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Paul McGuiness RAAF Archive
Paul McGuiness is an Australian aviation researcher and historian. Using primary sources he has assembled detailed information on the history of each plane
used by Australians and Australian forces in WWl and WW2, and on personnel involved.

This page contains many names, dates, locations. To help find the one(s) you're interested in, use our Highlighting facility.
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History of Australian Military Aviation

First World War

Armstrong Whitworth FK3

Avro 504

Bristol F2b Fighter

Fairey Aviation Model lllD Seaplane

Martinsyde G.100 G 102 Elephant

Maurice Farman S.11 Shorthorn

Royal Aircraft Factory BE2

Royal Aircraft Factory BE12

Royal Aircraft Factory RE.8

Royal Aircraft Factory SE5A Experimental Scout

Sopwith Camel B Series

Sopwith Camel C D E F Series

Sopwith Snipe

Sopwith Scout (Pup)

Sopwith 1½ Strutter

Supermarine Seagull lll

Supermarine Southampton Mk 1

Westland Wapiti


Post First World War

Bristol Bulldog

De Havilland DH.9A

Hawker Demon

Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5A

Avro 504K


Second World War

10 Sqd Sunderlands

455 Sqd Hampdens 1941-43

458 Sqd Wellingtons

460 Sqd Wellingtons

461 Sqd Sunderlands

462 Sqd Halifax Part 1 MTO

466 Sqd Wellingtons


Further Information:

Aces and Aviators WWl Database

Material Relating to Australia

455 (B) Squadron RAAF in WW2

A Brief History of Handley Page Hampden Operations

July 1941 to December 1943

455 crest

No. 455 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force was formed at RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales, Australia on 23 May 1941 in accordance with Article XV of the Empire Air Training Scheme. The squadron was formed specifically to operate as a Unit of the Royal Air Force in the European Theatre of Operations. Because of wartime exigencies the squadron’s initial personnel in England were drawn from a number of Commonwealth countries including Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Rhodesia, while awaiting the bulk of Australian personnel who were enroute from Australia. On June 6th 1941 the squadron’s Commonwealth personnel collected at RAF Station Swinderby in Lincolnshire to formally establish the squadron in England.

swinderby map

The Squadron was to be equipped with Handley Page Hampden bombers and assigned to No.5 Group, Bomber Command in the day/night bomber role. Hampden deliveries and manning were slow and by the end of July 1941 Squadron strength was two Mk.I Hampdens with eight officers and 156 other ranks out of an authorized War Time Manning of 18 Aircraft, 45 officers and 475 other ranks. By late August manning had improved to 16 officers and 323 other ranks but aircraft strength was five machines, of which only two were serviceable. Nonetheless, the push to get an Australian bomber squadron into the War culminated in Squadron’s first operational mission on August 29th when one crew flew a 6hr 15min operation against targets in Frankfurt. (Hampden AE296/F crewed by SQNLDR D.J French (P), SGT W.N Pratt (O), FSGT L.J Maidment (WAG) and SGT G. Bernard (WAG), all RAFVR personnel.)

Thus, the media touted 455 Sqn as the 'first Australian squadron to bomb Germany', even though no Australian actually participated in the event. From this very modest beginning the squadron started to slowly increase its operational tempo as more men and aircraft arrived. The Australian groundcrew contingent finally arrived in country on 1 September 1941 and coupled with an influx of aircraft the Squadron had sufficient resources to engage in nighttime mine laying operations off the coast of occupied France and attacks against industrial targets in Germany from October 1941 through March 1942.

One noteworthy incident occurred in February 1942 when the German Navy mounted a large-scale action involving the relocation of the Scharnhorst–class battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau from Brest to German ports. A German flotilla comprising the two battleships, one heavy cruiser, six destroyers and 40 patrol boats departed Brest at 2014hrs on 11Feb42 and headed up the English Channel. When the German breakout was finally noticed the RAF was ordered to attack and 455Sqn despatched nine Hampdens at 1555hrs on 12th Feb. The aircraft could not get into a bombing position and were driven away by the large number of German fighters escorting the flotilla. One Hampden was shot down and the majority of the survivors sustained various degrees of damage.

The Squadron continued in the night/day bomber role for the next two months before the Hampden was deemed unsuitable for use with Bomber Command. In April 1942 the Squadron was moved from Bomber Command to Coastal Command and reequipped with Hampden Mk.I torpedo bombers, the role change also meant a move from RAF Wigsley to RAF Station Leuchars in Scotland. Torpedo bombers began arriving at the Squadron in May 1942 and from then until early July no operational tasks were undertaken with all efforts aimed at training the crews on the new aircraft and torpedo tactics. On 01Jul42 twelve aircraft relocated to RAF Station Wick to undergo final tactical training with major units of the Royal Navy but this training was abruptly curtailed soon after when it was learned the German battleship Tirpitz with the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and six escorts had sortied from Trondheim, Norway to attack the Soviet bound convoy PQ-17. The squadron Commanding Officer (RAF pilot 37302 Wing Commander Grant Moore Lindeman OBE DFC) led the squadron on a futile search for the German ships. Two days later the squadron repositioned to RAF Sumburgh in the Shetland Islands to prepare for another attack on the German force, now returning to Trondheim. The Commanding Officer again led what proved to be another futile search for the ships.

