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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.
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RAF Crest
08.06.1941 No. 11 Operational Training Unit Wellington Ic R1728 F/O. Foster

Operation: Training

Date: 08th June 1941 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 11 Operational Training Unit. 6 Group

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: R1728

Code: -

Base: RAF Steeple Morden, Buckinghamshire

Location: North Sea

Pilot (Inst): F/O. William Alan Foster 36210 RAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Pilot U/T: P/O. Charles Wilfred Symons Bristow 88418 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Obs: Sgt. Richard Percy Burt R/64717 RCAF Age 33. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leonard Parry 988362 RAFVR Age 23. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edward Graham Buckingham 755267 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. William George Nelson Hare 903792 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 15:10 hrs on a night cross country navigation exercise.

The planned route had been RAF Steeple Morden - Helmsley in Yorkshire - Manby in Lincolnshire - RAF Steeple Morden with an anticipated return at 20:10 hrs.

They never returned. On the 21st June a RAF launch discovered a dingy with two of the crew, sadly already dead. No trace of the remainder of the crew.

At a later enquiry held on the 17th June, it is thought 'probable' they had been attacked by a Luftwaffe night fighter in the area.

Burial details:

F/O. William Alan Foster. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 30. Born on the 17th December 1919 at Christchurch, the son of Alan Thomas Foster and Christina Diny Foster (née Randall), of Burwood, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. Joined the RAF on a short service commission on the 16th August 1939. A total of 570 flying hours logged with 41 on the Wellington. He graduated from No. 6 course at Wigram, New Zealand together with F/O. Frederick William Hall-Jones who was also to lose his life on the same day! Further information here.

P/O. Charles Wilfred Symons Bristow. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 31. Son of Henry Holditch Bristow and of Irene Gladys Bristow (née Symons), of Hythe, Kent, England.

Sgt. Richard Percy Burt. Brandesburton Churchyard (St. Mary) RAF Section. Grave 1. Born on the 02nd October 1908 in Mortlake, England, the son of Percy John and Emily Jane Burt of Moncton, Canada. Worked for the Bank of England prior to service. Grave inscription: 'God Is Love'.

Sgt. Leonard Parry. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 50. Son of John Edward and Ethel Elizabeth Parry, of Werneth, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. Edward Graham Buckingham. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 40. Son of Leonard S. and May Buckingham, of Northampton, England.

Sgt. William George Nelson Hare. Hull Delhi Street (Jewish) Cemetery. Grave 99. Born on the 04th July 1914 at Pancras, the son of Walter and Louise Hare (née Machin) and husband of Dora Hare (née Levy), of Palmer's Green, Middlesex, England. Prior to service worked as a boot and shoe salesman. Grave inscription: 'In Loving Memory. Deeply Mourned By Wife, Mother And Family'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 04.11.2019

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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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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