LANCASTER EE138
460 SQUADRON RAAF

 

Aircraft code:  Unknown

Date: 4 September 1943

Mission: Bombing raid to Berlin.

Crash site: West of the village Stadil in Mid Jutland.

Crew:

Wt/O E. C. Carthew RAAF KIA
Sgt J. C. Coombes RAF KIA
F/O S. H. Forrester RAAF KIA
Sgt M. F. Jowett RAF KIA
S/L C. R. Kelaher RAAF Pilot KIA
Sgt A. Rolfe RAF KIA
Sgt E. C. Thirkettle RAF KIA
Wt/O C.R. Walsh RAAF KIA

 

Remarks: EE138 was shot down by a night fighter and went down in flames. It crashed west of the village of Stadil. Upon impact it exploded and completely destroyed the aircraft. In 1949 the mother of one of the crew members visited the scene. On that occasion locals decided to set up a memorial for the 8 airmen. The memorial was revealed on May 5th, 1950.

 

RAAF 460 Squadron Lancaster EE138 AR-E2 "Easy"

 

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CREW OF EE138

The crew of EE138 are all remembered at the RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey, United Kingdom. This Memorial overlooks the River Thames on Cooper's Hill at Englefield Green between Windsor and Egham on the A308, 4 miles from Windsor.

 

In Memory of

HERBERT FREEMAN JOWETT

Sergeant (1685619)
460 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who died on Saturday, 4th September 1943, age 20, son of Evelyne Jowett, and stepson of Frederick Lee, of Burnley, Lancashire.

Panel Number: 155.

 

In Memory of

CYRIL AUGUSTINE WALSH

Warrant Officer (401605)
Royal Australian Air Force, who died on Saturday, 4th September 1943, age 30, son of Maurice and Bridget Walsh, of Stonyford, Victoria, Australia.

Panel 191.

 

In Memory of

CARL RICHARD KELAHER

Squadron Leader, (267504), Royal Australian Air Force, who died on Saturday, 4th September 1943, age 30, son of Charles Frederic and Mary Kelaher; husband of Rosalie Phyllis Kelaher, of South Kensington, London.

Panel Number: 187.

 

In Memory of

EWIN GARTH CARTHEW

Warrant Officer, (407963), Royal Australian Air Force, who died on Saturday, 4th September 1943, age 21, son of Thomas Edgar and Florence Ethel Carthew, of Rendelsham, South Australia.

Panel Number 191

 

In Memory of

SIDNEY MILTON FORRESTER

Flying Officer, (416558), Royal Australian Air Force, who died on Saturday, 4th September 1943, age 22, son of Milton William Forrester, and of Elinor Jessie Forrester, of Highgate, South Australia.

Panel Number: 187

 

In Memory of

JOHN CRESSWELL COMBES

Sergeant, (1388894), 460 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who died on Saturday, 4th September 1943, age 23, son of Cresswell and Elizabeth Combes, of Bosham, Sussex.

Panel Number: 145.

 

In Memory of

ARTHUR ROLFE

Sergeant, (1681963), 460 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who died on Saturday, 4th September 1943.

Panel Number: 163.

 

In Memory of

ERNEST ALBERT CECIL THIRKETTLE

Sergeant, (1217817), 460 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who died on Saturday, 4th September 1943.

Panel Number: 166.

 

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Subject:    Lancaster's EE138 & ND420/PM-G
Date:             Thu, 21 Oct 1999 07:09:03 +0200
From:           Poul.Knudsgaard/Alpha@manbw.dk

 

21st September 1999

Dear Peter Dunn.

I have been studying your 460 Squadron homepage with great interest as I have been searching information's of the squadron's Lancaster EE138 that was shot down in 1943. I have seen you have the plane among you "Danish planes" and as this plane means something special to my family I want you to have the following information's:

On the night between 3rd and 4th September 1943 a burning Lancaster bomber (EE138) crashed close to the farm "Fuglbjerg" near the small village Stadil in the western part of Denmark, near the town Ringkøbing.

