Hurst War Memorial, St.Nicholas Church, Hurst, Berkshire
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Wheeler, Nathaniel John Edward

Air Crew Europe Star
Air Crew
Europe Star
1939 - 1945 Star
1939 - 1945
1939 - 1945 War Medal
1939 - 1945
War Medal
Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Nathaniel John Edward Wheeler (1335675)
Died on Saturday 2nd October 1943, aged 21
61 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Son of John Barnes Wheeler and Rose Hannah Wheeler (née Paggett), of May Cottage, Lodge Road, Hurst
Buried:Durnbach War Cemetery
Coll. grave 9. A. 21-23.

Nathaniel Wheeler was born in Chertsey, Surrey in the third quarter of 1922.

Sergeant Nathaniel Wheeler was a wireless operator / air gunner in 61 Squadron R.A.F., which formed part of 5 Group, Bomber Command. At 18:32 on the evening of 2nd October 1943 he took off from R.A.F. Syerston in Nottinghamshire on a bombing raid against Munich. Nathaniel was one of the crew of Lancaster Mk.III bomber No.ED718, code name QR-P, probably in the role of wireless operator.

Whilst south of Munich after delivering their bombs, the Lancaster came under a sustained attack from a night-fighter. A fierce fire broke out as the Lancaster dived, and at approximately 6,000ft the bomber exploded, throwing the pilot, Squadron Leader G.Cousens and Sgt. G.Dunn clear. These two men survived to become prisoners of war and Squadron Leader Cousens was held for some hours after capture in a local village jail. Squadron Leader Cousens was subsequently interned in Camp L3 as PoW No.2938 and Sgt. G.Dunn was held in Camp 4B as PoW No.250717.

Nathaniel Wheeler and the rest of the crew were killed. The other crew members were Flight Lieutenant G.Hamilton DFC, Squadron Engineering Officer, Flying Officer C.Cleveland, Sgt. P.Camsell R.C.A.F. and Sgt. F.Ellick. All of these men are buried together in Durnbach War Cemetery.



They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in morning
We will remember them.
Lawrence Binyon