In early August the Leuchars Strike Wing comprising Hampden torpedo bombers from 144Sqn RAF and 455Sqn RAAF were tasked to provide defence of the Allied Arctic convoy PQ 18 from Vaenga airfield on the Kola Inlet, 40km north of Murmansk. A ground element departed Scotland by ship for Vaenga on 13Aug42 followed by the aircraft on 04Sep42, seventeen departing Leuchars but only thirteen reaching Vaenga as three were lost enroute and one returned to Sumburgh with mechanical issues. After completing one unsuccessful anti-shipping sweep the remaining aircraft were handed over to the Soviet Air Force with the RAAF crews instructing the Soviets on their operation before their departure in late October.

The Squadron was employed in largely uneventful anti-shipping and anti-submarine patrols during the latter half of 1942 but on 28Jan43 claimed their first success when seven aircraft from Nos. 455 and 487 Squadrons sank a 3,570-tonne merchant ship with torpedoes. An interesting event occurred on 30Apr43 when a 455Sqn Hampden (Hampden AN149/X flown by Aus411768 FSGT J.S Freeth and crew) was providing ASW cover for a coastal convoy and the crew spotted a surfaced U-Boat which they immediately attacked. In two attacks the crew accurately dropped their eight depth charges that straddled the submarine causing it to come to a halt before sliding stern first below the waves. The crew then counted at least 30 survivors (The boat was U-227, a 789 ton Type VIIC submarine on its 1st war patrol under the command of 25 year old Kapitanleutnant Jurgen Kuntz.) in the icy waters in position 64.05N, 06.40W in the Norwegian Sea north of the Faroe Islands. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this engagement was the fact there was no official recognition of the sinking nor an immediate award of decorations for the crew, which was the normal outcome of such a momentous occasion at that stage of the War.

Further success followed in May/Jun43 when a 6,018-tonne merchantman was sunk near Egero Island, Norway on the 12th; an 8,000ton tanker was hit and left ablaze off the Norwegian coast on the 15th; and, a 2,500 ton merchant was hit amidships and left ablaze on 19th Jun. As soon as the brief summer period ended the weather became the dominant factor in operations and for the next few months very little contact was made with the Enemy as crews battled the freezing conditions with severe icing and extremely poor visibility the norm.

By late 1943 the Hampden’s limitations could no longer be ignored and the Squadron was informed in November that the Hampdens would be replaced by the Beaufighter TF.X. Thus the Hampden era drew to a close and perusal of the 455Sqn Operations Record Book reveals that during the 25 months of operations Hampdens flew 1,152 sorties claiming nine merchant vessels and one submarine sunk; six merchants, one destroyer and two submarines heavily damaged. Additionally, one enemy aircraft was destroyed and four damaged. On the debit side of the ledger was the loss of 50 Hampden aircraft plus 68 aircrew killed in action and seven taken prisoner.

Table 1

Summary of 455 Sqn Sorties Flown and Aircraft Losses

Year

Month

Location

Sorties

Operational

Losses

Non-Operational

Losses

1941

July

RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire

0

0

0

August

RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire

1

0

0

September

RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire

16

4

0

October

RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire

33

0

0

November

RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire

20

3

0

December

RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire

46

1

1

1942

January

RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire

71

3

0

February

RAF Wigsley, Nottinghamshire

59

4

0

March

RAF Wigsley, Nottinghamshire

89

2

1

April

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

97

5

0

May

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

17

0

0

June

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

0

0

1

July

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

23

0

1

August

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

5

0

0

September

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

29

4

0

October

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

9

0

0

November

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

1

0

0

December

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

27

2

0

1943

January

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

65

3

0

February

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

54

0

0

March

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

87

0

1

April

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

74

0

0

May

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

62

0

5

June

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

17

0

0

July

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

52

2

1

August

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

68

1

2

September

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

28

0

0

October

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

38

2

0

November

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

40

1

0

December

RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

8

0

0

1,152

37

13


455 Squadron is known to have operated 142 Hampdens during the period and 50 aircraft (35%) were lost through a combination of operational and non-operational causes. The remainder of this document briefly details the history of how the 50 aircraft were lost and the fate of the gallant men who flew them.

Table 2

Serials of 455 Sqn Hampden Aircraft Lost

L6090 P1156 P1201 P1203 P1207 P1208 P1246 P1272 P2078 P2085

P2126 P2145 P5304 P5323 P5325 P5326 P5328 P5329 X3140 X3150

AD783 AD792 AD836 AD920 AD979 AE146 AE195 AE228 AE243 AE249

AE256 AE291 AE308 AE352 AE378 AE430 AE434 AN148 AN157 AN163

AN166 AT109 AT119 AT132 AT137 AT150 AT181 AT184 AT192 AT221

L6090

00May40 Handley Page Model H.P.53 Hereford Mk.I bomber Serial L6090 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.44/36 under Contract No B.580498/36 by Short & Harland Ltd of Queens Island in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The 89th of 100 Hereford aircraft built in the Serial Range L6002 to L6101.

Powered by two Napier Dagger VIII 17-litre 24-cylinder, H-pattern, supercharged air-cooled aero engines developing 746 kW (1,000 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament initially consisted of six machine guns: one fixed .303inch Browning machine gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K .303inch machine gun fired by the navigator; and, twin Vickers K .303inch guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

01Jun40 Received by No.20 Maintenance Unit at RAF Ashton Down, Gloucestershire.

