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 the son of Joseph and Rebecca née Fink of Wallasey, Merseyside. The family name was originally Ehrlich. 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 1939, the family were living at 59 Rice Lane, Wallasey and Joseph was working as an insurance agent.
Maitland was an air gunner in Lancaster ND535 which took off from 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.