12/13.06.1943. No. 408 Squadron Halifax II JB790 Fl/Lt. Large. Location: Burgsteinfurt. Germany.
Mission: Bochum

Date: 12/13th June 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: 408 (Goose) Squadron (R.C.A.F.)

Type: Halifax II

Serial: JB790

Coded: EQ-V

Location: Burgsteinfurt

Pilot: Fl/Lt. George Russell Large J/9688 R.C.A.F. Age 25. P.O.W. No: 1502. Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria
(George was tragically killed by Allied fighter aircraft who strafed a prisoner of war column on the 16th. April 1945.)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Thomas Leith-Ross 1487121 R.A.F.V.R. Age 19. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Albert Frederick Rayment R/121901 R.C.A.F. P.O.W No: 230 Camp: Stalag Lemsdorf

Air/Bmr: F/O. Francis Lloyd Milburn J/20816 R.C.A.F. Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Norman Bainblatt R/133514 R.C.A.F. P.O.W No: 25 Camp: Stalag Lemsdorf

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Joseph Elland Forest R/96860 R.C.A.F. P.O.W. No: 30 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria

Air/Gnr: Sgt. David Hester Hutchinson R/137936 R.C.A.F. P.O.W. No: 174 Camp: Stalag Lemsdorf


Took off at 23.39 hrs from Leeming, Yorkshire to join a massive attack of 503 aircraft on Bochum. Weather conditions were favourable (small amounts of cloud, moderate visibility and a half moon). Some 24 aircraft failed to return home. Halifax JB790 was shot down by Hptm. Egmont Prinz zur Lippe Weissenfeld of III./NJG1 at 01.22 at 15,000 ft over Sellen, 3 km North West of Burgsteinfurt. He was killed later in the war on 12th March 1944 along with his crew in the Belgian Ardennes during a transit flight in bad weather. Credited with 49 kills.


Left: Fl/Lt. George Russell Large and right: Sgt. Thomas Leith-Ross (Please see credits)

The wreckage of JB790 viewed from rear port side showing remains of port rear stabilizer, elevator, fin and rudder,
with port main wing almost totally burnt away far left.

View from rear starboard side shows both fin and rudder missing.

View from starboard side shows outer starboard wing totally burnt away.

View from the front starboard side to the right shows burnt out cockpit section, in the centre can be seen the remains of starboard inner Merlin engine, and remains of main wheel undercarriage still in retracted position. All four crash photos supplied to relatives during their visit to the crash site. (Courtesy Hazel Ross-Hughes)

Egmont Prinz zur Lippe Weissenfeld and his grave at Ysselsteyn Netherlands.

In March 2012 the society was contacted by the daughter of the pilot, Fl/Lt. Large, Mrs. Marilyn P. Tompkins.She wrote: Sadly my mother never told me any details having remarried when I was 3, but I did find lots of family memberson a visit in the 80's and retain good contact with them. My 2 sons also have some contact.I think he was born in Winnipeg and grew up in Makaroff, Manitoba, he had completed 2 years in the agriculture faculty at the university of Manitoba. He joined the R.C.A.F. arriving in england October 1942. My father met and married Isabelle Kathleen Primevere Page in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, where his officer's mess was the Petwood Hotel, which is now much visited for it's connection with the Dambusters squadron. Qualified as a first pilot (night) on 13th May 1943, Bochum was only his 4th operational flight. I have a wonderful copy of a diary which Sq/Ldr. John E. Mahoney R.C.A.F. kept while he was in Stalag Luft 3 alongside my father. He continued it during the march to Lubeck and up to such time as they arrived home. He describes howmy father was taken by ambulance from the march to Hamburg with a suspected strangulated hernia, not to be seen again. As you record, his grave is at Adagem and there is a lake named after him in Manitoba, for which I have a commemoration certificate. I was in Woodhall Spa today, living only 30 minutes away near Lincoln. His surviving sister, Helen McGregor lives in Brandon Manitoba, and his surviving brother John Large lives in Victoria. Mrs. Marilyn P. Tompkins.
It is likely that due to the recent visit of relatives to the crash site and the great assistance provided by German researchers further information may well be added to this and other articles.

Scene of the crash site 2010. (Courtesy Hazel Ross-Hughes)

Hazel Ross-Hughes (left) with eye witness of the crash Herr Werdeling (Courtesy Hazel Ross-Hughes)

German Police report of the crash: (Kindly translated by Rüdiger Kaufmann - Aircrew Remembrance Society researcher in Germany) Burgsteinfurt, the 13th of June 1943 Concerns: Shooting down of an enemy aircraft On 13.6.43. At about 13.30 hrs an enemy airplane was shot down over the city area. This airplane crashed near the House side Werding at Stellen No. 101 and burned almost completely out. Our Fire fighters came immediately to the crash site and fought the fire.Also the Police, Gendamerie, Stadtwacht and Landwacht (Local organisations in City and Country like the Volkssturm in 1945) were used for a barrier and searching for jumped out flyers. The airplane dropped their bombs shortly before the crash at farmland near Veltrup in the grounds of farmer Schulze-Veltrup. One of these bombs exploded near the high voltage power line (50000 and 10000 Volts) and cut them out of service. Apart from this there was a unexploded LB30 and other unexploded Bombs at the ground near the Power line. The VEW (Electricity Company) is still waiting there until all bombs are eliminated. The bomb squad from Münster was informed immediately. The dangerous area is protected by a guard of the Stadtwacht and signs.Three enemy flyers were captured at the city area of Emsdetten. A further flyer landed with parachute at the Bauernschaft (area) Hollich near the House side of farmer Tetenborg. Some flyers still not captured. Additionally one flyer was burned in the plane. One dead flyer was found in the woods between Werdeling and Palstring at Stellen. There must be 7 flyers in this plane. Therefore two flyers are missing. The local Police stations at Borghorst, Neuenkirchen and Wettringen were asked for support. Alerts to the authorities were made by Police officer Husken from Sch. D. R. (Schutzpolizei des Reiches)
Sign Kühn Master of the Schutzpolizei

The graves of F/O. Francis Lloyd Milburn and Fl/Lt. Thomas Leith-Ross at the Reichswald Forest Cemetery.

Burial Details:

Fl/Lt. Thomas Leith-Ross. Reichswald Forest Cemetery. 24.D.16. Son of James Alexander and Margaret, of Carclinty, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.

F/O. Francis Lloyd Milburn. Reichswald Forest Cemetery. 24.D.15. Son of Frank and Bena Milburn, of St. Vital, Manitoba, Canada.

Fl/Lt. George Russell Large. Adegem War Cemetery. X1.H.4. Son of Alexander Russell Large, and of Florence Lillian Large, of Makaroff, Manitoba, husband of Isabelle Kathleen Large.

Researched by David King A. R. Society (March 2012) Special thanks to the following: Hazel Ross-Hughes. Mrs. Marilyn Primevere Tompkins. Fred (@ Find a grave) Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol 3", Theo Boiten - "German Nightfighter War Diaries Vol 2", Martin Middlebrook "Bomber Command War Diaries". The C.W.G.C. (Updated May 2013)

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