A Royal Canadian Air Force Memorial Cross; Downed by Flak near Degerndorf
A Royal Canadian Air Force Memorial Cross; Downed by Flak near Degerndorf - George VI (F.O. P. BARLOW J39368). Naming is officially engraved. Semi-dark patina, suspended from a pinback hanger, extremely fine. Footnote: Percy Barlow was born on December 26, 1909, the son of Thomas James Barlow and Mary Annetta Barlow of Souris, Manitoba. Flight Officer Percy Barlow was with No. 61 Squadron, which was based at RAF Bomber Command Station, RAF Skellingthorpe. The squadron departed at 16:40 on December 17, 1944 for a bombing mission to Munich, with Barlow aboard LM729 Avro Lancaster Mark III, one of a crew of seven: two Canadians, four Britons and one Australian. The aircraft was downed by Flak near Degerndorf, 38 kilometres southwest of Munich. It exploded at 22:15 local time on the 17th, with the tail of the plane and turret falling away from the rest of the aircraft. Six of the crew were killed: J/35848 Flying Officer (Pilot) Edward Roy Newland RCAF, 1563302 Sergeant (Flight Engineer) David Thomson Muir RAFVR, J/39368 Flying Officer (Navigator) Percy Barlow RCAF, 1579544 Sergeant (Bombadier) Ronald William Bennett RAFVR, 421847 Warrant Officer (Wireless/Air Gunner) Hilton Alfred Hales RAAF and 1895120 Sergeant (Middle Air Gunner) Herbert Alfred Tuck RAFVR. The lone survivor was 1881284 Sergeant (Rear Air Gunner) Charles Samuel Joce RAFVR. Joce was taken Prisoner of War and was confined to hospital due to his injuries. After the war, Sgt Joce described the ordeal: "A photo flash exploded during a straight level run after the bombs were gone. I was in the rear turret when the explosion occurred." J/39368 Flying Officer (Navigator) Percy Barlow, No. 61 Squadron, Royal Air Force was Killed in Action on December 17, 1944, at the age of 34. He is buried in Durnbach War Cemetery, Durnbach, Bavaria, Germany (50 kilometres from Munich), Grave Reference: Coll. grave 9. C. 3-6, along with the other five deceased airmen. Barlow is commemorated on page 243 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. A chapel was erected by grateful villagers after the war because the crashing Lancaster exploded in mid-air before it would have hit the village.