John Richards piloted his Avro Lancaster III, Flight Reference ED913 Code UL-U2, from 576 Squadron, 1 Group, and took off from RAF Elsham Wolds at 00.05 on the 24th December 1943 on bombing operations to Berlin. The aircraft subsequently crashed during operations. All but one of the crew died as a result of enemy action.
The rest of John Richards’ crew were :
55012 Flying Officer (Pilot) Bertie James Marks Age 27 Husband of J. L. A. Marks, of Bexleyheath, Kent. [Unusual for a Lancaster to have a second pilot except on a long distance target, like Berlin]
1392028 Sergeant (Nav.) Arthur Edward Hooper age unknown
1637351 Sergeant (Flt. Engr.) Hubert (Bert) Stanley Mitchell Age 39 Son of Francis and Eleanor; husband of Marion, of Port Isaac, Cornwall
1134386 Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Sidney Walter Irons age 34 Son of Thomas and Jessie; husband of Rose Lucy, of Edmonton, Middlesex.
1590726 Sergeant (Air Gnr.) Charles Milburn Age: 19 Son of Charles and Jessie Milburn, of Rothbury, Northumberland.
1623412 Sergeant (Air Gnr.) Harold Johnson Age 19 Son of William and Florence Johnson, of Bolton, Lancashire.
All the above are buried at the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery.
1319965 Sgt G Evans was the only surviving crew member and was taken Prisoner of War POW No 269766 Stalag Luft L3 Sagan and Belaria
Of the 264 RAF Lancasters which flew to Berlin that night, 17 never returned.