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[Home] [Profiles 103 Sqn A to M] [Leslie Kilvington and crew 103 Sqn 156 Sqn]

F/Lt Leslie Kilvington DFC RAAF and crew - 103 Squadron / 156 Squadron - 1943/44

Compiled by Graham Stacey

The Kilvington crew were posted to 103 Squadron at RAF Elsham Wolds from 1656 HCU on 28 July 1943.

This crew consisted of:

F/O L. Kilvington RAAF - Pilot

Sgt C. Rogers RAFVR - Flight Engineer

F/O A. Muggeridge RNZAF - Air Bomber

F/O F.C.W. Healey RAAF - Navigator

Sgt B.H. Heasman RAFVR - Wireless Operator

Sgt S. Galley RAFVR - Air Gunner

F/O T. R. Thomson RAFVR - Air Gunner

103 Squadron Kilvington crew

Above in RAAF dark blue uniforms Kilvington extreme left and Healey extreme right

The crew flew unchanged for 12 Ops with 103 as follows:

Ops 103 Squadron

2 - 3 Aug 1943  Hamburg Lancaster III LM332

9 - 10 Aug 1943  Mannheim Lancaster III LM332

10 - 11 Aug 1943  Nuremberg Lancaster III ED913

12 - 13 Aug 1943  Milan Lancaster III ED913

15 - 16 Aug 1943  Milan Lancaster III ED913

17 - 18 Aug 1943  Peenemunde Lancaster III LM314

22 - 23 Aug 1943  Leverkusen Lancaster III LM314

23 - 24 Aug 1943  Berlin Lancaster III LM314

30 - 31 Aug 1943  Berlin Lancaster III ED713

3 - 4 Sep 1943  Berlin Lancaster III DV221

5 - 6 Sep 1943  Mannheim Lancaster III DV221 - Combat. Attacked by a twin engined night fighter. Gunners replied. No claim made

6 - 7 Sep 1943  Munich Lancaster III DV221

Kilvington’s crew were posted to 156 Squadron RAF Warboys on 13 September 1943

The crew flew 18 ops with 156 and were unchanged apart from 2 Ops *

22 Sep 1943  Hanover Lancaster III JA921

23 Sep 1943  Darmstadt Lancaster III JA912

27 Sep 1943  Brunswick Lancaster III JA912

29 Sep 1943  Bochum Lancaster III JA975

2 Oct 1943  Munich Lancaster III JA712

3 Oct 1943  Kassel Lancaster III JA912

7 Oct 1943  Stuttgart Lancaster III JA975 *  Sgt Galley replaced by W/O W. J. Love

8 Oct 1943  Bremen Lancaster III JA975 *  Sgt Galley replaced by Sgt S. Miller

3 Nov 1943  Cologne Lancaster III JB293

10 Nov 1943  Modane Lancaster III JA925

26 Nov 1943  Berlin Lancaster III JB483

3 Dec 1943  Leipzig Lancaster III JA921

16 Dec 1943  Berlin Lancaster III JB479

20 Dec 1943  Mannheim Lancaster III JA425

23 Dec 1943  Berlin Lancaster III JB479

14 Jan 1944  Brunswick Lancaster III JA912

20 Jan 1944  Berlin Lancaster III JA912

21 Jan 1944  Madeburg Lancaster III JA912 – Failed to Return

….......

Final Mission

Kilvington’s crew took off at 19:52 hours on 21 Jan 1944 from Warboys. They were once again flying a Lancaster III numbered JA912 and this was their 6th mission in this plane.  The target was Magdeburg.

Somewhere near Magdeburg shortly before 23:00 hours, they were attacked by a JU88 night fighter, which caused damage and a fire in port engines and mainplain. Kilvington ordered the men to abandon the aircraft and this was acknowledged by all the crew. According to F/Lt Healey, Engineer F/Sgt Rogers and Bomb Aimer F/Lt Muggeridge were the first to bale out, followed by Healey himself. Skipper F/Lt Kilvington, WOP F/Sgt Heasman, Mid Upper Gunner F/Sgt Galley and Rear Gunner F/Lt Thomson were still in the aircraft when Healey baled out but must have left shortly after as they all successfully parachuted to the ground. The aircraft crashed approximately 30 miles north west of Magdeburg.

