Name: SEILER, FREDERICK MAURICE. Rank: Sergeant (Flt. Engr.)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force (Auxiliary Air Force). Unit Text: 44 Sqdn.
Age: 30. Date of Death: 01/11/1944. Service No: 863360
Additional information: Son of Frederick Seiler, and of Patience Seiler, of North End, Portsmouth.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Sec. B. Grave 196. Cemetery: EASTBOURNE (LANGNEY) CEMETERY
Name: HAWORTH, JOHN HEREWARD TITLEY. Rank: Flying Officer (Pilot)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Unit Text: 44 Sqdn.
Date of Death: 01/11/1944. Service No: 160208
Additional information: Of Southern Rhodesia.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Plot C.C.1. Grave 87. Cemetery: MAIDSTONE CEMETERY, Kent
Lancaster Mk III. Serial Number: LM650. 44 Squadron. Codes: KM-T. Operation: Homberg. 1st November 1944
LM650 was delivered to 44 Squadron on 9 July 1944. LM650 took part in the following Key Raids: Colombelles 18 July ‘44 - Daylight; then to Stuttgart 12/13 Sept ‘44. This was also a daylight operation. LM650 was the only aircraft lost on this operation. When lost this aircraft had a total of 309 hours. Airborne 13:42 1 Nov ‘44 from Spilsby to attack the Meerbeck synthetic oil plant. Hit by flak over the target, which badly damaged the Lancaster and killed Flying Officer Haworth. Flight Sgt Walters, the W/Op, took over the controls and succeeded in flying the damaged Lancaster back across the Channel. When satisfied he had brought the crew to safety, he ordered them to bale out. All did so, including F/Sgt Walters, however, Sgt Seiler's parachute failed to deploy. The bomber crashed at 17:45 1 Nov ‘44 near Battle, 6 miles NW of Hastings, Sussex.
For his courageous actions, F/Sgt Walters was awarded the CGM that was Gazetted 19 Nov ‘44. Flying Officer Haworth, who came from Southern Rhodesia, is buried in Maidstone Cemetery. Sgt Seiler is buried in Eastbourne (Langney) Cemetery. There are three reports that this Lancaster was damaged by a fighter attack. F/O J.H.T. Haworth KIA; Sgt F.M. Seiler KIA; but Sgt J.B. Saunders; F/Sgt S.W. Walters F/Sgt G.W. Gardner Sgt T. Mackay and Sgt A.W. McKallister survived.
For an airframe with over 300 hours, I'm surprised that it only took part in 3 Operations, one of which was it's last!! I have a feeling that it was perhaps only 30.9 hours, but what do I know?