Lancaster JA914

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Lancaster wreck at Deutsches Technik Museum, Berlin

Starboard wing and undercarriage of Lancaster JA914 (code DX-O) on display at the Deutsches Technik Museum (DTM) in Berlin. The remains are from a bomber which was shot down during a raid on Berlin in 1943 and crashed in a lake with the loss of all crew.

A board near the exhibit gives some details about its recovery from Wünsdorfer See near Zossen, south of Berlin on 29 September 1997.

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A 57 Squadron bomber based at RAF East Kirkby in Lincolnshire, JA914 was lost during a night raid on 3/4th September 1943.

Below; Lancaster bomber NX 611 in 57 Sqn colours at RAF East Kirkby

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The aircraft was shot down at about half past midnight, from an altitude of 15,000 feet and some 25 miles from target. The kill was claimed by FW 190 nightfighter Stab JG300 pilot Uffz Fritz Brinkmann.

CREW
Sergeant J.T Carruthers RAF
Flight Sergeant W.E Grindley RAAF
Sergeant H.I Jones RAF
Flight Sergeant David. Livingstone RAAF
Sergeant A Moore RAF
Sergeant H.M Porteus RCAF
Sergeant A Sutcliffe RAF

Die Welt provides some details of the recovery and the memoir of a witness; 10 year Günter Bethke, who saw the British bombers coming from the south and heading for Berlin. “Two German night fighters attacked the British”, he said, “A four-engined bomber swerved from the fight and curved in a burning loop over the lake. With a deafening crash the plane exploded.”

The recovery of the Lancaster cost 25,000 Marks (about £10,000) and was funded by the DTM in Berlin where the wreck is now displayed.

Photo of recovery of the wing (upside down here) from Wünsdorfer See from DTM

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Regarding the crew, Bethke said in 1997, “two bodies, my father found and buried on the morning after the crash near the lido. The English had the dead transferred later”. Two more dead, still strapped in their seats and sat in the fuselage, were recovered by the Soviets”.

One crew member may have survived the crash but appears to have been shot in the reeds by the lake’s edge immediately after the crash if Bethke’s memory is correct; “Ein drittes Besatzungsmitglied soll unmittelbar nach dem Absturz im Schilf erschossen worden sein”

sources
Die Welt, 10 October 1997

Nachtjagd War Diaries, Volume One, Dr Theo E W Boiten, 2011

12 comments on “Lancaster JA914
  1. Stuart Charlton says:

    My Cousin was F/Sgt David Livingstone, the rear Gunner of the aircraft. If anyone has any more information regarding the aircraft or any connection at all with Aircraft, Squadron or crew please do not hesitate to contact me
    via Email.

  2. Peter Williams says:

    Hello Stuart, I am a Lancaster enthusiast based in England. I am wanting more info on Lancaster JA914 as I am currently running a project. I also want to know if possible, if you know where the remains for the JA914 crew are buried as this could be very useful.

  3. Matt Wells says:

    Three of the crew Porteous, Sutcliffe and Jones are buried in the CWGC BERLIN 1939-45 Cemetery. The rest of the crew are commemorated on the Runnymede memorial to the missing (England).I hope this is of use to you

  4. Stuart Charlton says:

    Yes that is correct 4 others remain “Missing”

  5. peter (great grandad) says:

    to stuart charlton concerning lancaster ja914 & crew, i have a photograph of that crew. i am also a member of east kirtby aviation centre where 57 squadron along with 630 sqwadron flew from during the latter stages of world ww2. not knowing where you live at present would it be posible to arrange a meeting at east kirtby to discuss anything further on this project.

  6. Stuart Charlton says:

    I live in Lithgow, Australia I’m afraid Peter…. I have a picture of a crew which may have been the crew of JA914… but there is no confirmation of this .. there are 2 faces which MAY be my Cousin as they look like my Uncle , but no definite indication that group is the final crew of JA914 . the pic may have been taken at an earlier training centre before they “Crewed up ” I do have a pic of Bill Grindley , the pilot on an enlistment document.. but that’s not much help… I will happily tell you all I know, if you can give me any information you have. perhaps you can show me the picture how did you come by it ? I have posted the image I have a few times on Pinterest and various memorial sites and have attributed it as a picture of the crew, but cannot confirm that is definitely correct…

  7. Stuart Charlton says:

    I have sent a reply please let me know when you receive it /

  8. peter (great grandad) says:

    i have received your last message did you receive mine.

  9. peter (great grandad) says:

    do you have a email address

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