207 SQUADRON ROYAL AIR FORCE HISTORY

Crew of Lancaster EM-H ME 473
Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridge, England

On Friday 25th October 1996 at Cambridge City Cemetery Sgt Robert Banks, Air Gunner, was buried with full military honours.  At the same ceremony a grave which was marked to 'An Unknown Airman' in March 1945 was re-dedicated as that of Flt Sgt Arthur Henderson, Bomb Aimer (see photo).

Both men were aboard 207 Squadron Lancaster EM-N ME473 (pilot Flt Lt Edward Lawson RAAF). This aircraft collided with 57 Squadron Lancaster DX-F ND572 during a fighter affiliation exercise on the night of 2nd March 1945. Both aircraft crashed into the Ruskington Fen area near Sleaford, Lincolnshire, with the loss of both crews.

At the time, Sgts Banks and Henderson from the 207 Squadron aircraft were unaccounted for.

One unidentified airman and the pilot, Edward Lawson, were buried at Cambridge. The rest of those aboard were buried elsewhere in accordance with their families' wishes.

In 1995, during a licenced excavation of the 57 Squadron aircraft by the Lincolnshire Aviation Recovery Group, it emerged that the site coordinates provided by the Ministry of Defence were in fact those of the 207 Squadron aircraft.

A body found on board was identified as Sgt Banks.  Hence the 'unknown airman' buried at Cambridge was Sgt Henderson.

At last, these two airmen could be laid properly to rest. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Dakota honoured them and their pilot with a flypast.

In 2007 Arthur Henderson was at last named on a new war memorial in his village of Sherburn, Co Durham.


source: FR Haslam

The Lawson crew

back: George Wilkinson (M/U, Air Gunner) - Raymond Richardson (AG badged but WOp) - AJ 'Jock' Corsar, Air Gunner
front: Bill Lord (Nav) - Ted Lawson RAAF (Pilot) - Arthur Henderson (Bomb Aimer)
Date not known, possibly at OTU


Bernard Fox, Lawson's usual F/E,
taken from photo with car below.
Not in the crew on 2 March 1945

source: Lachlan Rutherford, nephew of Ted Lawson

Those aboard EM-H ME473

Pilot: LAWSON, F/Lt Edward McMaster RAAF 2 March 1945 age 22
F/E: FLITT, Sgt George Walter 2 March 1945 age 19
Navigator: LORD, F/O William Winston 2 March 1945 age 28
WOp: RICHARDSON, Sgt Raymond 2 March 1945 age 20
Air Bomber: HENDERSON, F/Sgt Arthur 2 March 1945 age 21
M/U Gunner: WILKINSON, Sgt George 2 March 1945 age 20
Rear Gunner: BANKS, Sgt Robert Charles 2 March 1945 age 33
Batman: MORRISON, LAC John 2 March 1945 age 37

The aircraft, which is believed to have arrived on the Squadron during mid February 1945, had done one operation, on 24th February (Ladbergen, F/O Halewood).

Lawson's crew had done 22 operations. At present it is not exactly known why Sgt AB Fox and Sgt AJ Corsar were - fortunately for them - not in the crew on this final flight. Jock Corsar died in 1971, at which time his son was working in Canada. Jock's widow passed away some years later and his son knew very little of his Dad's wartime service. It now seems Jock, who had got married sometime in late 1944, may have been on leave when Ted Lawson was killed.


Flt Lt Edward McMaster Lawson RAAF, Pilot

Lachlan Rutherford is the nephew of the pilot Flt Lt Edward McMaster Lawson RAAF. He writes: Here are some photos from Ted Lawson's time at Spilsby:

A1933 Morris which Ted Lawson acquired/bought about the time he moved to Spilsby in October 1944. They were taken during a November 1944 leave. Ted Lawson by the driver's door. Did that car had any 207 Squadron use before or after Ted Lawson's time?
source: Lachlan Rutherford
This photo, showing the milestone is "My engineer Bernard Fox. With me as far as Coventry", as written on back. The milestone is headed 'Parish of Waltham'. Map research suggests that this may have been taken near Waltham-on-the-Hill, on the road between Grantham and Melton Mowbray.

source: Lachlan Rutherford

My family has no contact with any other ME473 family today. "Bill" Lord's widow and children travelled to Australia after WW2 with thoughts of settling here but they later returned to live in Britain. Mrs Lord and my mother exchanged some letters - I have one from 1945.

My aunt, Mrs ME McIntosh, remains in contact with Gordon Laidlaw, an RAAF friend of her brother Ted Lawson and of herself. Gordon F Laidlaw, later a Pathfinder, and Ted Lawson travelled to the UK on the same ship in 1943. Gordon
Laidlaw served with the RAAF until 1955 and remains very active in his Air Force association. Gordon may have knowledge of RAAF men who served with 207 Squadron although he was elsewhere.

Joyce Brotherton, from 1945, corresponded with Ted Lawson's parents and his sister, Marjorie (my aunt). Marjorie (Lawson) visited Joyce Brotherton in Grantham in the early 1950s but the letters have not survived.

My uncle's Log Book was held by the family for many years, but was lost in the1980s. I never met my uncle as I was not born until shortly after he left Australia in 1943.

My aunt identified two of the men, Ted Lawson and Allan Jenkins, in the October 1944 207 Squadron photo. The Lawson and Jenkins families were well known to one another as they lived, during the 1930s, near Warrnambool, a coastal town in western Victoria, Australia.

W/O Allan Keith Jenkins RAAF 408999 died 4/12/44 [with the Lovett crew on Heilbronn, LL968 EM-K].

This undated photograph shows Ted Lawson (right) and Allan Jenkins (left). It may have been taken at Spilsby. It was one of several sent home by Ted.
source: Lachlan Rutherford


If you can add to the information on this page or are in contact with any
of the families of those who died in this crew, please contact the
editor.

crew and a/c history: Raymond Glynne-Owen
last updated 4 Aug 2008: 18 Nov 17