MacRobert's

Reply

The Fallen Crew

Here is a page dedicated to the eight crew of W7531 MacRobert's Reply Stirling of 15 Squadron, who in the early morning of the 18th May 1942 paid the ultimate sacrifice. They are remembered with honour and gratitude.

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JOHN CHARLES HALL DFC

Squadron Leader 41693 Pilot 15 Sqdn., Royal Air Force.

Additional Information: Son of William Salkeld Hall and Dorothy Mary Hall, of Wymondham, Norfolk. 

Cemetery: ODENSE (ASSISTENS) CEMETERY, Denmark 

Grave or Reference Panel Number: Grave BD. 382.

Died on Monday 18 May 1942 . Age 24 . 


The crew list must start with the skipper of the MacRobert's Reply. John Hall was, at just 24, a Squadron Leader. As such he flew a reduced number of missions and this was unfortunately one of those. It would be his last. He bravely fought to maintain control of the aircraft as it was hit again and again by anti-aircraft fire from both ship and shore batteries.

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JOHN PATRICK RYAN

Flying Officer J/4758 15 (R.A.F.) Sqdn, Royal Canadian Air Force.

Additional Information: Son of John Joseph and Mary Ryan; husband of Wilhelmina Ryan, father of John (Jnr) Ryan, of Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand.

Cemetery: ODENSE (ASSISTENS) CEMETERY, Denmark 

Grave or Reference Panel Number: Grave BD. 383.

Died on Monday 18 May 1942 . Age 30 .



The charismatic navigator (middle of picture, set back) was born at Timaru on 29 March 1912. Timaru is in the southern Canterbury region of New Zealand on the eastern Pacific coast of the South Island. After leaving school (Waimate College) he met his future wife in Timaru and married in Melbourne after which they returned to New Zealand. John then travelled to the U.S. to study and, when he had completed the course, his wife joined him and they both worked for Bernar McFadden in Dansville, New York. While at Dansville, John Ryan learned to fly. When war broke out, they waited for their son (John Jnr) to be born (November '39) and then tried to get a booking for mother and son to return to New Zealand. Being war time, this took some time, but they finally secured a cabin on the Port Hunter. After their departure, John Ryan travelled to Canada to enlist in the RCAF, 11 OTU from 27 Jun 41, and joined 15 Sqn 1 Aug 41. Promoted to Flying Officer 16 Mar 42. He was well liked and respected by all the crew.

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FRANK LESLIE SHARPE

Sergeant 910003 W.Op./Air Gnr. 15 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 

Cemetery: ODENSE (ASSISTENS) CEMETERY, Denmark 

Grave or Reference Panel Number: Grave BD. 353.

Died on Monday 18 May 1942 . 




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ANTHONY SPRIGGS

Sergeant 568054 Flt. Engr. 15 Sqdn., Royal Air Force 

Additional Information: Son of William Frank and Edith Ellen Spriggs, of Bristol. They can be seen on a photograph (click here) standing behind the bench, to the right of the man in the sports jacket.

Cemetery: ODENSE (ASSISTENS) CEMETERY, Denmark 

Grave or Reference Panel Number: Grave BD. 356.

Died on Monday 18 May 1942 . Age 22 .




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RONALD MAYCOCK

Sergeant 1384147 Obs. 15 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.. 

Additional Information: son of Charles Stephenson Maycock and Elizabeth Ann Maycock, of Sunderland, Co. Durham. 

Cemetery: ODENSE (ASSISTENS) CEMETERY, Denmark 

Grave or Reference Panel Number: Spec. Mem.

Died on Monday 18 May 1942 . Age 21




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ROBERT NICHOLSON

Sergeant 954208 15 Sqdn., Royal Air Force. 

Additional Information: Son of Walter and Stella Nicholson, of Walkington, Yorkshire.

Cemetery: ODENSE (ASSISTENS) CEMETERY, Denmark 

Grave or Reference Panel Number: Grave BD. 355.

Died on Monday 18 May 1942 . Age 23




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JOHN BERNARD BUTTERWORTH

Sergeant 1307679 W.Op./Air Gnr. 15 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Additional Information: Son of David and Annie Butterworth, of Greenfieid, Yorkshire.

Cemetery: ODENSE (ASSISTENS) CEMETERY, Denmark 

Grave or Reference Panel Number: Grave BD. 354.

Died on Monday 18 May 1942 . Age 22 .


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NEVILLE GEORGE RICHARDSON BOOTH

Flight Lieutenant 81661 Pilot 20 O.T.U., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Additional Information: Son of Joseph Vincent Lane Booth and Josephine Lyndall Booth, of Denshaw, Yorkshire.

Cemetery: ODENSE (ASSISTENS) CEMETERY, Denmark 

Grave or Reference Panel Number: Grave BD. 381.

Died on Monday 18 May 1942 . Age 25


Neville Booth was born at Bucklow in Cheshire on the 13th of June 1916 the son of Joseph Vincent Lane Booth, a merchant, and Josephine Lyndall (nee Richardson) Booth of Denshaw in Yorkshire. He was educated at Lancing College where he was in Heads House from September 1929 to July 1933.


In 1935 he was on the reporting staff for the Manchester Evening News and worked in their London office from 1938. By 1938 he was also a Sergeant Pilot in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on the 30th of June 1940. He was promoted to Flying Officer on the 30th of June 1941 and to Flight Lieutenant in 1942. 


For the one mission only Neville Booth was attached to the crew of MacRobert's Reply as an official observer of the new GEE radar system and the crew were forbidden to mention to anyone that they were carrying an extra passenger.


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