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Hutchinson, Robert Anthony (Sergeant)

Killed in Action 1944-01-14

Male Head

Age: 20

Son of Robert and Beatrice Hutchinson

Husband of Margaret Hutchinson, of Croxley Green, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire

Home: Croxley Green, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, England

432 (B) Sqn- Squadron
Saeviter Ad Lucem (Ferociously toward the light)
East Moor
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Air Gunner (Mid-Upper)
Service Numbers

Lancaster Mk.II DS850

Bombing Brunswick Germany 1944-January-14 to 1944-January-14

496 Lancasters and 2 Halifaxes on the first major raid to Brunswick of the war. 38 Lancasters Jost, 7ยท6 per cent of the force. The German running commentary was heard following the progress of the bomber force from a position only 40 miles from the English coast and many German fighters entered the bomber stream soon after the German frontier was crossed near Bremen. The German fighters scored steadily until the Dutch coast was crossed on the return flight. Ir of the lost aircraft were Pathfinders.

Brunswick was smaller than Bomber Command's usual targets and this raid was not a success. The city report describes this only as a 'light' raid, with bombs in the south of the city which had only ro houses destroyed and 14 people killed. Most of the attack fell either in the countryside or in Wolfenbiittel and other small towns and villages well to the south of Brunswick.

source: The Bomber Command War Diaries, Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt

Lancaster BII aircraft DS 850 QO-M, was hit by flak, while engaged in an operation against targets in Brunswick, Germany. The flak caused much structural damage to the aircraft and ruptured fuel tanks in the wings. The order to abandon the aircraft was given in the vicinity of Rheine and the Lancaster crashed on the Engdener Wuste, Moor east of Nordhorn, Lower Saxony, Germany

Sgt JH Aplin (RAFVR)(AUS) and Sgt RA Hutchinson (RAFVR) were killed in action

F/L GH Rainville DFM (RCAF), FS GC Pike (RCAF), F/L CV Wales (RCAF), FS JS Evans (RAFVR), FS WJT Garvey (RAFVR) and Sgt ALJ Thomas (RAFVR) all survived and were taken as Prisoners of War

POW information regarding Sgt Garvey and Sgt Thomas is not known to date

Footprints on the Sands of Time, RAF Bomber Command Prisoners of War in Germany 1939-45 by Oliver Clutton-Brock

General Aviation Safety Network

General Aircraft accidents in Yorkshire

Sgt Hutchinson had been mid-upper gunner on 432 Squadron Lancaster DS 832 QO-K on 1944-12-16/17, the "Black Night" operation to Berlin, Germany that lost over forty aircraft and many aircrews due to poor weather conditions and fog over the UK when they returned. Sgt Hutchinson's aircraft had been diverted to RAF Leeming but ran out of fuel and the crew baled out before the Lancaster crashed at Danby, England. The entire crew survived

International Bomber Command Centre International Bomber Command Centre

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Canada Primary Source Library and Archives Canada Service Files (may not exist)

Sergeant Robert Anthony Hutchinson was exhumed and reburied.

Crew on Lancaster Mk.II DS850

Previous Events

1943-12-17 Sergeant - Survived

Lancaster Mk.II DS832      QORAF RoundelK

432 (B) Sqn (RCAF)

Take-off: 16:57:00

Target: Berlin Germany

Lancaster Mk.II DS832

Bombing Berlin Germany 1943-December-16 to 1943-December-17

483 Lancasters and I0 Mosquitoes on the main raid and 5 further Mosquitoes dropped decoy fighter flares south of Berlin.

The bomber route again led directly to Berlin across Holland and Northern Germany and there wore no major diversions, The German controllers plotted the the course of the bombers with great accuracy; many German fighters were met T the coast of Holland and further fighters were guided on to the bomber stream throughout the approach to the target. More fighters were waiting at the target and there were many combats. The bombers shook off the opposition on the return flight by taking a northerly route over Denmark. 25 Lancasters, 5.2 per cent of the Lancaster force, were lost. Many further aircraft were lost on returning to England (see later paragraph).

Berlin was cloud-covered but the Pathfinder sky-marking was reasonably accurate and much of the bombing fell in the city. The local report says that the raid hit no identifiable aiming point but the central and eastern districts were hit more than other areas. Little industrial damage was caused; most of the bombing hit housing and railways. Conflicting figures on the number of dead are given; the overall tot may be 720, of which 279 were foreign workers - 186 women, 65 men and 28 youths 70 of these foreigners - all from the East - were killed when the train in which they were travelling was bombed at the Halensee Station. In the city centre, the National Theatre and the building housing Germany's military and political archives were both destroyed. The damage to the Berlin railway system and to rolling stock, and the large numbers of people still leaving the city, were having a cumulative effect upon the transportation of supplies to the Russian Front; 1000 wagon-loads of war material were held up for 6 days. The sustained bombing had now made more than a quarter of Berlin's total living accommodation unusable.