Ju 88 C night fighter

Pictured is a Ju 88 C-6 night fighter

The night fighter pilot Major Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein of the Stab/NJG 2, who was flying Ju 88 C-6 R4+XM from Deelen airfield in the Netherlands.

In return, rear gunner F/Lt. T.R. Thompson, who was wounded, managed to bring down the attacker, although later reports also attribute the Ju 88 ’s demise to a Mosquito DZ203 flown by F/Sgt Snape. No claim was made by any Mosquito’s in the area and the likelihood of Mosquito’s entering the bomber stream, where they might get attacked by “friendly fire”, seems to cast doubt on this.

Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein was at the time the Jachtnacht’s top scoring pilot and JA912 was his 5th victim of the night and his 83rd claim in total. However, this was to be his final claim as he died soon after when his Ju88 crashed at Lubars (Source: T Boiten, Nachtjadg War Diaries)

He was still the 3rd highest night fighter by the end of the war.

….......

Of the captured Lancaster crew:

Kilvington, Healey & Thomson became POWs at Stalag Luft L3, Sagan, Lower Silesia

Heasman & Galley became POWs at Stalag 4B Muhlberg, Germany

Muggeridge was also captured but POW Camp is unknown.

Leslie Kilvington

103 Squadron Kilvington

Kilvington newspaper cutting

From Sydney Daily Mirror, reporting on his being missing.

Frederick Charles William Healey 412064

156 Squadron Healey ID pics

With thanks to Graham Stacey for his research, presentation and submission

..........

Biographical Footnotes

Kilvington Crew Bio Details

Leslie Kilvington

Date of birth – 11 March 1923. Place of birth – Liverpool, England

Place of enlistment - Sydney - Next of Kin – Ernest Kilvington – Wallasey - Father. Mrs G

Arrundale - Parramata, NSW – Relationship “ Adoptive mother “

Enlisted – 26 August 1941

Embarked – Canada 24 April 1942

Further details as known shown above

Alfred Muggeridge NZ 421751

Date of birth - 1920. Place of birth - Hawera, Taranaki, NZ

Address before enlistment Patea, Hauraki Plains, New Zealand

Training - Royal Canadian Air Force, No. 4 Bombing and Gunnery School, Fingal, Ontario

Course 1: Class 62. Graduation Date: 4/12/1942.

Royal Canadian Air Force, No. 10 Air Observer School, Chatham, New Brunswick

Embarkation details - WW2 Vessel was MS John Ericsson

Further details as known shown above

DFC gazetted 5 June 1945 with effect from 20 January 1944

Death - 3 December 1997 - Whakatane, Eastern Bay of Plenty

Frederick Charles William Healey 412064

Date of birth - 25 Feb 1909, Place of birth – Brentford, England. Occupation – Radio Engineer

Place of enlistment - Sydney - Next of Kin – Stella Healey – wife. Two children – Graeme William and Barbara Joan born in 1936 and 1937 respectively

Postings Australia – 1 ITS June 1941, 2 WAGS August 1941, 2 ITS February 1942, 1 AOS April 1942, 1 BAGS July 1942, 1 ANS September 1942, IED October 1942,

Embarkation Melbourne November 1942.

Disembarked UK December 1942

Postings UK – RAAF PRC December 1942, EFTS RAF Shellingford April 1943.

Further details as known shown above.

Liberated - 2nd British Army 2 May 1945

Repatriation – 11 PORC May 1945, 2 PD and 2 MRU October 1945, 2 PD October 1945

Types flown :- Anson, Rapide, Battle, DC3, Tiger Moth, Wellington, Halifax and Lancaster

Hours flown – Training – 236 hours 50 minutes. Operational – 248 hours 25 minutes.

DFC Citation :-

“Acting Flight Lieutenant Frederick Charles William Healey ( Aus 412064 ) No 156 Squadron

As navigator this officer has completed numerous operations against the enemy, in the course of which he has invariably displayed the utmost skill, courage and devotion to duty.”

Info from the Australian and New Zealand War Archives

....................

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