57 Squadron, Royal Air Force
The Wellington Mk III Bomber Z1565 DX - based at RAF Feltwell, Norfolk. [TL710900]

Wellington Z1565 took off at 2055 hours on the 1st April 1942.
This was the first of many experimental 'Low Level' sorties over Germany, of which proved
very costly in lives & equipment, none more so than 57 Squadron.
The target being the Railway Yards & Sidings at Hanau, east of Frankfurt.
After escaping enemy night fighter fire, receiving only minor damage to the aircraft
the crew being ;-

Sgt NZ/404936 William John Paterson (Pilot) RNZAF {Captain} [Takapau, Hawke's Bay, NZ]
F/Sgt R/54303 Arthur Allen Bussell (Pilot) RCAF [Toronto, Ontario, Can.]
Sgt 1053676 Robert Cecil Roberts RAFVR (Air Obs) [Fulwood, Preston, Lancashire, UK]
F/Sgt R/64633 William Mann Fraser (W.Op/Air Gnr) RCAF [Cambellton, New Brunswick, Can.]
Sgt 1205877 Francis Henry Miller RAFVR (Air Gnr) [Toton, Beeston, Nottingham, UK]
Sgt 751040 Albert Lees (W.Op/Air gnr) RAFVR [Rusholme, Manchester, UK]

continued for the target area, after dropping its deadly load onto the target,
but before leaving the target area, Z1565 was caught in a cone of
searchlight beams and was hit by ground to air flak and night fighter fire.
Sgt Lees the Wireless Operator was shot in the legs and the rear gunner Sgt Miller was killed,
Sgt Paterson ordered Sgt Lees to remove the emergency canopy and then gave the general order for
the crew to bail out, at that moment there was a blinding flash and Z1565 started to disintegrate
Only Sgt Lees survived the exploding bomber,
upon capture he then remained a POW throughout the rest of the war.

Therefore in memory of not only my grand uncle, Albert Lees,
please accept this memorial to commemorate the memory of his
5 crew colleagues, mentioned above, whom perished on this their 27th sortie.
Sgt 751040 Albert LEES RAFVR
POW 24820 Dulag Luft (1942)
POW 1427 Stalag VIIIB (1942-3)
POW 1547 Stalag Luft III (1943-5)
Prisoner of War Photograph
Do you recognise either of these 2?