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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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138 Sqn
19.07.1944 138 (Special Duties) Squadron Halifax V LL364 Flt.Lt. John A. Kidd

Operation: SOE

Date: 19th July 1944 (Monday)

Unit: 138 (Special Duties) Squadron

Type: Halifax V

Serial No: LL364

Code: NF:B

Location: Marigny-l’Eglise , France

Base: RAF Tempsford, Bedfordshire, England

Pilot: Flt.Lt. John Allan Kidd 152342 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Flight Engineer: Plt.Off. Cyril Frederick Thomas Miles 56010 RAF Age 24. Killed

Navigator: Fg.Off. Kenneth Robertson Urquhart J28220 RCAF Age 23. Killed

Bomb Aimer: Flt.Sgt. Bernard Stroud 1315980 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Wireless Op/Air Gunner: Sgt. Charlie Taylor 1581229 RAFVR Age? Killed

Air Gunner: Sgt. Graham Bancroft Byrne 1547072 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air Gunner: Sgt. James Revill Moody 1576882 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Flt.Lt. John A. Kidd (Credit:Paul Stroud); Fg.Off. Kenneth R. Urquhart from his Service record; Flt.Sgt. Bernard Stroud (Credit: Paul Stroud).

Sgt. Charlie Taylor; Sgt. Graham B. Byrne; Sgt. James R. Moody. (Credit: Paul Stroud)


Halifax V LL364 took off from RAF Tempsford at 22:30 hrs on the night of the 18th July 1944 and set course France to drop supplies to the Special Air Service (SAS) operating in the area. This was one of two parachute drops expected in the area, the second being by B-24H 42-51187 of the 850th Bomber Squadron, 801st/492nd Bombardment Group, US Army Air Force, which was to drop supplies to the resistance fighters of the Maquis Camille at Peinture.

Halifax II LL364 turned towards the Eureka beacon* and crossed over the route for drop zone (DZ) Dick 89. B-24H 42-51187 turned over a nearby village to line up its run to drop its supplies on DZ Dick 28A. The two aircraft collided in mid-air at about 01:00 hours near Marigny-l’Eglise, France, some 9 miles south of Avalon in eastern France.

* Rebecca/Eureka was a short-range navigation system used to accurately locate a position to insert airborne forces and supplies. The system comprises two parts, the Rebecca transceiver aboard the aircraft and the Eureka ground based transponder

The Rev. Fraser McLuskey, the first Chaplin of the 1st SAS, was operating with one of the SAS squadrons behind German lines near Mazignien (Nièvre), when the two aircraft collided and fell to earth in the vicinity of his camp. The burial of 1st.Lt. Michelson and his crew from the B-24 was organised by Rev. McLuskey. However, the wreckage of Halifax II LL364 crashed near the main road and its crew were buried by the Germans in a local cemetery.

There are monuments at Marigny-l’Eglise and Mazignien for the crews of each aircraft.

Burial Details:

Grave markers at Marigny-l'Eglise: (Credit: Bill Sheret - FindAGrave)

Flt.Lt. John Allan Kidd. Marigny-l’Eglise Communal cemetery, Collective Grave 1. Inscription: "SOME CORNER OF A FOREIGN FIELD THAT IS FOR EVER ENGLAND". Born in 1924. Son of Roland Arthur and Olwen Mary Kidd, of Bristol. Flt.Lt. Kidd and his twin brother Fg.Off. George Donald Kidd, 152709 RAFVR, arrived at RAF Tempsford on the 15th April 1944, from 431 Sqn.

Plt.Off. Cyril Frederick Thomas Miles. Marigny-l’Eglise Communal cemetery, Collective Grave 2. Born in 1920. Son of Charles William and Alice Ruth Miles, of Wimbledon, Surrey.

Fg.Off. Kenneth Robertson Urquhart. Marigny-l’Eglise Communal cemetery, Collective Grave 1. Inscription: "THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE". Born on the 10th June 1921. Son of Kenneth Urqhart and Mina Robertson Urquhart, of Williamstown, Ontario, Canada.

Flt.Sgt. Bernard Stroud. Marigny-l’Eglise Communal cemetery, Collective Grave 1. Inscription: "HAPPY AND UNFADING MEMORIES EVER PRESENT OF A VERY DEAR SON AND BROTHER". Born in 1924. Son of Frederick Ernest and Sarah Eveline Christabel Stroud, of Hereford.

Sgt. Charlie Taylor. Marigny-l’Eglise Communal cemetery, Collective Grave 1. No further details

Sgt. Graham Bancroft Byrne. Marigny-l’Eglise Communal cemetery, Collective Grave 2. Inscription: "ONLY SWEET MEMORIES REMAIN". Born in 1923. Son of Arthur and Mary Byrne, of Blackburn, Lancashire.

Sgt. James Revill Moody. Marigny-l’Eglise Communal cemetery, Collective Grave 2. Inscription: "GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS". Born in 1924. Son of Charles Revill Moody and Edith Ann Moody, of Colwall, Herefordshire.

Researched by Ralph Snape for Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the relatives of this crew (Oct 2019). Thanks to Paul Stroud, a cousin of Flt.Sgt. Stroud, for the crew photographs (Jan 2021).

RS 29.01.2021 - Addition of image for Flt.Sgt. Stroud

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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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