28Sep40 Aircraft returned to Short & Harland for conversion to Hamden Hampden Mk.I standard which mainly involved replacing the Napier Dagger engines with two 980 hp (730 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder radial engines.

11May41 Aircraft received by Tollerton Air Services at RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

02Aug41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.5 Bombing & Gunnery School at RAF Station Jurby, Isle of Man.

22Sep42 Aircraft sustained Cat.B damage in a landing accident.

03Oct42 Aircraft sent for repair to HBRO (Hampden Bomber Repair Organization) at Tollerton.

28Oct42 Received by English Electric at Preston, Lancashire for conversion to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1.

27Jan43 Aircraft received by Tollerton Air Services at RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

07Feb43 Aircraft received by No.23 Maintenance Unit at RAF Aldergrove near Antrim, Northern Island.

00May43 Allocated for use to RAAF No.455 (TB) Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars, Scotland.

09May43 FLGOFF A.E Ethell with crewmen FSGT V. Griffiths FSGT N. Bayliss and SGT K.P McDonald ferried the aircraft from 23MU to 455 Sqn. Taken on charge with A Flight as UB-J.

12May43 1st Operational Mission RAFVR PLTOFF B Atkinson and crew departed Leuchars at 1633hrs with AE384 (F) and X3116 (R), escorted by four Beaufighters from 235Sqn. At 1857hrs they spotted a 2,500 ton m/v and SQNLDR J Davenport in AE384 scored a hit with his torpedo on the stbd side. The m/v was settling in the water and listing when the flight RTB.

RAF Leuchars

14May43 2nd Operational Mission. PLTOFF J.G Oliver and crew departed Leuchars at 1250hrs with P1158 and X3116 and four escort Beaufighters from 235Sqn for a rover patrol off the Norwegian coast. Mission curtailed as the forecast cloud cover did not materialize.

20May43 3rd Operational Mission. FSGT S.J Cliff and crew departed Leuchars at 2150hrs for a Rover Patrol off the Norge coast. Shot up several enemy fishing smacks before stbd engine began acting up so pilot set course for base and arrived 0330hrs (21May).

27May43 4th Operational Mission. FLGOFF R.F Hodge and crew departed Leuchars at 1505hrs for a daylight Rover Patrol off the Norge coast. Returned safely at 1935hrs after uneventful mission.

31May43 5th Operational Mission. FSGT N. Collier and crew departed Leuchars at 1250hrs with one Beaufighter escort for a daylight Rover Patrol off the Norge coast. Poor weather at Leuchars meant a diversion to RAF Fraserburgh, returned to Leuchars the following day.

The aircraft flew five operational missions and three non-operational flights in May 1941.

07Jun43 6th Operational Mission. FLGOFF J.G Oliver and crew departed Leuchars at 2330hrs for a Rover Patrol off the Norge coast. Nothing seen and returned to Leuchars at x hrs

13Jun43 Detached to RAF Station Tain in Ross-Shire Scotland for a Torpedo Refresher Course, flown by PLTOFF J.H Martin and crew.

20Jun43 PLTOFF J.H Martin and crew flew the aircraft back to Leuchars for repairs.

30Jun43 Aircraft flew one operational mission and at least four non-operational flights in June 1941.

04Jul43 7th Operational Mission. FLGOFF J.G Oliver and crew departed Leuchars at 1710hrs leading three other Hampdens for a Shipping Rover Patrol between Lister and Kristiansand. A lack of cloud cover forced the aircraft to abort the mission and RTB.

07Jul43 8th Operational Mission. PLTOFF W.H.S Martin and crew departed Leuchars at 1628hrs with 14 other Hampdens for a Shipping Rover Patrol between Lister and Kristiansand. Enemy fighters were encountered enroute in the cloudless sky so the leader aborted the patrol and the aircraft all returned to Leuchars.

09Jul43 9th Operational Mission. FSGT S.J Cliff and crew departed Leuchars at 2110hrs with five other Hampdens for a Shipping Rover Patrol between Lister and Kristiansand.

16Jul43 10th Operational Mission. PLTOFF W.H.S Martin and crew departed Leuchars at 0018hrs with six other Hampdens for a Shipping Rover Patrol between Lister and Kristiansand.

28Jul43 11th Operational Mission. FLGOFF M.S Humphrey and crew departed Leuchars at 0126hrs with P5302 for a Rover patrol off the Norwegian coast.

30Jul43 12th Operational Mission. FSGT S. Vincent and crew departed Leuchars at 0125hrs with P5302 for a Rover patrol off the Norwegian coast. Both aircraft aborted because of extremely poor weather conditions.

31Jul43 Aircraft flew six operational missions in July 1941.

02Aug43 13th Operational Mission. FLGOFF A.E Ethell and crew departed Leuchars at 2200hrs with P5302 and AN160 for a Rover patrol off the Norwegian coast.

05Aug43 FSGT S. Vincent and crew departed Leuchars with nine other Hampdens for a transit flight to RAF Benbecula, Hebrides to conduct an Anti-Submarine Patrol (14th Operational Mission). Returned to Leuchars the following day.

07Aug43 15th Operational Mission. FSGT S. Vincent and crew departed Leuchars with AE386 for a convoy ASW escort patrol.

08Aug43 SGT G.E Batchelor and crew detached to RAF Station Tain in Ross-Shire Scotland for Torpedo Refresher Course.

11Aug43 When landing at RAF Station Tain the aircraft overshot and skidded into a ditch. Pilot SGT G.E Batchelor and crew were uninjured but the aircraft suffered extensive damage assessed as Cat B.

