Sergeant Enrico Zaccheo - 102 Squadron  

Sergeant Enrico Zaccheo  - RAFVR


 Sergeant Enrico Zaccheo  was serving as Flight Engineer on board Halifax Mk.BIII LW192 coded DY-H for an operation to Sterkrade June 16/17, 1944. The aircraft departed Pocklington at 2300hrs and encountered poor weather with thick cloud covering the target area and the Pathfinder markers. The Halifax was intercepted by a night-fighter, possibly Hugo F Futscher NJG3 or Adolf Breves, at 0201 hours, and subsequently exploded at 0203 hours, scattering debris from the Halifax between Bourmalsen (Gelderland) and Buren. The entire crew was killed.

The crew consisted of:

Name Service Trade Hometown Age
F/Sgt Eric Braddock  RAFVR Pilot Norwood, London 22
Sgt Enrico Zaccheo  RAFVR Flight Engineer Standish, Gloucestershire 32
Sgt Winston Reid RAFVR Navigator Peel, Isle of Man 26
Sgt Ronald Putt  RAFVR W/Op/AG Keyham, Devon 20
Sgt John Booker  RAFVR Bomb Aimer Sidcup, Kent 21
Sgt Ernest Finch  RAFVR Front Gunner East Ham, Essex 21
Sgt Gerald Hadfield  RAFVR M/U Gunner Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire 21

 Sgt Enrico “Eric” William Zaccheo RAFVR was the son of Enrico and May (nee Wellard) of Standish, Gloucestershire. His father, Enrico came from Colmegna in Northern Italy, arriving in England in 1902.His mother was from Gillingham in Kent. Eric was originally born in Nettley, South London in 1912, having two sisters born in 1905 and 1907 and then in 1921 a brother Francis who also served in the RAF, surviving the war. Enrico was known as Eric by his family and long-term girlfriend, and worked with his brother as a printer prior to them both enlisting at the same time.

 Enrico and his crew

 In 1956/7 the British Legion took some of the families over to visit the graves of the crew in the Buren General Cemetery.

 In the aftermath of the crash of Enrico's Halifax, a member of the Dutch underground movement buried the crew with the people of Buren laying flowers at the funeral, much to the displeasure of the occupying Germans. In the same cemetery the bodies of some German casualties were buried, which after the war had finished were re interred back in Germany.

 F/Sgt Zaccheo and his crew rest in the Buren General cemetery.


Photos and information  courtesy of Pam Zaccheo, research by Linda Ibrom