207 Squadron RAF Association visit - Friday May 6th 2005
CWGC Cemetery Heverlee - Unsworth crew

Wg Cdr Thos Murray DSO DFC* RAF(Retd) was senior Flight Commander on 207 Squadron April 1941 - Sep 1942. Wg Cdr Russ Jeffs AFC RAF(Retd) was CO May to Dec 1942.

Before laying the Unsworth wreath with Russ Jeffs, Thos spoke movingly of how he had tried to teach tactics to help crews survive in their tasks (in fact this was mentioned in the citation for the bar to his DFC).

We were, as ever, moved by the Binyon verse, responding We will remember them

Thos Murray : "By the end of August I was the senior Squadron Leader Flight Commander - that gives some idea of the casualty rate at the time. For a very short time, before Russ Jeffs arrived, I had temporary command of the Squadron and it gave me an opportunity at Flight briefings to give some tactical advice, which you couldn't do as a mere Flight Commander.

I had noticed that when you were penetrating the searchlight belt, the cones would open up either side of you and the instinct was to fly in the friendly dark gap between the two - only to find that you were flying into a battery which was just waiting. So I told the crews that whenever navigationally feasible, get right into the cone of the searchlight. You would then be flying over a battery already fully engaged, and if you could get right in, as you could, in the intersection, you might be interfering with the aiming devices and so help the poor chap who had been coned at the time. This was just a little tactical manouevre, very simple, but I believed and hoped that it saved a lot of lives."

14 October 1941 207 Squadron Manchester I LM7321 EM-D target: Cologne Railway Station.

The aircraft took off from its base at RAF Waddington. It was held in searchlight beams over Liege. It was shot down by a Me110C night fighter (Oberleutnant Heinrich Griese, 1./NJG1 based at St Trond). The attack was devastating, only two managing to bale out before the aircraft crashed and exploded at Horion-Hozemont, 4km east of Comblain-au-Pont and 17km south of Liege, Belgium at 0444 local time. Those who died are buried in Heverlee War Cemetery.
P/O Unsworth was awarded his DFM for services on 49 Sqn.

kia = killed in action
Pilot - P/O Joseph Unsworth DFM RAFVR - kia
2nd Pilot - Howard Bertram Carroll RAFVR - evaded
Observer - P/O William Egbert Simpson RCAF - kia
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner - Sgt Gilbert Thomas Cox RAFVR - evaded
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner - Flight Sgt Ernest Moulding RAF - kia
Air Gunner (front) - Sgt Alexander Fernie Dickson RCAF - kia
Air Gunner (rear) - P/O Frank Mason RAFVR - kia

based on: RAF Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War, 1941 (WR Chorley, Midland Countief Publishing)

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UNSWORTH DFM, JOSEPH Pilot Officer (Pilot) RAF 207 Sqdn.

Age: 27 died 14/10/1941
Service No: 45306
Son of James and Elizabeth Unsworth; husband of Phyllis Elizabeth Unsworth.
Grave/Memorial Reference: 3.F.7.
Lancaster EM-D L7321

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MASON, FRANK Pilot Officer (Air Gnr.) RAFVR 207 Sqdn.

Age 26 died: 14/10/1941
Service No: 946342
Son of George Harry and Mary Ellen Mason; husband of Angela Mason, of Swinton, Yorkshire.
Grave/Memorial Reference: 3.F.6.
Lancaster EM-D L7321

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DICKSON, ALEXANDER FERNIE Canadian Sergeant (Air Gnr.) RCAF 207 (R.A.F.) Sqdn

died 14/10/1941
Service No: R/58430
Son of Mr. and Mrs. George Dickson, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Grave/Memorial Reference: 3.F.8.
Lancaster EM-D L7321

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MOULDING, ERNEST Flight Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.) RAF 207 Sqdn.

died 14/10/1941
Service No: 621167
Grave/Memorial Reference: 3.F.9.
Lancaster EM-D L7321

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SIMPSON, WILLIAM EGBERT Canadian Pilot Officer (Air Obs.) RCAF 207 (R.A.F.) Sqdn

Age: 25 died 14/10/1941
Service No: J/5321
Son of Reginald W. and Winifred Helen Simpson, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Grave/Memorial Reference: 3.F.10.
Lancaster EM-D L7321

207 Squadron RAF History

last update 29 Jul 05
images: Haslam