00Aug43 Reclassified as Cat.E and written off. Aircraft struck off charge and converted to spares. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew 15 Operational Missions and made at least 23 non-operational flights.

P1156

00Jun39 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial P1156 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.773239/38 by the Handley Page Aircraft Co at their facilities in Cricklewood (London) and Radlett Airfield (Hertfordshire). The 12th of 45 Hamden aircraft built in the 2nd Production Batch in the Serial Range P1145 to P1189.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament initially consisted of four machine guns: one fixed .303inch Browning machine gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K .303inch machine gun fired by the navigator; and, single Vickers K .303inch guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In late 1939 the two single Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gun positions were replaced by two twin Vickers K guns; and, in 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

30Jun39 Delivered for acceptance tests to No.6 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Brize Norton, Oxfordshire.

15Apr41 Received for servicing by English Electric Co Ltd in Preston, Lancashire.

16May41 Received for storage by No.6 Maintenance Unit.

10Oct41 Received for modifications by English Electric Co Ltd in Preston, Lancashire.

08Nov41 Received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

15Nov41 Received by No 50 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Waddington, Lincolnshire UK.

17Nov41 Received by RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby UK, issued to A Flight as UB-F.

11Dec41 1st Operational Mission. PLTOFF C. Ludwig and crew departed Swinderby at 1647hrs with seven other Hampdens and joined 15 Hampden bombers of the main force for a dusk raid on the docks area of Le Havre, Normandy France. Dropped 8 x 250lb GP bombs in the target area and RTB at 2336hrs.

15Dec41 2nd Operational Mission. Flying Officer W.E Perrin and crew departed Swinderby at 1742hrs with seven other Hampdens for an attack on the docks and shipping in Ostend harbour, Belgium. Halfway to the target the port engine coughed and emitted flames for a short time before settling down, crew elected to press on and complete the mission. Reaching the target the crew were just about to release their bombs when the port engine emitted a long stream of sparks and flames and began to run rough. Pilot jettisoned the bombs over the target and immediately set off for home on one engine. After crossing the enemy coast the port engine was restarted and ran OK all the way back to base.

02Jan42 3rd Operational mission. FLTLT W.E Perrin and crew departed Skellingthorpe at 1802hrs with four other Hampdens to drop mines in the Nectarine area near the Frisian Islands.

06Jan42 4th Operational mission. PLTOFF D. Smith and crew departed Swinderby at 0300hrs with AE352 and AT114 for an attack against the docks in Emden.

08Jan42 5th Operational mission. PLTOFF J.D Bolton and crew departed Swinderby at 0330hrs with three other Hampdens and dropped mines in the Nectarine area near the Frisian Islands.

14Jan42 6th Operational mission. FLTLT W.E Perrin and crew departed RAF Swinderby at 1602hrs with three other Hampdens and bombed the Blohm & Voss Shipyards in Hamburg.

26Jan42 7th Operational mission. FLTLT W.E Perrin and crew departed RAF Swinderby at 1731hrs with four other Hampdens and joined 66 other main force bombers for an attack on Hannover, Germany.

06Feb42 8th Operational mission (First daylight raid by 455Sqn). FLTLT W.E Perrin and crew departed RAF Swinderby at 1159hrs with seven other Hampdens and joined another 38 bombers to drop mines near the Frisian Islands.

08Feb42 Squadron moved from RAF Swinderby to RAF Wigsley, Nottinghamshire. The aircraft departed Swinderby on the morning of 8th Feb but as the airfield at Wigsley was unserviceable the aircraft flew into Wigsley’s satellite field at RAF Skellingthorpe.

12Feb42 9th Operational Mission. The Channel Dash - Operation Fuller. FLTLT W.E Perrin and crew departed Wigsley at 1525hrs with eight other Hampdens to carry out a daytime attack on the German battleships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen in the English Channel. Nine aircraft from the Squadron took part in the mission which was the 1st Wave of Operation Fuller consisting of 35 Wellingtons, 25 Blenheims, 2 Manchesters and 11 Hampdens.

P1156 and crew failed to return from the mission and were posted as MIA. Post-war searches failed to determine the exact fate of the crew but it seems probable they were shot down by one of six FW190s of 1/JG.26, which had shot down six Hampdens at the time the aircraft was making its attack.

13Feb42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn RAAF the aircraft flew nine operational missions and an unknown number of non-operational flights. Total accumulated flight time was 70hrs 05min.

runnymede

Runnymede Memorial UK

RAF Pilot 84646 Flight Lieutenant Walter Edwin Perrin (33) single of Launceston, Tasmania was KIA and has no known grave. He is honoured on Panel 66 of the Runnymede Memorial, Surry UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 84 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RNZAF Navigator 404552 PLTOFF Alexander Richard Abbott (23) married of Wellington, New Zealand was KIA and has no known grave. He is honoured on Panel 115 of the Runnymede Memorial, Surry UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 1 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, on the Roll of Honour in the RNZAF Museum at Wigram, Christchurch New Zealand.

roll honour wigram

Roll of Honour Wigram New Zealand

RAFVR wireless air gunner 84097 Flying Officer Edward Graham De Twenebroke Symons (30) married of Hartfield, Sussex UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is honoured on Panel 67 of the Runnymede Memorial, Surry UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 104 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, with a headstone in St Marys Churchyard, Hatfield and listed on the Hatfield War Memorial, Sussex.

