Flying Officer Desmond Freeman (DFC)  -  61 Squadron  
   

 

Flying Officer Desmond Freeman (DFC) - RAFVR

 

 Flying Officer Desmond Freeman was piloting Lancaster Mk.I NF914 coded QR-T during an operation to bomb enemy strong points in Calais on September 24, 1944. The aircraft left Skellingthorpe at 1722hrs and was hit by flak near the target and crashed into the sea, killing five of the seven men aboard, including F/O Desmond Freeman.

The crew consisted of:

Name

Service

Trade

Hometown

Age

F/O Desmond Freeman - DFC

RAFVR

Pilot

Gainsborough, Lincs.

21

F/Sgt P.D Cook - Evaded

RAFVR

Flight Engineer

-

-

F/Sgt Eric Coe

RAFVR

Navigator

Ilford, Essex

-

F/Sgt James Morris

RAFVR

Bomb Aimer

-

-

Sgt James Heasman

RAFVR

W/Op/AG

Forest Row, Sussex

21

F/Sgt D. Gordon - Evaded

RAFVR

Air Gunner

-

-

F/Sgt Horace Rosher

RAFVR

Air Gunner

Ashford, Middlesex

21

 Flying Officer Desmond Clayton Freeman, DFC,  RAFVR,  known as "Denny" was the son of Luther Henry and Enid Freeman of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. F/O Freeman received his Distinguished Flying Cross for his great courage during the Nuremberg raid of 30/31st March 1944 when he managed to get his stricken aircraft back to England, crash landing at RAF Foulsham, Norfolk.

 He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial along with F/Sgt Morris and Sgt  Heasman. F/Sgt Coe is buried in Calais Southern Cemetery, F/Sgt Rosher rests in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery. Two members of the crew, F/Sgt Cook and F/Sgt Rosher evaded capture.

 Further reading on the incident from which F/O Freeman earned his DFC can be found in the article, Through the Bombsight.

Photo courtesy of the late Derek Patfield, research by Linda Ibrom.