The plane was shot into fire by a German night fighter. Shortly after the Lancaster hit the ground and disappeared in the muddy banks of the fjord "Vest Stadil Fjord".

The place became graveyard for seven of the eighth man crew, while the remains (only one torso was found after the crash) of the last crew member is buried on the graveyard Svinø - without being identified (and not at Stadil cementary as you write in your homepage).

svino.jpg (23153 bytes)
Svino Church 1999

People who witnessed the crash say that there were a short "fire like" explosion and a huge "bump" which sounded more like a "splash" - a big thing hitting water - than an explosion. Even today you are able to see a lowering in the field in which you can make out a rough silhouette of an aircraft.

There wasn't many part left of the plane - the Germans did only need one small lorry to carry away the parts found on the ground - mainly tail parts.

The area has been drain since the war but even to day you can make out the contour of the plane where it went down in the muddy banks near the memorial stone.

My granddad, farmer Ingemann Halkjær, witnessed the fight in the air and later the same night he guided the Danish police and German soldiers to the site of the crash which was only a few hundred meter from the his farm.

As a preliminary memorial a group of locals including my granddad raised a simple wooden cross on the bank of the fjord. In 1949 he initiated a fund raising among the parishioner in Stadil after he had witnessed Mrs. Lee (the mother of H.F. Jowett) had visited the place and laid flowers on the "graveside" of her son. The target of the fund raising was to raise a memorial stone on the spot, that's now a protected historical spot on a field in the drained bottom of the Fjord.

The fund raising made it possible to reveal a memorial stone on the 5th May 1950 with the names of all crew menbers - the spelling on the stone are the spelling that was given my granddad from Mrs. Lee who had got them from the RAF.

Granddad died several years ago and my grandmother died a couple of years ago.

During the clearing of my grandparents house my mother and her brothers and sisters went through all my granddads correspondence with both relatives to the airmen and with different authorities. All these papers have now been given to the department of the Danish National museum which is taking care of the second world war.

Both my parents as well as I are very keen to keep the memory of the 8 men crew, and we try to collect enough information to write the full history of both the crew members and the plane.

A group of people headed by a Colonel Gram is now trying to get the War Graves Commission to make the site an official War Grave (In our opinion that's only fair as most of the crew still rests here).

We would appreciate any help that can help us find answers on the following questions:

* We would like to know the aircraft code AR-??. We have read that in the Pathfinder squadrons it was common practice to give the replacement plane the same code as the one it replaced. Could that be a possible way to identify the aircraft code of EE138 ?

* We would like to have as much information's of the crew as possible -personal information's as well as information's of the crews military career. We have listed our known information's below.

Sergeant H.F.Jowett born in England
Warant Officer (Bomb Aimer)Cyril Augustine Walsh born 26/6-1913 in Burrumbeer, Victoria, Aus.
Squadron Leader Carl Richard Kelaher (pilot) born 4/3-1913 in Sydney
Sergeant Ewin Garth Carthew born 25/5-1922 in Australia
Pilot Sydney Milton Forrester born 25/3-1921 in Australia
Sergeant J. or M.E. Crombs or Crombres (the spelling in 460 Squadron Operational Record Book) born in Canada (?)
Sergeant A.Ralfe or Rolfe ? born in England?
Sergeant E. Thirkettle born in England ?

* Any photos of EE138 and/or the individual crew members would be appreciated.

 

I have some photos of the crash site as it looks to day - if you are interested I can mail them to you.

Working with the history of the EE138 has brought us in contact with Mr. Ole Kraul of Horsens, Denmark who has been dedicated to the history of crashed Lancaster's in Denmark. Mr. Kraul has been awarded Hon. mbr. Aus. Air Force Association, VIC Div. since 1977.