On their return to England, many of the bombers encountered very low cloud at their bases. The squadrons of 1, 6 and 8 Groups were particularly badly affected. Lancasters (and a Stirling from the minelaying operation) either crashed or were abandoned when their crews parachuted. The group with heaviest losses was 1 Group with 13 aircraft lost; the squadron with heaviest losses was 97 Squadron, 8 Group with 7 aircraft lost. There is a little confusion in Bomber Command records over aircrew casualties but it is probable that 148 men were killed in the crashes, 39 were injured and 6 presumed lost in the sea.

source: The Bomber Command War Diaries, Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt

Lancaster BII aircraft DS 832 QO-K returning from an operation to Berlin, Germany encountered poor weather conditions and heavy fog over England. The aircraft was directed north to RAF Leeming but, unable to locate Leeming and out of fuel, the aircraft was abandoned by the crew over Castleton, England. The Lancaster crashed in a peat bog north of Danby, Yorkshire

F/O HB Hatfield (RCAF), F/L JA Allen (RCAF), F/O JL Higgs (RCAF), F/O GJ Smith (RCAF), P/O GM McGregor (RCAF), Sgt AC Phillips (RAF), Sgt WH Poole (RAF) and Sgt RA Hutchinson (RAFVR) all survived the crash with various injuries. F/O Hatfield with a broken leg and Sgt Poole with serious injuries suffered exiting the bomber. The other crew members with minor or no injuries

There were two 432 Squadron Lancaster II aircraft lost on this operation. Please see Turner, HA for information on Lancaster DS 831 QO-N

Black Night for Bomber Command, The Tragedy of 16 December 1943 by Richard Knott

General The night of the Intruders

General Lancaster DS832

Sgt Hutchinson would be killed in action 1944-01-14 on 432 Squadron Lancaster II aircraft DS 850 QO-M on an operation to Brunswick, Germany

Others on the Aircraft

1943-12-17 RCAF Flight Lieutenant John Allardyce Allen Survived 2023-01-27
1943-12-17 RCAF Flying Officer Hubert Baker Hatfield Survived 2023-01-27
1943-12-17 RCAF Joseph Layton Higgs Survived 2023-01-27
1943-12-17 RCAF Pilot Officer Alexander Morvan McGregor Survived 2023-01-27
1943-12-17 RAF Alfred Clarence Phillips Survived 2023-01-27
1943-12-17 RAF William Henry Poole Survived 2023-01-27
1943-12-17 RCAF Flight Lieutenant George John Smith DFC, CG w/palm (Belgium) Survived 2023-01-27

Avro Lancaster

Avro Lancaster Mk. X RCAF Serial FM 213
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

The Avro Lancaster is a British Second World War heavy bomber. It was designed and manufactured by Avro as a contemporary of the Handley Page Halifax, both bombers having been developed to the same specification, as well as the Short Stirling, all three aircraft being four-engined heavy bombers adopted by the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the same wartime era.

The Lancaster has its origins in the twin-engine Avro Manchester which had been developed during the late 1930s in response to the Air Ministry Specification P.13/36 for a capable medium bomber for "world-wide use". Originally developed as an evolution of the Manchester (which had proved troublesome in service and was retired in 1942), the Lancaster was designed by Roy Chadwick and powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlins and in one version, Bristol Hercules engines. It first saw service with RAF Bomber Command in 1942 and as the strategic bombing offensive over Europe gathered momentum, it was the main aircraft for the night-time bombing campaigns that followed. As increasing numbers of the type were produced, it became the principal heavy bomber used by the RAF, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and squadrons from other Commonwealth and European countries serving within the RAF, overshadowing the Halifax and Stirling. Wikipedia

YouTube Lancaster Bomber

Wkikpedia Wikipedia

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (234), RCAF 6 Group (5), RCAF 400 Squadron (7), Canadian Aircraft Losses (1732)
last update: 2021-09-18 14:32:33

Lancaster Mk.II DS850

1944-01-15 Failed to Return failed to return from operation over Magdeburg (or Brunswick?), see comments 2019-08-20

432 (B) Sqn- Squadron Saeviter Ad Lucem ("Leaside")

History of the Squadron during World War II (Aircraft: Wellington X, Lancaster II, Halifax III, VII)

The Squadron was the twelfth RCAF bomber squadron to be formed overseas in WWII. It was formed on May 1, 1943 at Skipton-on-Swale, Yorkshire, UK as a unit of No 6 (RCAF) Group of RAF Bomber Command: indeed, it was the first bomber squadron to be formed directly into No 6 Group. Using the squadron identification letters QO it flew Vickers Wellington Mk X medium bombers until it moved to East Moor, Yorkshire on 19th September 1943, when it re-equipped with Avro Lancaster Mk II aircraft. East Moor was part of No 62 (RCAF) Base. The squadron re-equipped with Handley Page Halifax Mk III aircraft in February 1944, and with Halifax Mk VII in July of that year, and continued with them until the squadron was disbanded at East Moor on May 15, 1945.

In the course of operations the squadron flew 246 missions, involving 3130 individual sorties, for the loss of 73 aircraft. 8980 tons of bombs were dropped. Awards to squadron members included 2 DSOs, 119 DFCs,1 Bar to DFC, 1 CGM, 20 DFMs and 1 Croix de Guerre (France). Battle Honours were: English Channel and North Sea 1943, Fortress Europe 1943-44, France and Germany 1944-45, Biscay Ports 1944, Ruhr 1943-45, Berlin 1943-44, German Ports 1943-45, Normandy 1944, Rhine, Biscay 1943.Moyes, Kostenuk and Griffin

Squadron History (Bomber Command Museum PDF)

Maps for Movements of 432 Squadron 1943-45

MAP 1: 432 Squadron Bases 1943-45 (marked in green). Right-click on image to display enlarged in new tab

432 Squadron History Summary 1943-45

History of the Squadron Post-WWII (Aircraft: Canuck)

The squadron was re-formed at Bagotville, Quebec as an All-Weather Fighter unit on 1 October 1954. The squadron flew Avro CF-100 Canuck aircraft on North American Air Defence until it was disbanded on 15 October 1961.

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