19-26 April 1943


The Battle of the Ruhr was still in full swing and 12 Sqn took part in two large attacks in this week in 1943, to Stettin (now Szczecin) in what was then Germany but is now part of Poland and Duisburg, which is part of the Ruhr area of Germany. The raid on Stettin, more than 600 miles from England, was one of the most successful raids of the Battle of the Ruhr with the Pathfinders carrying out perfect marking on the aiming point. Over 100 acres of the centre were devastated.

Two aircraft and all their crews were lost on the Stettin attack. As you will see below, both these crews were killed on or before their 5th mission. This was considered to be the most dangerous time for new crews.

Extract from Station Diary

Sqn Ldr John Richards was an RAF regular who joined in December 1936. Prior to his posting to Wickenby he was a flying instructor in South Africa. He and his crew were killed on their 5th mission.

Flight Sergeant Norbert Keefe was 20 and was a member of the Royal Australian Air Force. He was the son of William Andrew & Elizabeth Colista Keefe of Kensington, New South Wales, Australia. He and his crew were killed on their 4th mission.

Extract from Appendix to 12 Sqn Operational Record Book

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s