Mr and Mrs elected officials,
Mr and Mrs,
Thursday June 8, 1944 at 00.15
The four engines of 18 Lancaster bombers hum.
This night’s mission must lead them on Chevreuse (Yvelines).
Wind is coming from the west at 5 miles per hour.
Temperature reaches 0° at 8 000 feet.
Visibility is 10 miles.
At 00. 20 : the first bombers align on the runway for takeoff, taking along in their compartments, each one, 18 bombs of 500 pounds.
At 00. 40 : squadron is assembled and flies full South, under the command of Wing Commander R.H. Annan.
At 01. 00 : the cliffs of the the Caux region are in sight. At this point in time, the German aerial defence enters in action. It is particularly fatal there this night. Luftwaffe which cannot face the allied air forces in daytime without undergoing heavy losses, keeps it’s deadly punch at the time of night interceptions.
The fortresses are attacked soon. Several of them are hit on the way of the mission. Among them, Lancaster MKI "H.LL.864" takes several shells. It must soon leave the formation, engine on fire. Captain (Pilot Officer) R.P. Maude tries to escape and return on England. But German hunters arrive on the spot and go after the Lancaster flying on fire over the Vexin region. There is nothing to do. The airplane is too low so the crew can’t think of using parachutes.
Flying very close to the top of the trees of the “Bois de la Reserve”, the plane arrives above Giverny and finally crashes in the “Plaine des Ajoux, some four hundred meters before the Seine River. The plane breaks in multiple pieces. The seven members of the crew die in the crash on the French ground.