On the night of the 20th/21st September 1941, eight aircraft of 144 Squadron (of which AD872 was one) were detailed to take part in an operation to destroy the main post office at Frankfurt. There were several other raids that evening in which 144 Squadron was to play a part. Owing to a steady deterioration in the weather, it was decided to abandon the operation. The recall was not received by all crews, some of whom pressed onto the target. Two aircraft managed to locate and engage the target, despite the weather. Bursts and fires were observed in the target area. One of these planes was hit by flak and had to be abandoned near Fakenham, the crew baling out. The other plane crashed near Dishforth due to lack of fuel. Single aircraft attacked secondary targets being Trier, where bursts followed by fires were observed and Ostend. Here no results were observed. Two planes returned landing at Scampton and Newton (this was the plane of Sgt. McDermott). Two further planes crashed, one being at Morcott near Uppingham and the other at Kirkby-0n-Bain (this was AD872).
The crash time was 02.30am on the morning of the 21st September. The visibility was very poor. At this early stage in the war, instruments and radar were very poor and it is assumed the crash occurred due to a lack of fuel and the poor weather conditions. I came to this conclusion after having been in correspondence with Sgt. McDermott (later Wing Commander DFC;DFM; MiD) who flew that night on this raid. He said he too nearly suffered the same fate as AD872 but, luckily, in a break through the cloud he saw some paraffin flares belonging to a training airfield they had left burning. This turned out to be RAF Newton. He took off at 1910 hours and landed at 0005 hours. This would put the takeoff time of AD872 at about 20.15 hours or thereabouts.
Further details about the crash can be found in a 2007 report in a local paper, The Horncastle News.