AR banner
search tips advanced search

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the AddInfo button, or send us email from the Helpdesk.
51 Squadron Crest
06.08.1944 No. 51 Squadron Halifax III LW546 MH-R Fl/Lt. George Brown

Operation: Hazebrouck

Date: 06th August 1944 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 51 Squadron (4 Group)

Type: Halifax III

Serial: LW546

Code: MH-R

Base: RAF Snaith, Yorkshire

Location: Lost - no trace

Pilot: Fl/Lt. George Brown NZ/413374 RNZAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed (1)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. William Leonard Healey 1876797 RAFVR Age 19. Missing - believed killed

Nav: F/O. Sidney Harry Coleman 147097 RAFVR Age 30. Missing - believed killed

Air/Bmr: P/O. Aubrey Francis Cowling 176488 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Edgar Frederick Jones AUS/423786 RAAF Age 32. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Ernest William Donkin 542206 RAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert Baptist 3040779 RAFVR Age 19. Missing - believed killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Snaith at 19:10 hrs. 26 others from the squadron talking part in an operation totalling 62 aircraft to bomb the small rail yards at Hazebrouck.

Weather: Thick fog, cloud lifting 06:30 hrs breaking and becoming fine at midday. Visibility fog at first, lifting 08:00 hrs. and becoming very good. Deteriorating and becoming poor 21:00 hrs. Wind: ENE - NNE light, becoming ESE 3-10 mph.

Extract from the Squadron operation Book for this day:

'Small amount of cloud encountered en route out with considerable industrial haze in the target area, thinning out at about 8,000 ft. Most crews were able to identify the target visually and all but three heard the master bomber. His first instructions were to undershoot the red target indicators by 2 seconds., then to aim 200 yards to starboard of the yellow target indicators. Further yellow target indicators were dropped and these were reported both by the master bomber and by crews to be have been on the aiming point. Crews reported many bomb bursts in the area of the target indicators and some sticks were seen to be undershooting at one point in the attack. On the whole it was thought to have been a fairly good attack.
Flares were seen in the target area after leaving. Accurate predicted flak from possible 12 guns in the Saint-Omer area also some light flak from Dunkirk and Gravelines.
4 Aircraft sustained minot damage. 1 failed to return and reported as missing.'

Some reports state that the crew were requesting for a route home and apparently transmitted after leaving the French coast over Calais. A crew member from another aircraft reported that he has seen red verey lights in the Channel but we are unable to confirm this or the source.

(1) The family also lost his younger brother, Sub/Lt. John Atkinson Brown RNZNR. Lost flying a Sea Hurricane Z4450 on the 10th August 1943 whilst with 759 Squadron during a deck landing training exercise.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. George Brown. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 262. Son of George and Jane Brown, of Carterton, Wellington, New Zealand. A total of 1225 flying hours logged.

Sgt. William Leonard Healey. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 231. Son of Albert Edward and Annie Louisa Healey, of Tottenham, Middlesex, England.

F/O. Sidney Harry Coleman. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 205. Son of Harry and Isabell Coleman and husband of Winifred Mary Coleman, of Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England.

P/O. Aubrey Francis Cowling. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 210. Understood to be from St. Eval, Cornwall, England. No further details - are you able to contribute?

Fl/Sgt. Edgar Frederick Jones. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 260. Born on the 02nd October 1911 at Pantyffynnon, Carmarthenshire, Wales, the son of William and Mary Ann Jones and husband of Olga Isolene Jones, of 78 Rosemeath Avenue, Kingsgrove, New South Wales, Australia. Enlisted in Sydney, Australia.

Left: Fl/Sgt. Edgar Frederick Jones

Fl/Sgt. Ernest William Donkin. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 217. Born at 71 Blenheim Terrace, Hull, the son of Herbert and Emma Isabel Donkin, of Hull, England.

Right: Fl/Sgt. Ernest William Donkin

Sgt. Robert Baptist. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 217. Son of Robert and Grace Baptist, of Gateshead, Co. Durham, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY - 01.12.2017

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2017
Last Modified: 02 December 2017, 00:35

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor