The Lancaster JA937 in the lake near Repente
For many years now, the Hermsdorf Diving Group has been regularly diving it the lakes around Berlin. During a dive in 1983 we discovered Aeroplane parts in the Großer Zechliner See which was at that time in the former GDR. Therefore, for legal reasons, it was not possible to make a close search for details which might expose it's identity. During a dive in 1987 we discovered engine and other parts. Now, six years after the demise of the GDR we have been able to make an intense search for wreckage and other information. Many parts have now been recovered. On 27th May 2000, at great expense A Rolls Royce Merlin 38 was recovered from a Lancaster BIII. The search for information was not easy so eye witnesses were interviewed which enabled us to reconstruct the course of the Lancaster. English authorities have also been contacted to help identify this aircraft.
We were about 90%
certain of the identity of this Lancaster. After long
conversations and common searches the solution was found.
Bob Baxters many years of intense processing of Lancaster losses were the key. It could only be JO-O !
463 (Australian) Sqn., Lancaster Mk.III, JA973, JO-O, Op: Berlin, Lost 30-31/01/44
Pilot P/O P E HANSON RAAF U
Engr Sgt. E A Hughes POW
Nav Sgt. M A Stevens U
B/Aim F/Sgt. G E Edgecombe U
W/Op Sgt. L Bowes U
AG Sgt. N N Bligh U
AG Sgt. J M M Wilson RAAF U
Took off from Waddington at 17:24. Believed to have crashed at Repente