RAFVR air gunner 1253789 SGT Ralph Edward Tomlinson (22) single of Oulton Broad, Suffolk UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is honoured on Panel 95 of the Runnymede Memorial, Surry UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 107 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

P1201

00Aug39 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial P1201 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.773239/38 by the Handley Page Aircraft Co at their facilities in Cricklewood (London) and Radlett Airfield (Hertfordshire). The 8th of 155 Hamden aircraft built in the 2nd Production Batch in the Serial Range P1194 to P1356.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

07Sep39 Delivered for acceptance tests to No.10 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Hullavington, Wiltshire.

13Sep41 Received for servicing by English Electric Co Ltd in Preston, Lancashire.

13Oct41 Received by No.29 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station High Ercall, Shropshire

30Oct41 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire. Issued to B Flight as UB-P.

06Nov41 Flown on a local air test and familiarization flight by PLTOFF J.A Gordon and crew.

07Nov41 1st Operational Mission. PLTOFF J.A.C Gordon and crew departed Swinderby at 1840hrs for a Trout B Intruder Operation before the main force bombers attacked Cologne. The mission was to fly ahead of the bomber stream and shoot up any searchlight and Flak batteries they encountered in the Black Forest/ Aachen/Maastricht areas. After attacking several sites the pilot headed home and in his words '...Having carried out low-level attacks with bombs and M/G's on the searchlight belt Aachen-Maastricht, I was returning to base low level. As was later discovered the Met wind was wrong due to freak weather conditions and our position was some miles south of that estimate. This brought me into the foothills of the Ardennes, where at 350ft, I collided with a chimney stack, tearing off the lower portion of fuselage and breaking the fuel supply. The motors out, I had to crash land. My observer and wireless operator escaped with me from the wrecked A/C. The A/G was torn off in his compartment by the effect of the collision, but was later reported in hospital and later as recovered and in one of the N.C.O.'s camps by another prisoner’

The pilot made a good crash landing on a wooded slope beside the village of Onoz, near Namur in Belgium and all the crew escaped before the wreckage was destroyed by fire. The crash site was close to the home of the Alexis family who rendered immediate assistance to the downed airmen. See Archive Report P1201

08Nov41 The pilot, navigator and wireless operator were quickly rounded up by the local Feldpolizei but the unconscious Air Gunner (SGT Holt) was not found until much later that day still in his turret. SGT Holt was then taken to hospital and after recovering from his wounds was placed in Stalag VIIA at Moosburg, Germany.

11Nov41 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn RAAF the aircraft flew one operational mission and two non-operational flights. Total accrued flight time was 4hrs 25min.

29Nov41 Squadron informed by the International Red Cross the crew were all POWs and safe except for SGT Holt who was seriously wounded.

Crash site of 455Sqn Hampden P1201

Crash site of 455Sqn Hampden P1201

RAAF pilot 400367 Pilot Officer James Anthony Cathcart Gordon (28) of South Yarra in Melbourne, Victoria was captured and transported by rail to Frankfurt where he underwent interrogation at the Dulag Luft and given POW No.672 before being sent to Oflag VII-B in Eichstätt, Bavaria, about 100 km north of Munich. PLTOFF Gordon was liberated by the US Army on 16Apr45 and repatriated back to the UK then on to Australia. He resigned from the RAAF on 11th December 1945 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

RAFVR navigator 102599 Pilot Officer John Donald Cordwell was captured and transported by rail to Frankfurt where he underwent interrogation at the Dulag Luft and given POW No.668 before being sent to Stalag Luft III at Sagan. Cordwell was liberated in May 1945 and returned to England.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1168877 Sergeant Mowbray Norman Stokes was captured and transported by rail to Frankfurt where he underwent interrogation at the Dulag Luft and given POW No.90085 before being sent to Stalag Luft VI at Heydekrug. Stokes was liberated in May 1945 and returned to England.

RAFVR air gunner 1109174 Sergeant Edward Holt was captured then hospitalised to treat his injuries. When he was fit to travel he was transported by rail to Frankfurt where he underwent interrogation at the Dulag Luft and given POW No.116 before being sent to Stalag 383 at Hohenfels in Bavaria. Holt was liberated in May 1945 and returned to England.

P1203

00Sep39 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial P1203 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.773239/38 by the Handley Page Aircraft Co at their facilities in Cricklewood (London) and Radlett Airfield (Hertfordshire). The 10th of 155 Hamden aircraft built in the 2nd Production Batch in the Serial Range P1194 to P1356.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

12Sep39 Delivered for acceptance tests to No.10 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Hullavington, Wiltshire.

21Aug41 Received for modification by English Electric Co Ltd in Preston, Lancashire.

22Sep41 Received by No.44 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station at RAF Station Edzell in Angus Scotland

08Nov41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.455 (RAAF) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire. Coded as UB-T.

15Dec41 1st Operational Mission PLTOFF R.A Wakeford and crew departed Swinderby at 1832hrs with seven other Hampdens and joined a further six Hampdens from 50Sqn to attack the Ostend Dock area in Belgium.

27Dec41 2nd Operational Mission. PLTOFF C. Ludwig and crew departed Swinderby at 1734hrs with six other Hampdens and joined 43 other Hampdens of the main force for an attack on the railway marshalling yards in Dusseldorf, Germany.

