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[Home] [Profiles 103 Sqn N to Z] [Edwin C Nicholls and crew 103 Sqn]

F/S Edwin C Nicholls RAFVR and crew – 103 Squadron – RAF Elsham Wolds – 1943/44

Failed to Return – 5/6th January 1944 – Avro Lancaster III – ND397 – Op Stettin.

Edwin Nicholls and his crew were post to 103 Squadron at RAF Elsham Wolds around early October 1943 and flew the following operations. See below :-

22-Oct-43 – Kassel – Lancaster – JB423 – F/S EC Nicholls – Early return - Navigator sick. Wireless operator navigated aircraft back on Gee fixes

22-Nov-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – DV342 – F/S EC Nicholls

23-Nov-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB277 – F/S EC Nicholls – Did not take off - Cancelled due to high winds which caused some aircraft to swing on take off

26-Nov-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – LM375 - F/S EC Nicholls - Diverted to Middleton St George because of bad visibility at base

29-Dec-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB744 – F/S EC Nicholls

01-Jan-44 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB744 – F/S EC Nicholls

02-Jan-44 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB744 – F/S EC Nicholls - Landed at Exeter outbound after receiving diversion call which was later cancelled but not received by his Wireless Operator

05-Jan-44 – Stettin – Lancaster – ND397 – F/S EC Nicholls – FTR - Probably crashed near target.

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F/S Edwin Clifford Nicholls RAFVR – Pilot – 23 – 103 Sqn - Son of William Clifford and Uletta Nicholls of Redruth, Cornwall - Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland

Sgt R C Hicks RAFVR – 103 Sqn – POW – Camp L6/357 – POW no 1097

Sgt Raymond William Jeffs RAFVR – Navigator - 20 – 103 Sqn - Son of Albert Edward and Eva Jeffs of Grantham, Lincolnshire - Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland

Sgt Kenneth Charles Bartlett RAFVR – 19 - Air Gunner - 103 Sqn - Son of Charles Albert and Edith Margaret Bartlett of Southall, Middlesex - Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland

F/S Harold Sidney Murton RAFVR – Air Gunner - 35 – 103 Sqn - Son of John Sidney and Ada Elizabeth Murton; husband of Ena May Murton of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, AALPA - Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland. Harold Murton was a member of the Association of Auctioneers and Landed Property Agents and amongst the oldest airmen known to have been killed serving with 103 Squadron

Sgt Albert Stanley Matthews RAFVR – Wireless Operator / Air Gunner 103 Sqn - Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland

Sgt Willoughby Fox RAFVR – Air Gunner - 28 – 103 Sqn - Son of Stephen and Evelyn Fox; husband of Margery Fox of Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire - Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland

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05-Jan-44 – Stettin

103 Squadron detailed 12 aircraft for this attack on the German port of Stettin which is described as a most obviously successful attack with huge fires burning and at least one very large explosion. The bombing was carried out between 21000 ft and 23500 ft. There was a spasmodic heavy flak barrage and moderate light flak. The 20 to 30 searchlights were mostly to the north of the town. There were several enemy aircraft sightings. Pathfinders used sky and ground markers and both were seen through the haze and the small patches of could. There was 10/10ths cloud stretching from base till breaking up at the target. All returned to base except P/O Young who landed at Middleton St George due to shortage of fuel after using the M/F procedure and F/S Nicholls and crew who are missing.

For this attack on Stettin Bomber Command detailed a total of 348 Lancasters and 10 Halifaxes. This was first large raid on Stettin since September 1941. The Mosquito diversion at Berlin successfully kept most of the German fighters away from the main force of bombers. 16 aircraft - 14 Lancasters, 2 Halifaxes - lost, 4.5 per cent of the force. The attack started accurately and the central districts suffered heavily from fire but the later stages of the attack drifted to the west. 8 ships were sunk in the harbour

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Lancaster – ND397

This machine was lost on its first operation.

05-Jan-44 – Stettin – Lancaster – ND397 – F/S EC Nicholls – FTR - Probably crashed near target.

Item compiled by David Fell

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