As Mr. Kraul is not into computers he has asked me to mail you the letter below

Best regards

Poul Knudsgaard, Lundagervej 41, DK-9330 Dronninglund, Denmark
e-mail: pxk manbw.dk

 

**********************************************************************

 

Dear Peter Dunn

I am sending this hoping for your assistance in tracing a lady who could be residing in Brisbane or some where in QLD.

The reason is a wartime incident.

On 9/10 April 1944 a 103 Squadron Lancaster ND420/PM-G when returning from a mine laying operation to Danzig Bay was shot down by a night   fighter. It crashed into the hospital garden in the township of Brande, Central Jutland, Denmark. (3 Lancaster's of 460 Sqd. were lost over Jutland that night).

In the crew of seven in ND420 were 6 Australians and a Scotsman. Two of them, the airgunners, baled out to land safely.

Pilot of the Lancaster was:

P/O James Andrew Harold NIMMO, A401638.

After the war his father, Major General R.H.Nimmo, GCO Northern Command Headquarters, Victoria Barracks, Brisbane, wrote to rear gunner K. Clohessy, W.A. asking for information regarding the air fighting. He would be pleased if Clohessy could provide such as, quote: "that would be of great interest to me and also my daughter".

I would very much like if this daughter of general Nimmo can be found as since the un-veiling last April 10th on the 55th anniversary of a memorial stone on the crash site with names of the lost air crew and the publication of the ceremony that took place a personal item which belonged to Jim Nimmo has come to light.

The committee that collected the means and arranged the erection of the stone would very much like to obtain Nimmo's sisters address (or that of relatives) in order that this item (a wristwatch with the name Nimmo inscribed) will end in the hands of the family where it rightly belongs.

In the unfortunate case that none of the family can be traced this item will remain in the Brande museum where it is placed for safekeeping.

Please send any information to

Ole Kraul, Clarasvej 6B, DK8700 Horsens, Denmark
(Hon. mbr. Aus. Air Force Association, VIC Div. since 1977) or to Poul
Knudsgaard on his e-mail address: pxk@manbw.dk

 

**********************************************************************

 

Some additional information on the crew of
Lancaster ND420/PM-G of 103 Squadron

James Andrew Harold Nimmo Pilot
Keith F. Clohessy Rear Gunner
Jack Bernaldo from Malvern Bomb aimer
Thomas W. Bradley from Marrickville, NSW Navigator
Arthur Thomas Thornton from Port Melbourne, VIC Wireless Operator
James "Jock" Manderson Roberts from Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland Flight Engineer
John "Jack" Smith, 16 Garden St., Portland, VIC 3305 Mid upper gunner

I spoke to Keith F. Clohessy of 8/39 Angelo St., South Perth, WA 6151, on 25 October 1999. He has also been trying to locate the sister of the pilot, James Nimmo. Bill Moffat of the 460 Squadron Association was also able to assist me with the above crew information. Keith Clohessy's brother, Leo Clohessy from Cottesloe in Western Australia, was in 460 Squadron.

 

CAN ANYONE HELP ME LOCATE THE DAUGHTER OF
MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT HAROLD NIMMO AND JOAN MARGARET NIMMO?

 

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Subject:     EE138
Date:             Thu, 28 Oct 1999 09:22:45 +0200
From:             pxk@manbw.dk (Poul Knudsgaard)

Hello Peter.

Here's the photos of the crash site as it looks today.

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The path from the public road down to the crash site (it's an approx. 200 m walk)

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The memorial stone.

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This photo shows the depth of the "hole" where EE138 crashed

pxk04.jpg (112343 bytes)

This photo shows the distance to the farm - the farm in the right side of the photo - where my grandparents lived in 1943 (it's now owned by one of my uncles).

I have a copy of a newspaper article from a Rendelsham newspaper describing Carol Stiles and her husbands visit to the crashsite in 1981- so it's funny to her from her again. Is it ok with you if I mail to her directly ?

I like the new things you have on you 460 homepage - specially the report on the operations on 12. 07 1943 - are you planning to make the same on the Berlin raid 3-4 September 1943 ?

