First three photos from Canadian Bomber Command in Nanton, Alberta; bottom row, name on Memorial Wall in Memorial Gardens, Sault Ste. Marie, ON.; headstone from War Graves Commission; air force photo.
On March 31, 1944 Roy Thibedeau got into his turett as the rear gunner aboard a Lancaster leaving Skellingthorpe, England for Nuremberg, Germany. The crew was on its 13th sortie and superstitious thoughts must have been in their mind.
For Roy and two others of the seven man crew, it was their last mission as their aircraft was shot down by a German nightfighter crashing near the village of Mauschendorf.
Research is ongoing into the details of what happened that night and in the days following and will be documented here.
Onsite investigation is being conducted by Art Osborne's new friend, Toni Schmidt, a retired German engineer who lives near the crash site. The two found each other on the internet discovering that each were researching the same incident.
This note from Toni and these photos:
I found out, that we have an interesting, government originated, map for Bavaria in the internet.
In this map you can switch to different modes. Normal topographic, satelite, historic and relief view. And this last one is very interesting because it shows the landscape without vegetation. It shows the earth like a moon map. You can see each irregularity on the ground inside the woods. On the farmland everything is destroyed or flattened by the farmers, but in the forrests the earth remains as it was disturbed by human beings.
You can switch by one click from one version to another. So I looked also for Mauschendorf and found, that there are a lot of craters besides the main craters that I knew up to now.
I was there today to verify my finds and found easy three big craters north of the map, each about 7 to 10 meters in diameter and about 2 meters depth. Two of these are perfect round bomb craters, the third one lookes mor oblong.
I had lots of signals of my detector but I digged out only a few large aluminum metal sheets and one 0.303 Browning shell, explodet at the crash. "
(map here) Crater;pieces of aircraft; crash report; aerial of location; nightfighter aircraft of the type involved in this battle; church grave yard, site of original burial before interment in military cemetery. (credit to German citizen, Toni Schmidt who has been kind enough to do and share crash site research and photography)
Pilot Officer ROY FREDERICK THIBEDEAU
died on March 31, 1944
Service Number: J/90043
Force: Air Force
Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force
Division: 50 (R.A.F.) Sqdn
DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY
[CLICK HERE FOR CEMETERY]
Grave Reference: 6. H. 21.
Canadian Virtual Memorial
Location: Durnbach is a village 16 kilometres east of Bad Tolz, a town 48 kilometres south of Munich. Durnbach War Cemetery is 3 kilometres north of the village Gmund am Tegernsee. Using the A8 from Munich, turn off at the junction Holzkirchen, taking the 318 road in the direction of Gmund am Tegernsee. At the crossroads with the 472, turn left in the direction of Miesbach. The cemetery is situated approximately 500 metres on the left from the 318/472 crossroads.
Art Osborne & Associates
65 Lansdowne Ave. Suite One
Sault Ste. Marie, ON Canada P6B 1K5