28Jan42 3rd Operational Mission. PLTOFF A.H Metcalfe and crew departed Swinderby at 2010hrs with eight other Hampdens and joined a further 2o Hampdens and 55 Wellingtons for an attack on Munster, Germany. Sustained minor flak damage in the stbd engine cowling on the trip home.

08Feb42 Squadron moved from RAF Swinderby to RAF Wigsley, Nottinghamshire. The aircraft departed Swinderby on the morning of 8th Feb but as the airfield at Wigsley was unserviceable the aircraft flew into Wigsley’s satellite field at RAF Skellingthorpe.

12Feb42 4th Operational Mission. The Channel Dash - Operation Fuller. SQNLDR Clift and crew departed Wigsley at 1514hrs with eight other Hampdens to carry out a daytime attack on the German battleships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen in the English Channel. Nine aircraft from the Squadron took part in the mission which was the 1st Wave of Operation Fuller consisting of 35 Wellingtons, 25 Blenheims, 2 Manchesters and 11 Hampdens.

10Mar42 5th Operational Mission. PLTOFF J.D Bolton and crew departed Wigsley at 1928hrs with seven other Hampdens and joined 180 bombers of the main force for an attack on Essen. Sustained Cat.AC flak damage to the stbd wing and port undercarriage.

11Mar42 Aircraft repaired on site by a Civilian Repair Organization.

24Mar42 Aircraft returned to operations.

02Apr42 6th Operational Mission. SGT A.H Wincott and crew departed Wigsley at 1859hrs with 10 other Hampdens and joined 20 other bombers dispatched for a mining sortie in Quiberon Bay (Area Gorse). Weather caused a diversion to RAF Exeter, RTB the following day.

05Apr42 7th Operational Mission. SGT A.H Wincott and crew departed Wigsley at 0014hrs with eleven other Hampdens and joined 276 bombers of the main force for an attack on Cologne.

06Apr42 8th Operational Mission. SGT A.H Wincott and crew departed Wigsley at 2355hrs as part of the main force raid on the CBD of Essen. The aircraft and crew failed to return and were posted as MIA. Post war searches determined that the aircraft was shot down by Oberleutnant Helmut Woltersdorf in Bf110F-4 Werke #2643 of III/NJG1from Twente airfield in Holland. Aircraft crashed at 0413hrs south of Zwolle (Overijssel), Holland. All the crew were killed and were buried in the Oud Leusden General Cemetery, Amersfoort in the Utrecht Province, SW of Zwolle. Amersfoort is a town 50kms south east of Amsterdam.

00Apr42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn RAAF the aircraft flew eight operational missions and made at least nine non-operational flights. Total accrued flight time was 34hrs 25min.

amersfoort oud leusden holland

Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery, Netherlands

RAFVR Pilot 1283559 Sergeant Arthur Henry Wincott (26) of Rotherhithe, London was KIA and is buried in Plot 13, Row 2, Grave 28 of the Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery, Netherlands. He is commemorated on Panel 118 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAAF Navigator 400105 Flying Officer Trevor Emlyn Roberts (26) single of Preston Victoria was KIA and is buried in Plot 13, Row 2, Grave 27 of the Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery, Netherlands. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on Panel 91 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, on the Honour Roll at Prahan in Melbourne, Victoria.

RAAF wireless air gunner 402829 Sergeant Colin Gammie (22) single of Matraville in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and is buried in Plot 13, Row 2, Grave 25 of the Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery, Netherlands. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on Panel 38 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, on the Honour Roll in Sydney, New South Wales.

RAAF wireless air gunner 400282 Sergeant Kenneth William McIlrath (26) single of Nhill, Victoria is buried in Plot 13, Row 2, Grave 26 of the Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery, Netherlands. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on Panel 71 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, on the Nhill War Memorial in Goldsworthy Park, Nhill.

Nhill War Memorial in Goldsworthy Park, Nhill

Nhill War Memorial in Goldsworthy Park, Nhill

P1207

00Sep39 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial P1207 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.773239/38 by the Handley Page Aircraft Co at their facilities in Cricklewood (London) and Radlett Airfield (Hertfordshire). The 14th of 155 Hamden aircraft built in the 2nd Production Batch in the Serial Range P1194 to P1356.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

15Sep39 Delivered for acceptance tests to No.10 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Hullavington, Wiltshire.

15Dec41 Received for modification and servicing by English Electric Co Ltd in Preston, Lancashire.

12Feb42 Received by No.24 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Tern Hill, Shropshire.

16Mar42 Received by the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire.

16Apr42 Aircraft sustained Cat.Ac damage in a flying accident.

09May42 Received for repairs by Handley Page. Aircraft was also modified to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1 configuration.

11Aug42 Received for storage by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

02Oct42 Aircraft taken on charge with No.144 Sqn at RAF Station Hemswell, Lincolnshire.

17Jan43 Aircraft taken on charge with No.455 (RAAF) Sqn at RAF Leuchars, Scotland. Coded as UB-U.

07Feb43 Received by No.3503 Support Unit at RNAS Gosport for modifications

22Feb43 Aircraft taken on charge with No.144 Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars, Scotland

14Apr43 Aircraft taken on charge with No.455 (RAAF) Sqn at RAF Leuchars, Scotland. Coded as UB-U.

