CREW: Robert Arthur Leader, RCAF, Ernest Dennis Rosenberg, Arthur Robert Candy, Christopher Highton, Samuel James Ross Lewis, Dennis Henry Tupman, Joseph Frederick Coulson
The aircraft was shot down by a German night-fighter on the way home from the target, Aachen. The crash is timed at 23.15 hrs, and was at Roosendaal-en-Nispen near Meirestraat behind a farm called "Zwaanhoef". The hit was claimed by the ubiquitous Obit Wolfgang Schnaufer, based at St Trond, Belgium.
Leader, the pilot, is buried at Bergen-op-Zoom Canadian war cemetery, the rest of the crew are at Roosendaal-en-Nispen General Cemetery.
The crew joined 97 Squadron on 13/14th January 1944, all coming from 50 Squadron with the sole exception of Christopher Highton who came from 61 Squadron on 2nd of January - he flew some ops with another crew before joining Leader's. With the rest of "C" Flight, the crew then moved on to 635 Squadron on 19th March 1944.
All the crew were of UK nationality, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, except Leader who was in the RCAF).
Name: LEADER, ROBERT ARTHUR
Rank: Pilot Officer (Pilot)
Regiment/Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
Service No: J/19261
Additional information: Son of Arthur and Alice Leader, of Toronto, Ontario.
ROSENBERG, ERNEST DENNIS
Rank: Sergeant (Flt. Engr.)
Service No: 1586996
Additional information: Son of Ernest and Ethel Rosenberg; husband of Florence May Rosenberg, of Tipton, Staffordshire.
Ernie had two siblings, a sister Pat and a brother John. His parents owned a greengrocers in London and were bombed out three times. His mother ran the greengrocers and his father worked for London Transport for 40 years.
Ernie worked in the engineering dept. of The Gas, Light and Coke Company, a very large company of power suppliers.
He was married for about 14 months before being killed, the family lost touch with his widow. She remarried 6 years later.
Ernie's ops with 97 Squadron (collected by Colin Rosenberg, his nephew) were:
15/02/44, ND355 OF-T, target: Berlin, pilot: P/O E.L.Perkins
19/02/44, JB728 OF-S, target: Leipzig, pilot: S/L J.Simpson
20/02/44, JB422 OF-N, target: Stuttgart, pilot: P/O R.A. Leader
All subsequent ops flown with P/O R A Leader
24/02/44, ND451 OF-W, target: Schweinfurt (a/c damaged by flak)
25/02/44, JB706 OF-H, target: Augsburg (aborted due to electrical failure)
01/03/44, JB728 OF-S, target: Stuttgart
Name: CANDY, ARTHUR ROBERT
Rank: Flying Officer (Nav.)
Date of Death: 11/04/1944
Service No: 137471
Additional information: Son of John and Ada Mary Candy, of Woking, Surrey.
Name: HIGHTON, CHRISTOPHER
Rank: Flight Sergeant (Air Bomber)
Service No: 1390721
Additional information: Son of William and Eliza Highton, of Gateshead, Co. Durham.
From Brian Pears:
Christopher George Wheeler "Kit" Highton was born at
14 Cramer Street, Gateshead on 31st October 1915, the third child of Engineering Machinist William Highton and his wife Eliza nee Brown. Kit had five siblings who survived infancy, Sadie, Bill, Iza, John and Tommy
- Iza, who celebrated her 94th birthday in 2010, is the only survivor.
Kit attended South Street School in Gateshead and passed exams to transfer to the Central School. After school he couldn't find work locally to suit his talents and interests so he travelled down to London and joined the City of London Police - he became PC 100. In 1942 Kit joined the R.A.F and was assigned to Bomber Command. He trained near Toronto and Winnipeg in Canada and in California and was so impressed with California that he planned to live there after the war.
His missions as Air Bomber included...
12 Jun 43 Bochum
16 Jun 43 Cologne
22 Jun 43 Mulheim
24 Jun 43 Wuppertal
25 Jun 43 Gelsenkirchen
28 Jun 43 Cologne
9 Jul 43 Gelsenkirchen
12 Jul 43 Turin
18 Aug 43 Hanover
20 Oct 43 Leipzig
22 Oct 43 Kassel
10 Nov 43 Modane
18 Nov 43 Berlin
22 Nov 43 Berlin
23 Nov 43 Berlin
16 Dec 43 Berlin
20 Dec 43 Frankfurt
23 Dec 43 Berlin
27 Jan 44 Berlin
30 Jan 44 Berlin
19 Feb 44 Leipzig
20 Feb 44 Stuttgart
2 Mar 44 Stuttgart
11 Apr 44 Aachen
The operation information was supplied to the family in 1944 by Kit's AOC, so does not include squadron or aircraft information.
Name: LEWIS, SAMUEL JAMES ROSS
Rank: Flight Sergeant (W. Op. (Air)
Service No: 934272
Additional information: Son of Samuel Joseph and Jessie Lewis; husband of Daisy Lewis, of Holloway, London.
Name: TUPMAN, DENNIS HENRY
Rank: Sergeant (Air Gnr.)
Service No: 1851985
Additional information: Son of Leonard and Elsie R. Tupman, of Horfield, Bristol.
Name: COULSON, JOSEPH FREDERICK
Rank: Sergeant (Air Gnr.)
Service No: 1890267
Additional information: Son of William Henry and Florence Coulson, of Tottenham, Middlesex.