Archive for the ‘07 shot down’ Category


RAF list of lost Bomber aircraft during World War 2

October 11, 2009

Stirling W7514 Information

Type Stirling
Serial Number W7514
Squadron 15
Operation Rostock
Date 1 25th April 1942
Date 2 26th April 1942

Further Information

“Serial Range W7500 – W7539. 40 Stirling Mk.1. Part of a batch of 150 Short S.29 Stirling Mk.1. W7426-W7474; W7500- W7359; W7560-W7589; W7610-W7639. Delivered by Austin Motors Ltd between Feb42 and May42. Contract No.B982939/39. Delivered to No.15 Sqdn 28Mar42. Airborne 2150 25apr42 from Wyton. Abandoned after being attacked at 0105 be a Me110 from 5.NJG3. Sgt East was killed during the engagement and Sgt Surridge was mortally wounded in the stomach although he managed to bale out. He died from his injuries 28Apr42, while being treated in Tonder Hospital. Of those captured following the crash at Kravlund, 3 km SW of Tinglev, Denmark, Sgt Stephen was killed by a lightning strike in captivity 29Jul44 and he is buried in the Old Garrison Cemetery at Poznan in Poland. It is also reported that the night-fighter crew were obliged to force-land at Bylderup-Bov and although they escaped injury, their Me110 (Werk No.2276) was wrecked. F/O J.E.M.Conran PoW F/O A.B.Bateman PoW Sgt R.T.Stephen PoW P/O A.H.H.Young PoW Sgt R.R.Lawson PoW Sgt G.H.Surridge Inj Sgt R.A.J.Skinner PoW Sgt D.J.East KIA F/O A.B.Bateman was interned in Camp 9C/L3. PoW No.39647. F/O J.E.M.Conran in Camps L1/L3, PoW No.766. Sgt R.A.J.Skinner in Camps L3/L6/357, PoW No.274 with Sgt R.T.Stephen, PoW No.184. (See above). P/O A.H.H.Young in Camp L3, PoW No.217. “


Letter to Alan’s family from Major Charles Zweigbergic

October 10, 2009

Below is the transcript of a letter found amongst Alan’s personal documents.

Transcript of Letter to Mrs Bateman from Major Charles Zweigbergic

106 Wick Hall

Furze Hill

Hove 2



Dear Mrs Bateman,

I have just recently returned from Germany as a repatriated prisoner-of-war. I met your son sometimes ago firstly at a hospital and then an Oflag, before he left to go to the big Air force camp.

It was in July 1942 when I arrived at Stadt Roda hospital that I first met your son who was undergoing treatment to his foot – nothing very serious, I can assure you. We soon became good friends. He was always most cheerful and was good company. The little hospital, run by British doctors, with a German medical administrative officer in charge was interesting in that its patients were drawn from all over the working camps in the district. We had French, Russians, Serbs, Poles besides British. Your son and the rest of the small group of officers derived much amusement and also real interest from this motley crowd.

We both arrived at Oflag 1XA/2 at the same time Dec 15th of last year – but after a time your son together with the rest of the airforce officers left for the airforce camp, so that I lost touch with him – however we exchanged addresses and resolved to keep in touch after the war.

I know it is a worrying time for you. All I can say is that the British prisoners-of-war are fine examples of indeterminable courage and cheerfulness, and your son is an enthusiastic leader of this spirit.

Yours truly

Charles Zweigbergic



On “operations” and the night Alan was shot down

October 8, 2009

Alan flew Stirling 1 W7514, belonging to 15 Squadron and was coded  LS-B.

Alan flew many missions as a pilot of Stirling Bombers,and had had three successive nights on operations, when on the 26 April 1942, after agreeing to fly that night as the officer on rota had broken his arm in a horse riding accident, he was shot down over South Denmark, with several members of the crew killed. The bomber left Wyton at 21;50 hrs, and was attacked over Jylland, falling to ground near Kravlund at 01;15 hrs.

A full account of what happened can be found at

His mission on that night had been to target the factory at Rostock where the Germans were making 4 engined bombers. (They never did make these bombers, due to the British raids on this factory). After baling out, having destroyed vital documents inside the plane, he tried to walk to North Denmark, where he had a contact who could arrange safe passage for him into Sweden, but gangrene set in in his toes, forcing him to hand himself over to German forces. I have the telegram and subsequent letter that was sent to Alan’s parents on the 27th April 1942, informing them that Alan had been shot down.
The list of POW camps that Alan was confined in, can be found on this blog, under the category “ex prisoner of war questionaire”, which Alan completed in May 1945.
Alan was transferred through several transit camps including Dulag Luft near Frankfurt, where he was interrogated,  kept in solitary confinement and had his gangrenous toe removed without anaesthetic, in order to extricate information from him about his plane and missions. After spending several months in Stadt Roda and Egendorf hospitals,  Alan eventually arrived in Stalagluft 3 later in 1942, a large POW camp near Sagan, in modern day Poland.

One of  the camps Alan was transferred through was Stalag IXC, Mulhausen, which can be read about here ;
I have many documents about Stalagluft 3, and much has been written and photgraphed about the camp, which was run by the Luftwaffe, the “least Nazi” of all German organisations, and whose commanders had a degree “respect” for the allied airmen they were in charge of. It does need pointing out, at this stage though, that this camp was not run along the lines of those run by the SS or the Gestapo, and conditions, although sparse and unpleasant, were not as brutal as others.

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