Flight Lieutenant Griff Rogers’ last mission

Susan told me I could use any info she has on her grandfather.

Griff Rogers was with No. 23 Squadron and was Ken Eastwood’s navigator.

This is part of what you can read on her blog.

Griff’s last flight was in Mosquito P 2177 of No. 23 Squadron based at Royal Air Force Little Snoring. It began at 20.42 hours on the evening of 18th September 1944 to carry out intruder patrols in the Gutersloh area.

No communication was received from the aircraft. His friend who saw him crash said that the flak that day was longer range than they expected and his plane was seen to crash at 23.30 hrs and totally disintegrate on impact on the Reich motor road six kilometers south of Gutersloh.

In normal circumstances he would not have been flying, for he had finished his “tour of ops”, but he told Marjorie that there was a ‘big push on’ and he had agreed to carry on rather than let a green crew go into a situation of extreme danger. Marjorie had no idea what this action was, and in fact, after Griff’s death shut out as much of the war as possible, so that even afterwards she had never heard of the Battle of Arnhem which must have been the big push of which Griff Spoke. His squadron was not directly involved, but was obviously being used to try to incapacitate the German planes flying from Gutersloh.

The famous Market Garden operation began on September 17th, and we have one long sheet where Griff is flying over Eindhoven and attacking a train.
It was only natural that in the hubbub of troop and vehicle movements it was impossible to do more than bury Griff and Ken by the side of the road where they remained for a week. After which they were moved to a temporary war grave until the fighting was over and the War Graves commission sorted things out.

Although Griff’s friend was able to tell Marjorie he was pretty sure there was no chance of Griff having survived, the official term was ‘missing’ and it was years before all the ins and outs of his death and last resting place were settled.


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