Wellington Mark X HE239 of No.428 Sqn. RCAF, after its rear turret was blasted off by German FlaK, April 9, 1943

Damage to Vickers Wellington Mark X, HE239 ‘NA-Y’, of No. 428 Squadron RCAF based at Dalton, Yorkshire, resulting from a direct hit from anti-aircraft gun fire while approaching to bomb Duisburg, Germany on the night of 8/9 April 1943.
Despite the loss of the rear turret and its gunner, Sgt. Lorenzo Bertrand (RAF 1050195) as well as other extensive damage, the pilot, Sergeant Leonard Franklin Williamson, continued to bomb the target, following which it was found that the bomb doors could not be closed because of a complete loss of hydraulic power. Williamson nevertheless brought HE239 and the remainder of his crew back for a safe landing at West Malling, Kent, where this photograph was taken.

Pilot: Sgt L.F. Williamson R-107665
Navigator: F/Sgt W. Watkins R-92787
Bomb Aimer: F/Sgt H. Parker R-100022
Wireless Operator: Sgt J. Powley 1203562
Rear gunner: Sgt L. Bertrand 1050195

Sgt. Bertrand’s body was found near Holtwick/Haltern am See (Germany) and he was buried at a cemetery near Sythen (Ehrenfriedhof) on 9 April 1943 and later exhumed to Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

(Colourised by Mark at Canadian Colour)