27Apr43 One of five A Flight aircraft and crews detached for operations to RAF Sumburgh for three days:

P1158/A PO W.H Martin FSGT H.P Pearson FSGT C.L Read SGT J.A Miller

P1207/U FSGT G.V Courtney PO A.C Smith SGT J.A King SGT C.H Smith

AD976/C SGT E.R Williamson FSGT L.J Ridout SGT E.W Smith SGT R.L Birkett

AN149/X FSGT J.S Freeth SGT A.J Wheatcroft SGT R.T Patterson SGT H.R Downing

L4091/J FO A.E Ethel FSGT V.A Griffiths FSGT N. Bayliss SGT K.P McDonald

27Apr43 1st Operational Mission. Flying Officer B. Atkinson and crew departed Sumburgh at 1017hrs and flew an uneventful 6hrs 30min convoy escort patrol.

28Apr43 2nd Operational Mission. FSGT J.S Freeth and crew departed Sumburgh at 1055hrs and flew an uneventful 6hr 40min convoy escort patrol.

30Apr43 FSGT G.V Courtney and crew flew from Sumburgh to Leuchars.

01May43 One of three A Flight aircraft and crews detached for operations to RAF Sumburgh for operations:

X3150/O PO B. Atkinson PO K.K Edwards FSGT L. Arter SGT A. Rigby

P1207/U FO A.E Ethell FSGT V.A Griffiths FSGT N. Bayliss SGT K.P McDonald

AN149/X FO B. Atkinson FO K.K Edwards FSGT L. Arter SGT A. Rigby

05May43 3rd Operational Mission. Flying Officer A.E Ethell and crew departed Sumburgh at 1055hrs with AN149 for an uneventful 4hr 35min convoy escort patrol

07May43 Flying Officer A.E Ethell and crew flew from Sumburgh to Leuchars.

16May43 4th Operational Mission. FSGT N.H Collier and crew departed Leuchars at 2230hrs with four other Hampdens for an uneventful Torpedo Rover patrol off the Norwegian coast.

17May43 5th Operational Mission. FSGT H.O Hansen and crew departed Leuchars at 2158hrs with three other Hampdens for a Torpedo Rover patrol off the Norwegian coast. At 2218hrs the aircraft RTB because the R/T system had blown a fuse, the fuse was quickly replaced and the aircraft departed again at 2229hrs. At 0439hrs the aircraft was bracketed by Flak from a ship in Farsund Harbour and shore-based AAA. The stbd engine began emitting smoke and flames so the pilot feathered the engine for a few minutes and entered a gentle dive to extinguish the flamed then restarted the engine. Soon after, a large calibre flak shell burst directly under the tail causing the tail to pitch up violently and the port wing to pitch down. The aircraft entered a spin and dived from 4500ft to 500ft before Hansen could regain control. Pilot then set course for home and reached Leuchars without further trouble. An after-flight inspection revealed numerous holes in the rudder, horizontal tail and lower rear fuselage. Additionally, the intercom and R/T were damaged by flak and failed to work on the return journey. Damage assessed as Cat.AC/FB and not repairable by the Unit.

19May43 Aircraft repairs began by 43Grp and completed seven weeks later.

03Jul43 Aircraft returned to service.

09Aug43 6th Operational Mission. Flying Officer P.S Gumbrell and crew departed Leuchars at 0903hrs for an uneventful 4hrs 30min ASR patrol.

15Aug43 7th Operational Mission. FSGT S. Vincent and crew departed Leuchars at 0825hrs on a Special Recce to search for Danish fishing vessels. Vessels located and inspected from the air.

leuchars


28Aug43 8th Operational Mission. SGT R. Walker and crew departed Leuchars at 1115hrs and flew an unsuccessful 5hr 40min ASR search for a missing B.O.A.C Lodestar aircraft.

30Aug43 9th Operational Mission. FSGT A.E Jones and crew departed Leuchars at 2114hrs for an ASR patrol but two minutes after take-off the cockpit hood ripped off forcing the pilot to abort and RTB.

02Oct43 Flying Officer R.C McColl and crew along with eight other Hampdens detached for operations at RAF Wick and Wick’s satellite airfield at RAF Skitten in Caithness, Scotland:

P1166/M P1208/C P1236/G P5302/S X3116/R AD976/E AE145/H AN163/K

04Oct43 10th Operational Mission. Flying Officer I.H Masson and crew departed Wick at 1015hrs and flew an uneventful 7hr 20min ASW patrol.

06Oct43 11th Operational Mission. SGT R. Walker and crew departed Wick at 0843hrs for an ASW patrol. At 0925hrs the captain aborted and RTB when the R/T system failed.

11Oct43 Aircraft returned to Leuchars.

27Oct43 12th Operational Mission. Flying Officer T.G Davis and crew departed Leuchars at 0805hrs to conduct a SAR mission for a missing PRU Mosquito from 540 Sqn. When returning to base the aircraft ran out of fuel and ditched 50m from the shore near the Bridge of Don at Aberdeen, Scotland. Flying Officer Davis and crew suffered a variety of minor injuries and Flying Officer Peters (navigator) was admitted to the Royal Aberdeen Infirmary for treatment and observation. The aircraft was initially assessed as Cat B but when the aircraft was later recovered it was reassessed as Cat E and struck off squadron strength.

00Oct43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew 12 Operational missions and made at least 19 non-operational flights. Total accumulated flight time was 284hrs 10min.

