Flight Sergeant Phillip Matthews

Born 21 July 1920 in Ladywood Birmingham. He was employed as an insurance clerk prior to joining the royal air force. He enlisted on 1 October 1940 and was accepted for pilot training.

1 October 1940. He enlisted, volunteering for aircrew and was posted to RAF Cardington.

4 January 1941. No.4 Initial training Wing, RAF Blackpool.

8 June 1941. Posted to Albany, Georgia to commence pilot training.

19 July 1941. Posted to Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama.

13 September 1941. RCAF Trenton, Ontario.

26 December 1941. He returned to the UK.

23 July 1942. No.2 Signals school, RAF Yatesbury for Radio Operator training.

4 December 1942. No.61 maintenance Unit.

20 March 1943. 18 Initial Training Wing RAF Bridgenorth.

19 May 1943. No.2 Radio School. RAF Yatesbury.

23 August 1943. No.4 (O) Advanced Flying School. RAF West Fraugh.

5 October 1943. No.29 Operational Training Unit. RAF North Luffenham.

2 March 1944. 51 base, RAF Swinderby.

6 June 1944. Joined 61 squadron, RAF Skellingthorpe.

At 29 Operational Training Unit he would have "crewed up" with four others to form a 5 man crew on Wellingtons. At RAF Swinderby the crew wwere joined by 2 more crew, another air gunner and a flight engineer.

The full crew above and their regular aircraft shown below

On joining 61 squadron their first flight was 10/11 June 1944 to Orleans. P/O D E Stone had flown on 6/7 June as 2nd pilot on an operation to Argentan.

The operations that followed were;

  1. 10-11/06/44    Orleans                                LL911  QR-X             F/O DER Stone
  2. 12-13/06/44    Poitiers                                ND867 QR-V             F/O DER Stone
  3. 14-15/06/44    Aunay                                  ME732 QR-P            F/O DER Stone
  4. 15-16/06/44    Chatellerault                        ME732 QR-P            F/O DER Stone
  5. 19-20/09/44    Pas De-Calais                     ME732 QR-P            F/O DER Stone
  6. 04-05/07/44    St Leu D’Esserent               ME732 QR-P            F/L DER Stone
  7. 07-08/07/44    St Leu D’Esserent               ME732 QR-P            F/L DER Stone
  8. 14-15/07/44    Villeneuve St-George          ME732 QR-P            F/L DER Stone
  9.      18/07/44    Caen                                    ME732 QR-P            F/L DER Stone
  10. 18-19/07/44    Revigny                               ND902 QR-Z             F/L DER Stone
  11. 28-29/07/44    Stuttgart                               ME732 QR-P            F/L DER Stone
  12.      30/07/44    Cahagnes                            ME732 QR-P            F/L DER Stone
  13.      31/07/44    Joigny                                  ME732 QR-P            F/L DER Stone
  14.      01/08/44    Mont Candon                       ME732 QR-P            F/L DER Stone
  15.      02/08/44    Bois De-Casson                   ME732 QR-P            F/L DER Stone
  16.      05/08/44    St Leu D’Esserent                LL777  QR-S             F/L DER Stone
  17.      06/08/44    Bois De-Casson                   LL777  QR-S             F/L DER Stone
  18.      07/08/44    Sequeville                            LL777  QR-S             F/L DER Stone
  19. 25-26/08/44    Darmstadt                            LL911 QR-X              F/L DER Stone
  20. 26-27/08/44    Konigsberg                          LL911 QR-X              F/L DER Stone
  21. 29-30/08/44    Konigsberg                          LL911 QR-X              F/L DER Stone
  22. 05-06/09/44    Brest                                    ME732 QR-P            F/L DER Stone
  23. 19-20/09/44   Munchen Gladbach              ME732 QR-P            F/L DER Stone
  24. 23-24/09/44    Ladbergen – D.E Canal       ME732 QR-P            F/L DER Stone

---Failed to Return---

 

 

 

LADBERGEN TARGET MAP

 

RECONNAISANCE PHOTO 29 SEPTEMBER 1944 SHOWING THE DORTMUN-EMS CANAL AT LADBERGEN 

 

 

 

PHOTO SHOWING THE TARGET POST OP.

THE AIRCRAFT CAME DOWN IN THE TOWN OF ALMELO IN THE NETHERLANDS

The day after the disaster, this picture was taken. Firefighters search among the still smouldering debris for remains.

A few more years after the war, a desolate bald spot indicated the place where the bomber smashed into that dark night of war.

THE ORIGINAL GRAVES OF THOSE LOST

Sgt W F Ravenhill and Sgt A R Fellows were the only survivors. Ravenhill became a POW and Fellows evaded.