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Halifax mz918 mh-u 5/01/1945

My fathers cousin F/S WS Spratt was killed over Hannover early 1945.Bomber command losses indicate that 2 crew survived, they are listed as F/S RA Gibbs and Sgt E Timms, both pow.


My father would like to know any details of his cousin or any information about the survivors/circumstances of the death.


If you can help please email me




Rob Brooks

Re: Halifax mz918 mh-u 5/01/1945

Hi Rob,

My grandfathers brother Sgt John Hubert Yearsley was also on this flight and died. Did you make any headway with finding out more?

Kent Yearsley

Re: Halifax mz918 mh-u 5/01/1945

this is the first reply I have received. I did find his grave stone in a comonwealth war graves cemetery near hannover and we also obtained copies of his service record from the RAF but nothing re the survivors. Trail has gone cold I am afraid.

Rob Brooks

Re: Halifax mz918 mh-u 5/01/1945

Dear Rob, sorry for taking so long to post this or get in touch. My Father was the E Timms (Edward) on your uncles crew.I have been in touch with the 51 sqn association and have passed on what little further info I have.
On the night in question my Dad flew as the rear gunner as relief for a crew member who was sick. From what he told me this would have been his final trip of his tour, hense volunteering. By his account their aircraft was engaged by a German night fighter (Me 110?)who's attack set fire to the port engine and fuel tanks. My Dad was able to bale out by turning his turret towards the flames, fastening his reserve chute (they were stowed behind the turret as there was insufficient space for them to be worn in flight in the turret) and exiting the aircraft by rolling backwards out of the turret doors. It was at this moment when He suffered the injuries that he sustained as the aircraft exploded.These injuries meant that his left leg was amputated above the knee, this being carried out without anaesthetic as such itemswere in short supply in Germany at this stage of the war. Due to the crude surgery my Father spent his whole lifein pain and endured several operations on his leg.Unfortunately gangrene got into the stump of his leg and this reulted in him passing away in 1976 at the age of 51. He was a month short of his 20th birthday when he was shot down.
I hope this is of interest and helps provide some backgroud info for you.
Regards Terry Timms.

Re: Halifax mz918 mh-u 5/01/1945

I discovered only yesterday that my cousin Sgt Alfred Pritchard aged 19 was also lost on MZ918 and is buried in Hanover.I have been fascinated to read details of this last mission and hope to be able to find out more about Alfred's service record.

Anne Dray

anne.dray@sightgroup.com

Re: Halifax mz918 mh-u 5/01/1945

I know that my father's cousin john was on this flight. I understand that he died on the night of his 21st birthday over hanover. does anyone have any more information?