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[Home] [Profiles 103 Sqn N to Z] [William Nixon RAFVR and crew 103 Sqn]

F/L William Nixon RAFVR and crew – 103 Squadron – RAF Elsham Wolds – 1944

Failed to Return – 29/28th August 1944 – Avro Lancaster I – LM116 – Op Stettin

William Nixon was a Battle of Britain veteran and is commemorated on the BoB memorial. He joined the RAF in June 1940 and trained as a Radar Operator. He was posted to 23 Squadron, flying Blenheims from Middle Wallop, on 24th September 1940 and flew his first operational sortie on the 28th. He was later commissioned and trained as a pilot.

William Nixon and his crew were posted to 103 Squadron at RAF Elsham Wolds from Heavy Conversion Unit 11 Base on the 31st May 1944. This crew were lost on their 13th operation. Why they did not fly from late June until mid August is not known. Possibly some illness to the pilot. See below :-

06-Jun-44 – Vire – Lancaster – ME773 – F/L W Nixon

09-Jun-44 – Flers – Lancaster – ND990 – F/L W Nixon

12-Jun-44 – Gelsenkirchen – Lancaster – JB555 – F/L W Nixon

22-Jun-44 – Mimoyecques – Lancaster – LM177 – F/L W Nixon

23-Jun-44 – Saintes – Lancaster – LM177 – F/L W Nixon

25-Jun-44 – Flers - Lancaster – LM177 – F/L W Nixon

14-Aug-44 – Fontaine-le-Pin - Lancaster – LM272 – F/L W Nixon

15-Aug-44 - Le Culot - Lancaster – LM243 – F/L W Nixon

16-Aug-44 – Stettin - Lancaster – LM116 – F/L W Nixon

18-Aug-44 - Ertvelde Rieme - Lancaster – LM116 – F/L W Nixon

25-Aug-44 – Russelheim - Lancaster – LM116 – F/L W Nixon

26-Aug-44 – Kiel - Lancaster – LM116 – F/L W Nixon

29-Aug-44 – Stettin - Lancaster – LM116 – F/L W Nixon - FTR - Night fighter victim. Crashed at Karup plantation, Denmark.

Claim by Hptm Ernst-Wilhelm Modrow 1/NJG1 - (S-SW) Viborg (LT) near Grove: 3,000m at 03:51.The Lancaster caught fire and it crashed in a field near Karup killing all onboard. The Germans buried the remains of the crew on the crash site. In 1949 the RAF Missing research and Enquiry Unit excavated the crash site and found the remains of the crew. They were laid to rest in Kiel war Cemetery.


F/O William Nixon RAFVR - 23 - 103 Sqn - Son of William and Lily Nixon of Wishaw, Lanarkshire - Kiel War Cemetery, Germany

Sgt William Charles Sadler RAFVR - 37 - 103 Sqn - Son of Charley and Eliza Annie Sadler, husband of Irene Sadler of Worthing, Sussex - Kiel War Cemetery, Germany

Sgt Thomas Barton RAFVR – Air Bomber - 25 - 103 Sqn - Son of John and Rachel Barton; husband of Edna Barton of Platt Bridge, Lancashire -Kiel War Cemetery, Germany

F/O Charles Bernard Whitmore RAFVR – Navigator - 22 - 103 Sqn - Son of James William Whitmore, and of Teresa Whitmore of Ealing, Middlesex - Kiel War Cemetery, Germany

F/S Thomas Adcock RAAF – Wireless Operator / Air Gunner - 24 - 103 Sqn - Son of Thomas and Jessie Adcock, Mossman, Queensland, Australia - Kiel War Cemetery, Germany

Sgt Niel Graham McSporran RAFVR – Air Gunner - 22 - 103 Sqn - Son of John and Catherine Graham McSporran of Isle of Gigha - Kiel War Cemetery, Germany

Sgt Sidney Walpole Allen RAFVR – Air Gunner - 21 - 103 Sqn - Son of Horace Walpole Allen and Maud E. Walpole Allen of Cross Gates, Yorkshire - Kiel War Cemetery, Germany


Sgt William Charles Sadler RAFVR

Sgt Sadler was a former London Metropolitan Police Officer


29-Aug-44 - Stettin

103 Squadron detailed 17 aircraft for this attack on Stettin. All took off in poor weather with much low cloud and this persisted along most of the route. Until near the target which itself was quite clear. The target indicators were seen by most crews and it is believed were well placed and the bombing was concentrated around these. But as usual with incendiary loads the concentration tended to creep back as the attack progressed. Bombing was from between 16000 ft to 17000 ft. Defences consisted of a moderate heavy flak barrage with plenty of searchlight coning. There was a lot of fighter activity in some cases this extended to the Dutch coast. On the whole it was considered quite a successful attack. S/L Gane and P/O Sutton were attacked by fighters but were successful in evading without loss or damage. F/L Forbes and F/O Nixon are missing from this operation. All other aircraft returned and landed safely at base.

For this attack on the port of Stettin Bomber Command detailed a total of 402 Lancasters and 1 Mosquito of Nos 1,3, 6 and 8 Groups ordered to Stettin. 23 Lancasters lost, 5.7 per cent of the force. This was a successful raid, hitting parts of Stettin which had escaped damage in previous attacks.


Lancaster - LM116

This machine gave good service being lost on its 43 operation. It was the regular aircraft of F/O H M Hill RNZAF and crew who flew it for almost all their tour. Its first trip was in early June. See below :-

02-Jun-44 - Calais - Lancaster - LM116 - F/S HM Hill RNZAF

Compiled by David Fell. Thanks to John Jones for the background info.


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