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[Home] [Profiles 103 Sqn N to Z] [Stan Slater DSO OBE DFC]

S/L S Slater DSO DFC RAFVR and crew - 103 Squadron/576 Squadron – RAF Elsham Wolds – 1944/45

Failed to Return - 12/13th March 1945 -Avro Lancaster I - ME449 - Op Minelaying Kullen Sound.

103 Squadron - Slater

Above photo courtesy of Daily Telegraph Obit.

Stan was a Yorkshireman born and bred. Born 29th Sept 1921 in Doncaster and lived much of his early life in the village of Ridgeway near Sheffield. Pre war he was an apprentice chemist before joining the RAF in 1940. He trained as a pilot in the USA under the Arnold Scheme before returning to the UK as a Sgt pilot.

After further training at OTU and HCU he joined 100 Sqdn in March 1943 and completed his first tour of operations in 12 weeks - 27 operations in all. During this period Stan was commissioned and awarded a DFC for his determination and skill in pressing home his attacks.

He spent 6 months as an instructor with an HCU before returning to operations with 576 Sqn at Elsham Wolds in Feb 1944. He completed his second tour of 31 ops at the end of Sept 1944. Rather a long second tour. During his time with 576 Sqn he was promoted to Squadron Leader in charge of B Flight. On completion of his second tour Stan was awarded the DSO.

He was posted to the 13 Base staff also at Elsham Wolds but in March 1945 volunteered to fly with 103 Sqdn on a mine laying operation in the Kattegat off the Danish and Swedish coast. During this operation they were attacked by a German night fighter which killed both gunners and set the aircraft on fire. Stan and the rest of his crew were able to escape from their doomed Lancaster by parachute.

On landing in Denmark Stan was hidden for several days members of the Danish Resistance a farm and then moved to a safe house in Copenhagen where he was reunited with his wireless operator W/O T Fairclough. At this time they witnessed the daring low level raid by RAF Mosquito bombers on the Gestapo Headquarters in the city. Shortly after this the 2 airmen were were taken by boat to Sweden and safety.

103 Squadron - Slater and Anna

Pictured above Anna Mork nee Kavel ( second left ) and Stan Slater with 2 other Danish friends in 2002

Former 576 and 103 Sqdn pilot Stan Slater recently had the pleasure of entertaining Anna Mork and her daughter during their recent 4 day visit to the UK. As Anna Korvel she was the first English speaking person that he met in Denmark after being shot down in March 1945.

He was given shelter at a farm and the farmer's wife contacted Anna's father who was an active member of the Danish Resistance. After coming to the farm during the day he returned with Anna that night and took Stan to their home in Olgod. There he met up with his wireless operator, W/O T Fairclough. They stayed at the Korvel's for 2 days and were provided with, not only food and accommodation, but civilian clothes and false identity cards. Helped by various members of the Danish Resistance they traveled to Copenhagen and finally to Sweden and then back to Elsham Wolds 3 weeks after being shot down.

Whilst in Copenhagen Stan had a grandstand view of the RAF Mosquito raid on the Shell Mex building occupied by the Gestapo where many Danish resistance members were held prisoner and were able to escape as a result of the attack.

Anna and her family also helped Stan's flight engineer who they hid for 10 days. After the war Stan visited the Korvel family and it was only then he learned that, at the time of his evasion, German soldiers were billeted in the basement of the house. This cover enabled the Korvel's to help continue their resistance activities without arousing suspicion.

Anna and her father received commendations from General Eisenhower on behalf of the President of the USA and her father also received a commendation from the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force. “

Post war Stan enjoyed a varied and distinguished career in the RAF. He was awarded the OBE in 1960 and rose to the rank of Group Captain before retiring from the RAF in 1970.

Stan enjoyed a long, active and happy retirement and retained a keen interest in the RAF Elsham Wolds Assn through which I was fortunate enough to meet and have the most interesting and pleasant correspondence with him on occasions.

Stan has left quite a footprint on the internet. See the following links.