Do you know if G-George participated in the Berlin raid 3-4 september 1943.

Regards

Poul

 

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Subject:     Carthew
Date:              Sat, 23 Oct 1999 22:26:01 +0930
From:            "Carol Stiles" <cartiles@dove.net.au>

Dear Peter,

I now have a scanner and new computer but am still learning how to use them, and the Internet.

You can imagine my excitement when I found Poul Knudsgaard's letter on your site tonight! Now I have even more reason to get something done, having visited his grandparents in their farmhouse and partaken of some of his grandmother's freshly baked Danish cookies.

I have a family reunion coming up early next month however, and must give that first priority.

Yours sincerely
Carol Stiles

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Subject:    Re: carthew
Date:             Sun, 24 Oct 1999 21:00:51 +0930
From:           "Carol Stiles" <cartiles@dove.net.au>

Dear Peter,

Wonderful to hear from you.

Ewin Garth Carthew was my father's brother.

I wasn't born until May 5th, 1945 and so I never knew him, of course. It is a strange coincidence that the memorial near Stadil was actually unveiled on my birthday.

In fact this whole series of events which led to me finding that letter from Poul last night is rather weird! I think Ewin is out there somewhere directing the whole procedure!

I was interested to read that Poul's grandparents were both deceased. I expected that they would be by now but have often wondered about them since that brief meeting in 1981.

Even the timing of our visit to the crash site in Denmark in 1981 was uncanny - we never planned to be there on the anniversary of the crash but that is the way it turned out.

I had a sudden thought earlier today that it might be possible to find out now who actually shot that plane down. Some record would have been kept by the German authorities, would it not, of such an incident? I bear no malice towards whoever did the deed but would be interested to know a little of the fate of the person responsible and learn something of the other side of the story.

Actually, the family reunion I have coming up involves a distant relative (from a long forgotten branch of my mother's family) who is coming from Hamburg. He has told me a few details of what it was like to be on the 'other side' beneath those Lancasters!

Bye for the present,
Carol

 

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Subject:   Carthew
Date:           Wed, 27 Oct 1999 13:04:57 +0930
From:          "Carol Stiles" <cartiles@dove.net.au>

Gidday Peter,

I don't have his log book and have no idea if it exists but I will make enquiries. Unfortunately my father can't help as his memory is almost gone and there are few of Ewin's generation left. I phoned his cousin Bob Foster this morning and Bob is most interested in your project. He has given me the phone number of Ewin's fiancee in Adelaide and I will contact her when I get the chance but it might take a while for me to explain what I want and gain her co-operation.

Sincerely,
Carol

 

W.O. Ewin Garth CARTHEW (6/5/1922 - 4/9/1943)

Ewin Garth CARTHEW was born on May 26, 1922 in Mrs Mott’s Lying-in-home on Williams Road, Millicent, in the South East of South Australia. He was the youngest of the four children born to Thomas ‘Tom’ Edgar CARTHEW and his wife Florence ‘Floss’ Ethel, nee FOSTER, both of whom were from large pioneering families of Rendelsham, near Millicent.

Ewin grew up in Rendelsham with his older brothers Harold and Geof. (His other brother, Ross, had died in infancy.) The three Carthew boys all attended the Rendelsham Primary School, with Harold and Geof leaving at the completion of grade seven and having gained their Qualifying Certificates. Ewin was one of the few students at Rendelsham in those years able to access secondary education, which he did at Unley High School whilst boarding in Young Street, Parkside with his mother’s sister, a teacher at Unley High at that time.

After leaving school, Ewin worked for a time as a telegram delivery boy before eventually gaining employment in the Commercial Department of the ‘The Advertiser’ newspaper where he showed great promise. He left ‘The Advertiser’ to enlist in the R.A.A.F., made outstanding progress there as a navigator, and was posted to Great Britain.

