PH-A of 12 Squadron RAF
Leads the Field
Durnbach War Cemetery
These pages concerning Lancaster DV187 have been added to the Lancaster ED627 site because its story is closely related to Lancaster ED627 in that they were both shot down by Hauptmann Ludwig Meister on the same morning, 28th August 1943 within about 30 minutes of each other.
After the shooting down of Lancaster ED627 on 28th August 1943, Ludwig Meister and his crew consisting of Hannes Forke, navigator and Toni Werzinski, mechanic continued following the bomber stream in their ME110 aircraft, serial number 3C+MJ towards Nürnberg.
During this part of the flight, Ludwig Meister suddenly found a four engine bomber returning from Nürnberg flying directly towards him at the the same altitude. It was only by his lightning reaction and a violent manoeuvre of the control stick of his aircraft that he averted a head on collision with the other plane that would have resulted in the certain death of both aircraft crews.
During this patrol, Meister found another Lancaster being coned by search lights and the pilot was taking evasive action to try and get out of the lights. Meister and his crew attacked this aircraft from above and set it on fire.
This aircraft was the Lancaster III, DV187, PH-A of 12 Squadron.
The final moments of this aircraft are described in a two part newspaper article published by the Main-Post newspaper in Germany and are reproduced both in German and English with the kind permission of their author Norbert Vollmann.
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Burial of the crew
Following the crash of Lancaster DV187, the German authorities recovered the bodies of the crew, five were identifiable and two were not. They were buried in the north eastern corner, to the left of the cross, in the Michelau im Steoggerwald civil cemetery.
The photo's below show the grave that contains the bodies of the DV187 crew and another six aircrew in the Michelau cemetery
The other three photo's show the same area of the cemetery as it is today (July 2007) and the next photo is where the crew were re-interred in the Durnbach War Cemetery after their bodies were exhumed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in June 1948.
The photo's of the graves in the Michelau cemetery and the CWGC one were supplied to me by Mr Trevor Cass, nephew of of Sgt. Norman Chew and the later ones by Norbert Vollmann
Click on images to enlarge
© Norbert Vollmann 2007
Durnbach War Cemetery, 1948
Loss card for DV187