Remembering Today Solly Crew Wesseling Raid 21/22 June 1944

Living History

Solly’s Sinners were members of 207 Squadron based at RAF Spilsby, Lincs.

The Solly Crew were shot down near Dorne in the Wessling raid 22 June 1944 in Lancaster EM-M LL973, probably by a Schrage Musik night fighter. The target of the raid was a synthetic oil plant.

Three members found dead near the crash site:

Pilot Officer Charles John “Mike” Solly RAFVR, Pilot, age 22

Flight Sergeant John Shaw RAFVR, Navigator, age 22

Sgt Edwin Jack “Jacky” Jewell RAFVR, Mid Upper Gunner age 23

Wireless Operator Frank Haslam and Flight Engineer Arthur Barton evaded capture.

Bomb Aimer Eddie Chapman and Rear Gunner Peter Loaks were made prisoners of war.

It is believed that in one case the chute failed to open and that in the other the chute became entangled with the aircraft. Both John Shaw and Jackie Jewel were found close to the aircraft. Mike Solly is believed to have been found still strapped in his seat.

Frank Haslam was hidden for 13 weeks by the Delsaer family at their farm in Zutendaal. Arthur Barton was passed down an escape line to an MI9 holding camp in the Ardennes Forest.

John Shaw was my uncle. He and Jacky Jewel are buried st Heverlee CWGC Cemetery. Mike Solly is buried at Leopoldsburg CWGC.

With thanks particularly to the Haslam family for the wealth of information made available.

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