Sadly, he was killed in action during the night of September 3/4, 1943 whilst returning from his first mission, a night bombing raid on Berlin. The Lancaster aircraft in which he was flying was engaged in air battle and crashed in flames in marshy ground at Stadil near Ringkjobing in Jutland, Denmark, exploding on impact. There were few remains recovered from the crash site at the time by the Germans and it was not possible to identify the one body recovered from the wreckage and subsequently interred in the Svino cemetery.

No definite news of Ewin’s fate, other than that he was posted missing, was heard by his parents until about five years after the crash. Then, on April 28, 1948, an official letter was sent to Ewin’s father from the Casualty Section, Department of Air, Melbourne, advising them of a report received from the Missing, Research and Enquiry Service operating in Denmark. This report told of the circumstances of the crash and stated that there were no survivors from the crew. Besides his grieving family, Ewin left a young fiancee in Adelaide mourning her loss.

Several years on, Ewin’s father received another official letter from the Department of Air, Melbourne. This letter, dated June 28, 1950, advised that a memorial erected by the residents of Stadil to the memory of Ewin and his fellow crew members had been unveiled on May 5, 1950.

Over the years Ewin’s mother corresponded with several of the other boys’ mothers, both in Australia and England, and also with folk in Denmark She even sent bulbs from her garden by air to be planted at the memorial.

On September 4th, 1981 the crash site near Stadil and its memorial to the eight deceased airmen was visited by four of Ewin’s relatives, namely his sister-in-law Heather, together with Heather’s daughter Carol (Ewin’s niece) and Carol’s husband Tony and their daughter Kerryl (Ewin’s grand niece). Through an interpreter the visitors were able to speak with the elderly farmer Halkjaer and his wife who witnessed the crash and on whose property the plane came down. They were told that almost every year someone arrived seeking the memorial but that this was the first visit from any member of Ewin’s family and he was the last of the eight airmen to have relatives visit the site.

Carol Stiles (27/10/1999)

 

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Subject:    Carthew
Date:             Sat, 30 Oct 1999 20:36:33 +0930
From:           "Carol Stiles" <cartiles@dove.net.au>

Dear Peter,

I have just spoken on the phone to a niece of Warrant Officer Cyril Walsh, one of the airmen who lost his life along with my uncle Ewin Carthew. His niece was delighted to hear about your site and will get her aunt Dorothy to contact me. In fact, Dorothy had been talking about Cyril just the other day and actually had a photo of him in her car at the time.

I have also spoken to Miss Yvonne Hemmings, who was Ewin's fiancee. She doesn't have any documentary material to offer but was able to tell me a few more personal details about Ewin and their relationship, which is of interest to me for my family history.

I then rang a lady I had corresponded with briefly regarding another matter ten years ago. As she is a Mrs Forrester, I had asked her at the time whether she was related to Sydney A Forrester and she had replied that he was her husband's cousin. After much hunting I found her reply (of Oct 1989), and hence her address, and looked up her phone number. She was able to give me the address of F/O Sydney A Forrester's sister in Adelaide. I have written to her telling her about the Squadron 460 site.

I realise you may have information already regarding Cyril Walsh and Sydney Forrester but I was interested to contact the families anyway, because we could well have information of interest to each other.

Do you have access to the R.A.A.F. Service Records? I sent for my mother's records yonks ago (soon after her death on March 29th this year) and still haven't received anything but I'm sure they'll turn up in the fullness of time. If you want me to I could send for Ewin's, as well - just wish I had at the same time I wrote off for my mother's.

Keep up the good work,
Carol

 

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Subject:   Carthew
Date:           Sat, 30 Oct 1999 22:25:32 +0930
From:          "Carol Stiles" <cartiles@dove.net.au>

Gidday Peter,

No Peter, I guess she just never found anyone to replace Ewin. After all, she waited five years for news of his fate. She said that she didn't receive any official correspondence whatsoever - she supposed as she and Ewin were not officially married, just engaged, she didn't count. It was my grandfather who sent a telegram to let her know he was missing. We laughed when I assured her that I had noticed the official correspondence was addressed to Mr. Carthew too, and not Mr & Mrs. Seems even his mother didn't count! I guess Ewin had named his father as his next of kin and that was that.

