Lancaster PA169......1st January 1945
Details courtesy of W R Chorley's Bomber Command Losses.
The following details were provided by Lyle Patison
(the Navigator of Lancaster PA169)
We did not crash land our aircraft, PO-H. It was badly flak damaged over the target and steadily lost height during our attempt to regain Allied held territory and any attempt to crash land it was thought to be impractical due to its unusual flying attitude. We decided to bale out of it at a minimum height of 3500 feet no matter where this may be
(if not shot down before then!).
Due to extreme good fortune we happened to be just crossing the front lines at the River Maas by the time that we were down to 3800 feet and all successfully baled out of it shortly afterwards - leaving it to crash just south of Overloon in Holland.
Our pilot "Merv" Bache, received his immediate DSO because of his efforts which resulted in us getting out of Germany into Allied held territory (in broad daylight) in an aircraft so extremely damaged!
(from an email by Lyle Patison in November 2009)
No crew members were seriously hurt.
F/O M G Bache DSO RAAF
Sgt E Wilson
F/S S H Nelson RAAF
F/O L E Patison RAAF
F/S C J Dreger RAAF
F/S L G Court RAAF
F/S J M Jay RAAF