Halifax LK834 went Airborne at 22:56 and MZ696 went Airborne 23:07 on 20th July 1944 from RAF Burn to bomb a to attack the German synthetic oil refinery in Bottrop in the Rhine Valley, both aircraft from 578 Squadron, on what was to prove the most disasterous single operation mounted by the Squadron.  Four aircraft were shot down by the enemy but four crew members managed to parachute to safety, to be made Prisoner of War.

On return to base in conditions of thick cloud, and descending through 2,000 feet, collided both aircraft coming down at Balkholme, 4 miles NE of Goole.


Below memorial at Balkholme:-



The Crew:-



P/O W.Davidson 179653 RAFVR (Pilot) 

Sgt E.Roxby 1218669 RAFVR (Flt Engr) 

Sgt E.S.Clarke 1581727 RAFVR (Navigator) 

Sgt L.Matthewman 1621498 RAFVR (Bomb Aimer) 

Sgt H.J.Watkins 1234938 RAFVR (WOp AG) 

Sgt T.S.Barnett 1571360 RAFVR (Mid Up AG)

W/O A.L.Page 1376742 RAFVR (Rear AG) 





F / L MCDay 172955 RAFVR (pilot)

Sgt J.Smith 1866461 RAFVR (Flt Engr)

F / S ACPugh 1396289 RAFVR (Navigator) 

Sgt LRBarber 1620366 RAFVR (Bomb Aimer) 

Sgt JSFMorrish 1603335 RAFVR (WOP AG) 

Sgt K.Nicholson 1594726 RAFVR (Air Gnr) 

Sgt DARParham 1853953 RAFVR (Air Gnr) 




Thanks to