States that Flying Officer Jones and crew failed to return from operation to Stuttgart on 28 January 1945. After attack by German night fighter Lancaster PB638 ('O - Oboe') crashed at Michelbach, Aglasterhausen. Tells of local man designing and building a memorial to the crew. Describes memorial and unveiling, Information provided by Philip Jenkinson who was also shot down in Halifax 10 Squadron in 1943.

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[underlined] EPILOGUE [/underlined]

As recorded in paragraph 59b, F/O Jones and his crew, flying Lancaster PB638(‘O’-Oboe) failed to return from a raid on Stuttgart on 28th Jan. 1945.

Following an attack by a German night-fighter, ‘Oboe’ crashed at Michelbach, Aglasterhausen, (about 12 miles south-east of Heidelberg) with the loss of all lives. The crew were given a christian burial in the local churchyard; they were later re-interred in the Imperial War Graves Cemetery located at Bad Tölz (approx 25 miles due south of Munich). However, an original headstone remains in the churchyard at Michelbach.

Some years after the war, a Michelbach resident, Herr Karl Frauhammer, himself a refugee who had been left severely disabled as a result of war wounds and therefore unable to fully follow his profession of blacksmith, designed and created a war memorial to honour the memory of the dead crew. A large block of sandstone incorporates a piece of the aircraft wreckage and bears a wrought iron motif and commemorative plaque. Standing before the sandstone is a low gateway fo decorative wrought ironwork; inset are seven gilt crosses and a symbolic four-engined aircraft (unfortunately it looks more like a Flying Fortress than a Lancaster - but does not detract from the obvious sincerity of the creator’s intentions). The commemorative plaque, freely translated, reads:-

“On 28th January 1945, a four-engined British bomber aircraft crashed at this spot, killing all seven members of its crew”.

The memorial, which is set alongside a well-known scenic walk in a peaceful woodland on the outskirts of Michelbach, was unveiled on Sunday, 13th Oct. 1074 in a ceremony attended by the British Air Attache, Bonn; the British Consul-General, Stuttgart; the local German Air Force commander; and local dignitaries including the Burgomeister and heads of all community services. Also present were the parents of the crew’s Wireless Operator (F/Sgt John Wilson Milburn) together with contingents representing the RAF, the German Air Force and the Fire Services.

The ceremony did not pass unnoticed. The Daily Telegraph of 14th October 1974 reported:-

“In an unusual, or even unique ceremony, a small German village paid tribute to the memory of seven British airmen of No. 153 Squadron, who died there in 1945”.

Similar reports appeared in various British and German provincial papers, and in RAF News.

[underlined] ACKNOWLEDGEMENT [/underlined]

The foregoing information was provided by Phillip Jenkinson - brother of the crew’s Flight Engineer, F/Sgt Peter Jenkinson, DFM. Phillip was himself a Halifax mid-upper gunner with No. 10 Squadron, when shot down in 1943; his pilot and rear gunner were killed - the rest survived.

(By an amazing coincidence, although he died 300 miles away and some 18 months later, Peter’s final grave at Durnbach lies directly alongside those of Phillip’s old crew-mates).

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“Epilogue,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 15, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/30678.

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