Stan’s full Daily Telegraph Obituary here

Ridgeway Village History page here

231 Squadron Assn page here

Air War over Denmark page here

Shot Down In Denmark site here

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S/L S Slater RAFVR – 103 Sqn - Evaded

Sgt K Foster – 103 Sqn - Evaded

P/O M H Bertie RAAF – 103 Sqn - Evaded

F/O H A S Mitchell RAAF – 103 Sqn - Evaded

W/O T Fairclough RAFVR – 103 Sqn - Evaded

F/S Harvey James Porter RAAF – Air Gunner - 20 – 103 Sqn - Son of John James Porter and Stella May Porter of Five Dock, New South Wales, Australia - Tarm Isolated Graves

Sgt Donald Morris RAFVR – Air Gunner – 20 – 103 Sqn - Son of George William and Alice Lilian Morris of Rotherham, Yorkshire - Tarm Isolated Graves

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12-Mar-45 - Kattegat

103 Squadron detailed 5 aircraft for this minelaying operation. All took off safely in fair weather. F/L Holland had to return early due to H2S radar failure. On arrival in the “Garden “ it was found to be quite clear and our aircraft successfully laid their mines by H2S radar. All aircraft laid their mines from 12000 ft. Quite a number of fighters were seen and aircraft were seen to go down in the gardening area. S/L Slater is missing from this operation. The remaining aircraft landed safely at base.

There was no Main Force attack on the 12/13th March 1945. For the minor operations this night Bomber Command detailed 81 Mosquitos to Berlin and 3 each to Halle, Magdeburg and Stendal, 2 Radio Counter Measure sorties, 16 Lancasters and 3 Halifaxes minelaying in the Kattegat. 3 Lancaster minelayers lost.

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Lancaster - ME449

This machine was lost on its 18th operation.

28-Jan-45 - Stuttgart/Zuffenhausen - Lancaster - ME449 – F/O RA Dobson

01-Feb-45 - Ludwigshafen - Lancaster - ME449 – F/O JA Laviolette RCAF

02-Feb-45 - Wiesbaden - Lancaster - ME449 - F/O JA Laviolette RCAF

03-Feb-45 - Bottrop - Lancaster - ME449 - F/L DA Newman RCAF

07-Feb-45 - Kleve - Lancaster - ME449 - F/O JA Laviolette RCAF

08-Feb-45 - Politz - Lancaster - ME449 - F/O JA Laviolette RCAF

13-Feb-45 - Dresden - Lancaster - ME449 -  F/O JA Laviolette RCAF

14-Feb-45 -  Kadet Channel - Lancaster - ME449 - F/L CH Short RCAF

15-Feb-45 - Aarhus Bay - Lancaster - ME449 - F/O LE Morgan RCAF

20-Feb-45 - Dortmund - Lancaster - ME449 - F/O JA Laviolette RCAF

21-Feb-45 - Duisburg - Lancaster - ME449 - F/O JA Laviolette RCAF

23-Feb-45 - Pforzheim - Lancaster - ME449 - F/O JA Laviolette RCAF

01-Mar-45 - Mannheim - Lancaster - ME449 - F/O JA Laviolette RCAF

02-Mar-45 - Cologne - Lancaster - ME449 - F/O JA Laviolette RCAF - Hit by flak. Flight Engineer injured.

07-Mar-45 - Dessau - Lancaster - ME449 - F/O JA Laviolette RCAF

08-Mar-45 - Kassel - Lancaster - ME449 - F/O JA Laviolette RCAF

11-Mar-45 - Essen - Lancaster - ME449 - F/O JA Laviolette RCAF

12-Mar-45 - Kattegat - Lancaster - ME449 - S/L SA Slater - FTR - Night

fighter victim. Crashed at Lyne 8km S of Tarn, Denmark.

Acknowledgements - The late Stan Slater for the photos and excellent background info. Plus Daily Telegraph for the obit. Item written up and compiled by David Fell

 

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* 1st December 2023 - Photos of F/L Jacob t'Hart DFC and bar

1st December 2023 - Bremen – 2/3rd July 1942

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1st November 2023 - Billie - Lancaster - W4364 - 103 Squadron

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* 1st August 2023 - Defensive Armament - 103 Squadron and 576 Squadron

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1st August 2023 - Numerous additions and updates throughout the site

Also of local RAF Bomber Command interest are the

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