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[Home] [Profiles 103 Sqn N to Z] [Edgar T Townsend and crew 103 Sqn]

W/O Edgar T Townsend RNZAF and crew – 103 Squadron – RAF Elsham Wolds – 1943/44

Failed to Return – 2/3rd January 1944 – Avro Lancaster III – JB747 – Op Berlin.

103 Squadron Townsend

Edgar Townsend ( pictured above ) and his crew were another reliable and experienced 103 Squadron crew lost during the Battle of Berlin. They were posted to 103 Squadron at RAF Elsham Wolds late July 1943 and were lost on their 20th operation. See below :-

12-Aug-43 – Milan – Lancaster – ED701 – Sgt ET Townsend RNZAF

14-Aug-43 – Milan – Lancaster – ED701 – Sgt ET Townsend RNZAF

17-Aug-43 – Peenemunde – Lancaster – W4323 – Sgt ET Townsend RNZAF

23-Aug-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – ED942 – Sgt ET Townsend RNZAF – Did not take off - Damaged when W4323 blew up at dispersal.

22-Sep-43 – Hanover – Lancaster – ED417 – F/S ET Townsend RNZAF

23-Sep-43 – Mannheim – Lancaster – ED417 – F/S ET Townsend RNZAF

27-Sep-43 – Hanover – Lancaster – ED417 – F/S ET Townsend RNZAF - Landed at Docking

29-Sep-43 – Bochum – Lancaster – ED881 – F/S ET Townsend RNZAF

01-Oct-43 – Hagen – Lancaster – ED417 – W/O ET Townsend RNZAF

02-Oct-43 – Munich – Lancaster – ED417 – W/O ET Townsend RNZAF

03-Nov-43 – Dusseldorf – Lancaster – JB458 – W/O ET Townsend RNZAF

18-Nov-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB555 – W/O ET Townsend RNZAF

22-Nov-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB555 – W/O ET Townsend RNZAF

23-Nov-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB555 – W/O ET Townsend RNZAF

26-Nov-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB555 – W/O ET Townsend RNZAF - Diverted to Middleton St George because of bad visibility at base

02-Dec-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB555 – W/O ET Townsend RNZAF

03-Dec-43 – Leipzig – Lancaster – JB555 – W/O ET Townsend RNZAF

20-Dec-43 – Frankfurt – Lancaster – JB555 – W/O ET Townsend RNZAF

29-Dec-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB555 – W/O ET Townsend RNZAF

01-Jan-44 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB555 – W/O ET Townsend RNZAF - Detailed as Windfinders

02-Jan-44 – Berlin - Lancaster – JB747 – W/O ET Townsend RNZAF – FTR - Believed collided with JB114 of 83 Sqn south of target. Crashed at Zehrensdorf, Germany

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103 Squadron Townsend with air and ground crew and Pegg

Edgar Townsend with air and ground crew and WAAF MT Driver Peggy

W/O Edgar Thomas Townsend RNZAF – Pilot - 29 – 103 Sqn - Son of John and Edith Marian Townsend of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand – Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany.

Sgt Harry Arthur Joint RAFVR – Flight Engineer - 21 – 103 Sqn - Son of Harry and Ada Joint of Eccleshill, Bradford, Yorkshire– Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany.

F/O George Stapleford Palin RCAF ( pictured below ) – Navigator - 21 – 103 Sqn - Son of Charles Stapleford Palin and Helen Palin; husband of Helen Patricia Palin of Mimico, Ontario, Canada– Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany.

Sgt Clement Ralph Greenwell RAFVR – Air Gunner - 23 – 103 Sqn - Son of Ralph Clement and Maria Greenwell; husband of Constance Greenwell of Gorton, Manchester– Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany.

Sgt John William Bateman RAFVR – Wireless Operator - 22 – 103 Sqn - Son of William and Elizabeth Ann Bateman of New Crofton, Yorkshire– Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany.

Sgt Ronald George Creber RAFVR – Air Gunner - 103 Sqn - Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany.

Sgt Alfred Jack Larby RAFVR – Air Bomber - 21 – 103 Sqn - Son of Alfred George and Violet Mabel Larby of New Barnet, Hertfordshire– Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany.

103 Squadron Palin Townsend

F/O George Stapleford Palin RCAF

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02-Jan-44 – Berlin

103 Squadron detailed 15 aircraft for this attack on the Nazi capital of Berlin. Bombing was carried out between 17000 ft and 22000 ft on pathfinder skymarkers through 10/10ths cloud. P/O Young was approached by a Ju88 from the starboard quarter at 400 yards and his mid upper gunner fired a burst at it and at the same time an Me110 fired a burst from the port bow and broke away. There were fighter flares close to starboard. F.S Nicholls landed at Exeter on the outward route after receiving a diversion call sent in error by Group. This was later cancelled but the message not received by F/S Nicholl's Wireless Operator. W/O Frost and Sgt McIntyre and crews failed to take off. Owing to bad weather conditions at base all aircraft were diverted to airfields in the south east of England. W/O Frost and Sgt McIntyre and crews failed to take off. W/O Townsend and crew failed to return.

For this attack on Berlin Bomber Command detailed a total of 383 aircraft - 362 Lancasters, 12 Mosquitos, 9 Halifaxes. German fighter controllers followed the bombers all the way to the target. Night fighters were sent to a radio beacon between Hanover and Bremen but these fighters missed the bomber stream and did not come into action until they were directed to Berlin. Most of the bomber casualties were in the Berlin area. 27 Lancasters were lost, 10 per cent of the force. The casualties included 10 Pathfinder aircraft; No 156 Squadron, from Warboys, lost 5 of its 14 aircraft taking part in the raid.

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Lancaster - JB747

16-Dec-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB747 – W/O BB Lydon

20-Dec-43 – Frankfurt – Lancaster – JB747 – F/S M McMahon

02-Jan-44 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB747 – W/O ET Townsend RNZAF – FTR - Believed collided with JB114 of 83 Sqn south of target. Crashed at Zehrensdorf, Germany

Item compiled by David Fell. Townsend photo courtesy of the Auckland War Memorial On Line Cenotaph and the crew photo from my archive. Palin photo courtesy of the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

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