Kalmbach IV/NJG6 - 30km South West of Koln 2,200m at 18:39. (Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1944 Part 5 - Theo Boiten) Crashed at Sindorf between Koln and Duren. Per John Jones

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F/O Donald Ian McDonald RAAF – Pilot - 21 - 103 Sqn - Son of John and Alison Jean McDonald of Mortlake, Victoria, Australia - Venray War Cemetery, Netherlands

Sgt Robert Henry Holliday RAFVR – Flight Engineer - 21 - 103 Sqn - Son of Harry and Sophia Hannah Holliday of Brentwood, Essex - Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany

Sgt Philip Kennedy Ashcroft RAFVR – Air Bomber - 24 - 103 Sqn - Son of Philip Ardern Ashcroft and Dorothy Ashcroft of Shrewsbury, Shropshire - Venray War Cemetery, Netherlands

F/O Kenneth Alfred Isaac Hunt RAFVR – Navigator - 23 - 103 Sqn - Son of Frederick Charles and Ann Maria Hunt of Mountain Ash, Glamorgan - Venray War Cemetery, Netherlands

W/O John Wallace Mills Herbert RAFVR – 20 - 103 Sqn - Son of George Arthur Giffen Herbert and Phillis Estelle Herbert of Kadina, South Australia - Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.

Sgt Reginald Wilfred Baker RAFVR – Air Gunner - 103 Sqn - Venray War Cemetery, Netherlands

Sgt Eric Bone RAFVR – Air Gunner - 22 - 103 Sqn - Son of Henry Stables Bone and Annie Bone of Bransty, Whitehaven, Cumberland - Venray War Cemetery, Netherlands

Sgt Holliday and WO Herbert were initially buried in Sindorf Cemetery. Reinterred 27 May 1947

The remainder of the crew were initially buried in Margraten US Military Cemetery F/O McDonald reinterred 26 November 1946. F/O Hunt, Sgt Ashcroft, Sgt Baker and Sgt Bone were reinterred 24 March 1947.

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24-Dec-44 - Cologne/Nippes

103 Squadron detailed 11 aircraft for this attack on Cologne. All aircraft took off in rather poor visibility but en route it was quite good although 10/10ths cloud below obscured the ground. On arrival in the target area it was found quite clear but the Target indicators were 2 minutes late in going down. From all reports they were spot on and the bombing was concentrated around them and it was thought to be a good attack. Bombing was from between 17000 ft and 185000 ft. Defences were fairly heavy flak barrage. Searchlights were ineffective due to haze and light low cloud. No fighter activity was observed. F/O McDonald is missing from this operation. All other crews returned safely but were diverted to Old Buckenham due to poor weather at base.

For this attack on Cologne/Nippes in the heart of the Nazi industrial Ruhr region Bomber Command detailed a total of 97 Lancasters and 5 Mosquitos of Nos 1 and 8 Groups. 5 Lancasters were lost and 2 more crashed in England. The Oboe marking and the resultant bombing were extremely accurate. The railway tracks were severely damaged and an ammunition train blown up. The nearby Butzweilerhof airfield was also damaged.

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Lancaster – NG420

This machine was lost on its first operation. See below :-

24-Dec-44 - Cologne/Nippes – Lancaster - NG420 – F/O DI McDonald RAAF – FTR - Flak victim and crashed at Sindorf, Germany.

Compiled by David Fell with thanks to John Jones

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