Air Gunner, 106 Squadron
Service number 1431392
Died 31 March 1944
Buried Hanover War Cemetery, Germany
‘GOD GAVE US STRENGTH TO BEAR THE LOSS WHAT IT COST TO LOSE HIM NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW’
Maitland was born on 4 November 1921 in Birkenhead, Merseyside to Polish born father Joseph and Liverpool born mother Rebecca née Fink. The family surname was originally Ehrlich and was changed to Ellick. Maitland’s father Joseph was first married to Esther Wolensky who died aged twenty-one and they had a son Arthur. Joseph remarried to Maitland’s mother Rebecca in 1920. In 1921, Joseph and Rebecca were living at 59 Rice Lane, Wallasey with her father and Joseph is listed as working as a baker. They remained living at the same house and in the 1939 Register Joseph is now listed as working as an insurance agent and Maitland worked as a shipping clerk.
Maitland enlisted in 1941 and trained as an air gunner. On 20th-21st December 1943, he was the rear gunner of Lancaster ‘O’ of 106 Squadron which was returning home from a mission to Frankfurt. At 23,000 feet, the Lancaster was fired upon by what was presumed to be a cannon from an enemy fighter. Maitland immediately instructed the captain Pilot Officer Richard Starkey to corkscrew to port and after the manoeuvre they were hit in the port fin and rudder. The aircraft corkscrewed again and resumed its original course and made it back home.
Maitland was an air gunner in Lancaster ND535 which departed RAF Metheringham on a night operation to Nurnberg. The aircraft was shot down by night fighter Obit Martin Becker of 1./NJG5 who came upon the Lancaster on the outbound leg and it crashed near Konigsberg. Becker was responsible for shooting down seven aircraft that night and said after the war, ‘They seemed to be lining up to be shot down. I just had to stop after the seventh one, I was sick of the killing.’
Five of the crew were killed and two became prisoners of war.
Maitland Ellick, 1431392
F/E, Jack Frank Harris, 1615781
A/G, John Jamieson, 1007433
Nav, Colin Roberts, 1544887
W/Op, George William Walker, 1212018
Wally McWilliams Paris, 1551416, POW Stalag 357
Richard Starkey, 157677, POW Stalag Luft L3