MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE CREW
This crew joined 97 Squadron on 27th March 1943, having come directly from 1661 CU. The crew: Stevenson, Brett, Christie, Bradford, Mitchell, Malaber and Pugh remained together for the many operations flown between April and September, one of the most eventful of which was that to Bochum in June. The Combat Report can be read below.
On night of 12/13 June 1943 Lancaster A bound for Bochum. Position 11 miles north of target, heading 197M, 21,000'. Rear gunner sighted Me109 approaching from 400 feet below and astern, range 800 yards. Enemy aircraft closed in to 500 yards and rear gunner opened fire and ordered pilot to carry out diving turn to port. Enemy aircraft broke away to starboard down. Lancaster continued to take evasive action and fighter did not again appear. Enemy aircraft did not open fire. No strikes observed and no claim made. Gunner fired approximately 100 rounds. No searchlight activity or visible ground markings. Visibility good, bright moonlight.
Note: There is no mention of this fight in the ORB for that night, possibly because all the detail went into the combat report. The ORB entry for the night reads:
Rear Gunner - Sgt Pugh Mid Gunner - Sgt Mallaber
ED868A F/Sgt L.Stevenson, Sgts J.Brett, R.G.Christie, J.D.Bradford, H.G.Mitchell, J.Mallaber, T.G.Pugh. Up 2255 Down 0416. Primary objective reached and bombed. 20,000'. Very light, thin cloud. Red TI markers in sight when bombs released. Large number of red fires observed in target area.