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[Home] [Profiles 103 Sqn A to M] [L J Grigg and crew 103 Sqn]

W/O L J Griggs RAFVR and crew – 103 Squadron – RAF Elsham Wolds – 1943

Failed to Return – 29/30th December 1943 – Avro Lancaster III – JB487 – Op Berlin

Sgt Grigg and his crew were posted to 103 Squadron at RAF Elsham Wolds about early September 1943 and were lost on their 12th operation, two of which were early returns. See below:-

22-Sep-43 – Hanover – Lancaster – W4376 – Sgt LJ Grigg

23-Sep-43 – Mannheim – Lancaster – W4376 - Sgt LJ Grigg – Early return – Starboard inner engine overheating. Radiator flap inoperative.

07-Oct-43 – Stuttgart – Lancaster – ED767 – F/S LJ Grigg – Early return – Starboard outer engine unserviceable.

08-Oct-43 – Hanover – Lancaster – ED417 – F/S LJ Grigg

18-Oct-43 – Hanover – Lancaster – ED417 – F/S LJ Grigg

10-Nov-43 – Modane – Lancaster – JB487 – F/S LJ Grigg

18-Nov-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB530 – F/S LJ Grigg

22-Nov-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB530 – F/S LJ Grigg

23-Nov-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB530 – F/S LJ Grigg

26-Nov-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB277 – F/S LJ Grigg - Diverted to Croft because of bad visibility at base

23-Dec-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB487 – W/O LJ Grigg

29-Dec-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB487 – W/O LJ Grigg – FTR - Flak victim. Caused severe structural damage to the tailplane. Both port engines unserviceable. Crashed Mettingen, Germany.

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W/O L J Grigg – 103 Sqn – POW – Camp 4B – POW no 269774

F/S A R G Warne - 103 Sqn – POW – Camp 4B – POW no 269801

F/S A Fletcher – 103 Sqn – POW – Camp 4B – POW no 269767

F/S W A Lamb RCAF – 103 Sqn – POW – Camp 4B – POW no 269784

F/S C H Cunning – 103 Sqn – POW – Camp 4B – POW no 269759

F/S R W G Hatherley – 103 Sqn – POW – Camp 4B – POW no 269776

Sgt Thomas Cook Henderson RAF – Air Gunner - 19 – 103 Sqn - Son of Oliver Candlish Henderson and Susannah Henderson of Felling, Gateshead, Co Durham - Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany

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29-Dec-43 - Berlin

103 Squadron detailed 14 aircraft for this attack on the Nazi capital Berlin This was another concentrated effort. Pathfinders marked the target with both ground and sky markers and also laid on spoof attacks at Leipzig and Magdeburg. The raid appears to have been fairly well concentrated and the glow from the fires could be seen for a great distance. The bombing heights were between 21000 ft and 23000 ft. Defences were as usual with several sightings of enemy fighters but no combats. P/O Jone's was seriously damaged by flak when he drifted off course and over Osnabruck so he landed at Woodbridge and W/O Grigg and crew failed to return. All others landed at base.

For this attack on Berlin Bomber Command detailed a total of 712 aircraft - 457 Lancasters, 252 Halifaxes, 3 Mosquitos - returned to Berlin. A long approach route from the south, passing south of the Ruhr and then within 20 miles of Leipzig, together with Mosquito diversions at Dusseldorf, Leipzig and Magdeburg, caused the German controller great difficulties and there were few fighters over Berlin. Bad weather on the outward route also kept down the number of German fighters finding the bomber stream. 20 aircraft - 11 Lancasters, 9 Halifaxes - were lost, 2.8 per cent of the force. Berlin was again cloud-covered. The Bomber Command report claiming a concentrated attack on skymarkers is not confirmed by the local report. The heaviest bombing was in the southern and south-eastern districts but many bombs also fell to the east of the city.

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Lancaster – JB487

This machine was lost on its 11th operation. See below :-

03-Nov-43 – Dusseldorf – Lancaster – JB487 – F/S HT Griffin

10-Nov-43 – Modane – Lancaster – JB487 – F/S LJ Grigg

18-Nov-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB487 – F/S BB Lydon

22-Nov-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB487 – F/S L Young

23-Nov-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB487 – F/S L Young

26-Nov-43 -  Berlin – Lancaster – JB487 – F/O RF Griffin - Diverted to Croft because of bad visibility at base

02-Dec-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB487 – F/S HS Rathbone - Rear gunners hands frost bitten

03-Dec-43 – Leipzig – Lancaster – JB487 – P/O J Hart

16-Dec-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB487 – F/S HS Rathbone – Early return - Leak in oxygen supply

20-Dec-43 – Frankfurt – Lancaster – JB487 – F/S HT Griffin

23-Dec-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB487 – W/O LJ Grigg

29-Dec-43 – Berlin – Lancaster – JB487 – W/O LJ Grigg – FTR - Flak victim. Caused severe structural damage to the tailplane. Both port engines unserviceable. Crashed Mettingen, Germany.

Item compiled by David Fell

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