I had never spoken to Yvonne before but I knew who she was because my grandparents, father and uncle spoke of her often and always kept in touch. I said I hoped I hadn't upset her with my phone call and she assured me that I hadn't. It was all so long ago she said and she hadn't thought much about it for years - that is, until she visited the War Memorial in Canberra a few years back. She saw the "G" For George display and began to read the information. Suddenly she was very much aware that this plane had flown on the same night Ewin's had, but this one had come home while Ewin's had not.

She added that she had been very upset quite recently too, when her house had been broken into. The only two things stolen were a couple of rings. One was a relatively new dress ring of no sentimental value and easily replaced from insurance money, but the other was her irreplaceable diamond engagement ring. She said she guessed she was a bit silly, being upset about it after all these years, but it was all she had left from that period of her life. I, for one, can understand the hurt she felt - it nearly had me in tears!

Before we hung up, Yvonne asked me whether I knew how many missions Ewin had flown over enemy territory. She said she couldn't remember ever being told. She knew he had flown over France on one occasion dropping leaflets.

I hope you found it of some interest,

Carol

 

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Subject:   Aussie monuments in Denmark.
Date:           Thu, 18 Nov 1999 19:46:33 +1100
From:          "Brian Olesen" <brianol@compassnet.com.au>

Hi, Peter,

Your web site with the 460 Squadron Lancasters is very interesting.

I returned 2 months ago from a holiday to my country of birth, Denmark.

As a member of the local RSL sub Branch in Epping (Sydney), I have become interested in the fates of Australians who were shot down over Denmark, and especially the memorials set all over the country to the bravery of the allied fliers, who died there. Consequently I visited as many of these monuments and also most of ther war graves, as possible. I can tell you, that I stood at the Stadil monument 3 months ago. Your mention of the crew (of EE-138) being buried in the local cemetery is incorrect, I am afraid. There was literally nothing left to collect and bury, according to eyewitnesses, one of whom I spoke to. Maybe - some of the crew lies deep in part of the wreckage, which sank out of sight in the marshy country. The stone, which bears the names of the crew, also acts as a headstone, according to Anders Bjørnvad, whom I also met.

I am at the moment working on a presentation for our local branch, showing photos of most of the monuments which bear Australian names, and of the various war graves and cemeteries, where Australian airmen are buried. There are approximately 75 Australian graves; 4-5 contain unknown Australian airmen.

Regards

Brian Olesen
+61 2 9484 6224

 

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Subject:   Lancaster EE-138
Date:           13 February 2000
From:          "Brian Olesen" <brianol@compassnet.com.au>

Hi, Peter

I have just learned, that there are moves afoot in Denmark to have the Commonwealth War Graves Commission declare the site and memorial for Lancaster EE138, at Stadil in North-Wewst Jutland, an official War Grave.

Regards Brian

Brian Olesen

 

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CARL RICHARD KELAHER
I received a phone call from a George Milne in Sydney, Australia (Ph. +61-2-9879 6150) on 19 February 2000, seeking more information on Squadron Leader Carl Richard Kelaher. Can anyone help? Please let me know as well.

 


 

Subject:     460 Squadron
Date:              Wed, 2 Aug 2000 09:31:32 +1000
From:            "John Walsh" <kuringai@gatewaybbs.com.au>

Dear Peter,

John Walsh here I'm a nephew of Cyril Walsh a crew member of EE 138 shot down in Stadil Sept. 1943. On Anzac day this year I with my wife and my Auntie (84yrs), Cyril's sister visited the crash/grave site. We were given a wonderful reception by the people of Ringkobing, Stadil and surrounding district, the story being covered by the press and TV. We would like to add the story to the web page but I'm having locating it . Not sure if I have the right address etc ,and hope you can help me with this. Thanking you ,

Regards John .

 

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This page first produced 10 January 1998

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