The crew that F/O Hamilton selected at No. 23 O.T.U. became a tight knit group of airmen, described by one of
them many years later as "like seven brothers".
In letters to home the bond and trust between them showed in these letters. "Not to worry, I will be safe",
"swell bunch of fellows"
were some of the comments sent in these letters.
In another letter written by the mother of F/O Bill Hamilton she mentions her son's love for his crew.
The weather was a factor in this operation on August 2/3 1943, more than the enemy defences. Hamilton took JD204
through a series of storm fronts that caused eleven other aircraft to turn back. The remaining four Moose aircraft
continued on to the target area only to find an even more severe storm over Hamburg then the four storms they had
come through over the North Sea.
Three of the aircraft managed to complete the bomb runs under the developing electrical storm which caused the loss
of one the other three Moose Halifax aircraft. Four of crew of Sgt. Sobin's on
DT798 were lost because of the lightning strike.
With only one exception after this very first operation right through to the last sortie Hamilton was
always at the controls of
serial number JD204.
And he was not the only Hamilton to fly
JD204, by the end of August there was a second pilot named Hamilton who on one occasion flew JD204.
October 4/5 - Frankfurt
F/O Hamilton and JD204 were on route to their target for the night when they were attacked by a night fighter.
The resulting damage meant the end of JD204 and for four of her crew. Hamilton had told the crew that he was
losing control of the Halifax.
It would be James McEwan who would see Hamilton last, McEwan had not heard the call to abandon the aircraft he made
his way to Hamilton to see if he could help. Hamilton then shoved him out the escape hatch.
F/O Hamilton and three others would be lost while three of his crew
would become PoWs.
The aircraft came down at Sohren, and it was here that the four men were buried, before being moved to Rheinberg War Cemetery
after the war.
Loss of Halifax JD204
Bond Between Families
After the loss of JD204 and the crew's families were notified of their airmen as being "Missing" , a series of letters
passed amongst the families each seeking information, hope, comfort and added strength as they awaited the final news
which took so long to reach them. See Missing -The Long Wait