Sgt. Charles Corbett Stevens

The headstone of Sgt. Stevens
The grave of all six members of the Lancaster crew

Service number ‘946087’ – 156 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed on Wednesday 20th May 1942.

Buried at Hargnies Communial Cemetery, near Haybes in the Ardennes, France.

156 Sqn. was a Pathfinder squadron based at RAF Alconbury in Cambridgeshire from February until August 1942.
Sgt. Stevens was an Air Gunner on Lancaster X3671 which took off at 22.00 on 19th May 1942 on a mission to bomb Mannheim, Germany. Nothing was heard of this aircraft after take off and thus it must have experienced radio failure, however it continued on it’s mission. The aircraft failed to return to base and the pilot of another Lancaster in the squadron, P/O Bain reported that he believed he had seen it shot down over Charleville on the outward journey. Later it was discovered that Lancaster X3671 crashed near Hargnies in the early hours near the Franco Belgian border. All six members of the crew were killed. The crew are buried together in the cemetery at Hargnies.

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  • I couldn’t agree with you more. On the war memorials we researched which feature bronze plaques, it is possible to see where a number of names have been altered; there is a man listed who survived the war, another who seems to have been commemorated twice, one with wrong initials. I was in touch with Charles’s family during our research – he was named after The Corbett Hospital in Stourbridge where he was born.

    By Joy Marshall (24/05/2021)
  • I am very sorry to have to tell you that you have the wrong man. The man commemorated on Little Burstead Memorial I believe is in fact 6471777 Cecil Gordon Stevens of the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, son of Charles and Ada, husband of Phyllis Clara Stevens of Little Burstead, Essex. Cecil, who was age 28, is buried in Kirkee War Cemetery, India. I have researched Charles Corbett Stevens for a book and he has no connection with Essex. He was born and bred in Stourbridge, West Midlands.

    A difficult one this as the memorial certainly has C.C. as the initials. I am quite prepared to accept that this comment is correct but it does throw up the problem that War Memorials sometimes cause. Editor

    By Joy Marshall (12/05/2021)

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