Kroeker, Walter

Personal Information

Rank F/L
Forename(s) Walter
Surname Kroeker
Gender M
Age 24
Date of Death 04-04-1945
Next of Kin Son of Frank Diedrich Kroeker and Elizabeth Kroeker (née Pankratz), of Langham, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Aircraft Information

Aircraft Avro Lancaster I
Serial Number RF182
Markings PH-P

Memorial Information

Burial/Memorial Country Germany
Burial/Memorial Place Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery
Grave Reference Coll. grave 6. Z. 18-27.

IBCC Memorial Information

Phase 1
Panel Number 60

Enlistment Information

Service Number J/24167
Service Royal Canadian Air Force
Group 1
Squadron 12
Trade Pilot
Country of Origin Canada

Other Memorials

Location Kroeker Lake, Saskatchewan
Country Canada
Memorial Type Lake
Memorial Text
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Location Wickenby Airfield, Wickenby, Lincolnshire
Country United Kingdom
Memorial Type Inscribed Stone Memorial with Sculpture of Icarus & Information Board
Memorial Text Royal Air Force Wickenby No1 Group Bomber Command 1942-1945 In memory of one thousand and eighty men of 12 & 626 Squadrons who gave their lives on operations from this airfieldin the offensive against Germany and the liberation of occupied Europe Per ardu
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Miscellaneous Information

Walter was born on 11 July 1920 at Langham, Saskatchewan. His parents were both born in Russia and his father works as a drayman. Both now naturalised Canadians. He has three brothers, Arthur, Orlando and Benjamin and a sister Laurina. One of the brothers is in the RCAF and another working in a Steel factory. He went to Langham school 1927-1935 (grades 1-8) and back again 1935-1939 for Senior Matric. He had no hobby but enjoyed hockey and baseball. Walter took on general small duties between 1939-1940 and then spent the winter of 1940-41 in Lumber Camps. From 1941 onwards he worked as a Relief Agent for the Monarch Lumber Company until enlisting on 20 February 1942.
After training he was sent to the U.K. on 4 April 1943, then to 11 (P) AFU. 1 June 1943, 81 OTU 17 August 1943, 1656 CU 8 November 1943, and 12 Squadron on 31 December 1943. In his records he is marked as having been slightly injured on 5 June 1943, missing on 4 January 1944, interned on 12 January 1944 in Sweden and safely back in U.K. by 27 September 1944. Sadly Walter lost his life on 4 April 1945. (He and his crew force-landed their 12 Squadron Mk III Lancaster ND324 PH-E at Kalmar, Sweden).

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The National Archives

Fellow Servicemen

Last Operation Information

Start Date 04-04-1945
End Date 05-04-1945
Takeoff Station Wickenby
Day/Night Raid Night (58% moon)
Operation Lutzkendorf
Reason for Loss Airborne 20:54 on 4 Apr 1945 from Wickenby to bomb the oil refinery in Lützkendorf. Crashed near the small town of Braunsbedra approximately 10 km SW of Merseburg

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Casualty Pack

IBCC is delighted to introduce a unique facility to link the Losses Database to the relevant RAF Casualty Pack on the National Archives website. This project is the result of on-going collaboration between IBCC, the MOD Records Office and National Archives, Kew. This document describes what Casualty Packs are, when they were created, the process of making them available to the public and then goes on to describe the process by which you can view the contents of the packs. Casualty Packs (CPs) were created by the RAF whenever there was serious injury or loss of life associated with operational activity within the RAF. This includes operational flying losses, enemy action due to air raids, road accidents either on station or even off-station if they involved RAF vehicles. Deaths due to natural causes in service or accidents that did not involve RAF vehicles did not generally give rise to a CP.

CPs were originally given a unique reference number by the RAF. Each begins with the letter ‘P’ and is followed by six digits, then an oblique (forward slash) and the finally the year in which the incident took place- for example P396154/42.

The CPs are in the process of being made available to the general public as they are passed from the MOD Records Office, Portsmouth to National Archives, Kew. This process requires some rework to the files which is very time consuming, so the process of making them all available to National Archives will take several years. They are being made available in increasing date order.

Once CPs arrive at National Archives they are assigned a unique AIR81 number, so each CP has both a P-number and an AIR81 number. Both are searchable on the National Archives website under ‘Search the catalogue’ and both are included on the IBCC website.

The AIR81 reference on the IBCC website is a link to the file on the National Archives website. When you click on it, the relevant page will open in a new tab on your browser.

There is currently no plan to digitise AIR81 files, partly because they are fragile and partly because the information they contain can at times be sensitive, even harrowing, since they may contain exhumation reports and even photographs of corpses. Family members wishing to read the AIR81 files relating to their ancestors are advised to exercise caution and be guided by National Archives warnings where appropriate.

There are two means for accessing AIR81 files- to attend in person or to order a copy by post.

To attend in person, the attendee should first create a Reader’s Ticket. This can be done online by following this link: Then click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and click Order in Advance. Enter your Reader’s Ticket number and state the date on which you intend to visit. National Archives will have the file ready for you when you arrive, saving you time. When you visit Kew, you must quote the Reader’s Ticket number and take along two forms of ID- one bearing your signature and one bearing your address. When you view the files, you are permitted to take photographs of each page, should you wish.

Alternatively, if you wish to order a copy by post, please be aware that there is a charge for this service based on the number of pages in the file. Click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and then click Request a Copy. There is an £8.40 charge for National Archives staff to access the file and give you a quotation for the copying service. The process takes around 24 days to complete and can be expensive.

IBCC wishes to thank the staff at the MOD Records Office and National Archives for their engagement and assistance in making this facility available to our website users.