Chapman, Wilbur Henry

Personal Information

Rank F/S
Forename(s) Wilbur Henry
Surname Chapman
Gender M
Age 26
Date of Death 22-01-1944
Next of Kin Son of Samuel and Harriett Chapman. Husband of Isabel Jean Chapman, of Dawson, South Australia.

Aircraft Information

Aircraft Avro Lancaster II
Serial Number DS824
Markings JI-K

Memorial Information

Burial/Memorial Country Netherlands
Burial/Memorial Place Hindeloopen Protestant Churchyard
Grave Reference Plot D. Row 1. Grave 1.

IBCC Memorial Information

Phase 2
Panel Number 143

Enlistment Information

Service Number 417157
Service Royal Australian Air Force
Group 3
Squadron 514
Trade WOp/AG
Country of Origin Australia

Other Memorials

Location Church of St. John the Evangelist, Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire
Country United Kingdom
Memorial Type Inscribed Stone Memorial and RoH
Memorial Text Roll of Honour and memorial to the members of 514 Sqn who served at RAF Waterbeach 1943-1945
View On Google Maps View On what3words

Last Operation Information

Start Date 21-01-1944
End Date 22-01-1944
Takeoff Station Waterbeach
Day/Night Raid Night (18% moon)
Operation Magdeburg- the first major raid on this target. 648 aircraft, 57 losses (8.8%). The Halifax loss rate was especially high at 15.6%. The German controller tracked the bomber stream across the North Sea and many night-fighters were already in the stream before it reached the German coast (using the newly developed Tame Boar methodology). The controller was slow in identifying Magdeburg as the target but this was of little consequence as the fighters were able to stay in the stream for the duration of the approach. Despite the high loss rate, this was not a successful attack. Stronger tail winds than anticipated placed some of the stream over the target before Zero Hour and dropped their bomb load anyway, making the target marking much less effective. German decoy markers exacerbated the situation. No local report is available but it is thought that most of the bombs fell outside of the city.
Reason for Loss Crashed into the Ijsselmer

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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.