P1246

00Oct39 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial P1246 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.773239/38 by the Handley Page Aircraft Co at their facilities in Cricklewood (London) and Radlett Airfield (Hertfordshire). The 51st of 155 Hamden aircraft built in the 2nd Production Batch in the Serial Range P1194 to P1356.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

20Oct39 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

22Nov40 Received by the English Electric Co at their facility in Preston, Lancashire for servicing and modifications.

09Jan41 Aircraft returned to storage with No.8 Maintenance Unit.

21Feb41 Taken on charge with No.16 Operational Training Unit at RAF Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, coded JS-M.

13Jun41 Received by Brush Coachworks Ltd, Loughborough for servicing and modifications.

14Oct41 Aircraft repaired and awaiting allocation.

24Oct41 Received by English Electric Co at their facility in Preston, Lancashire for servicing and modifications.

22Nov41 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

11Dec41 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire. Issued for use with B Flight as UB-ẍ.

16Jan42 SGT A.H Wincott and crew departed Swinderby on a ferry flight to RAF Donna Nook, Lincolnshire. At 1400hrs the aircraft was on finals at RAF Donna Nook in very windy conditions when the pilot stalled the aircraft at 200ft. The aircraft crashed heavily onto the runway causing the undercarriage to collapse. Damage assessed as Cat.B

24Jan42 Aircraft struck off charge and transported to a civilian contractor for repair.

08Feb42 Received by English Electric Co at their facility in Preston, Lancashire for conversion to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1

08Apr42 Received by Tollerton Aircraft Services at RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire

28Apr42 Aircraft returned to No.8MU for storage.

04Jul42 Aircraft taken on charge with the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough aerodrome, Hampshire.

28May43 Received for storage by No.29 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station High Ercall, Shropshire

11Aug43 Received for maintenance by Tollerton Aircraft Services at RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire

31Aug43 Received for storage by No.44 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Edzell in Angus, Scotland.

24Sep43 Aircraft taken on charge with No.455 (RAAF) Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars in Fifeshire, Scotland. Issued to B Flight as UB-V.

27Oct43 1st Operational Mission. Flying Officer C.E Cock and crew departed Leuchars at 0805hrs with Hampden P1207 for an unsuccessful ASR sortie for a missing Mosquito aircraft from No.540 (PRU) Sqn

17Nov43 RAF Movement Card Form 78 for the aircraft records the aircraft sustained Cat.Ac damage in a flying accident on this date. No other details have been found concerning the accident.

00Nov43 Aircraft transported for repair to Tollerton Aircraft Services (TAS) at RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

31Dec43 TAS reassessed the damage as Cat.E and the aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew one operational mission and made at least four non-operational flights. Total accumulated flight time was 215hrs 20min.

P1272

00Nov39 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial P1272 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.773239/38 by the Handley Page Aircraft Co at their facilities in Cricklewood (London) and Radlett Airfield (Hertfordshire). The 74th of 155 Hamden aircraft built in the 2nd Production Batch in the Serial Range P1194 to P1356.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

09Nov39 Aircraft received by No.10 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Hullavington, Wiltshire.

02Dec39 Received by the Torpedo Development Unit at Gosport, Hampshire UK. While at TDU the aircraft was painted with distinctive bright yellow undersurfaces for recognition training of anti-aircraft gunners

P1272 at the Torpedo Development Unit circa.1940 (IWM)

P1272 at the Torpedo Development Unit circa.1940 (IWM)


03Jun40 Aircraft received by No.20 Maintenance Unit at RAF Ashton Down, Gloucestershire.

11Jun40 Aircraft taken on charge with No.14 Operational Training Unit at RAF Cottesmore, Rutland.

27Nov40 SGT E.W Lovejoy and SGT L.C Coldwell were uninjured after the aircraft sustained Cat.A/FA damage when landing after a training flight.

00May41 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

31Oct41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.455 Sqn (RAAF) at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire and issued to B Flight as UB-R.

30Nov41 1st Operational Mission SGT J. Shannon and crew departed Swinderby for the short flight to Skellingthorpe where the aircraft was bombed-up, refuelled and prepared for the night’s mission. At 1654hrs they departed Skellingthorpe with four other Hampdens and joined 181 bombers of the main force to bomb the Blohm & Voss Shipbuilding Yards at Hamburg. The aircraft and crew failed to return and were posted as MIA. Some other aircraft on the raid reported an aircraft going down in flames in the centre of Hamburg at 2330hrs and this was probably P1272.

German records state the crew were shot down and killed by flak at 2330hrs near Trave Canal, Hamburg Harbour and all of the crew remains were collected and buried in a collective grave on 4th December 1941.

00Dec41 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew one operational mission and made at least two non-operational flights. Total accumulated flying hours was 115hrs 20min

Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf, Germany.

Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf, Germany.

RAAF pilot 404264 Sergeant John Shannon (21) single of Rockhampton, Queensland was shot down and killed by flak at 2330hrs near Trave Canal, Hamburg Harbour. German Totenlist (Death List) No. 67 stated that Sergeant Shannon’s body was recovered from the sea and buried on 4th December 1941 in Collective Grave 5A E.1 of the Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; on Panel 95 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, on the Honour Board of the Nebo Memorial Hall, Queensland.

RAAF Navigator 402578 Pilot Officer Alan George Sands (24) single of Roseville, New South Wales was shot down and killed by flak at 2330hrs near Trave Canal, Hamburg Harbour. German Totenlist (Death List) No. 67 stated that Sergeant Shannon’s body was recovered from the sea and buried on 4th December 1941 in Collective Grave 5A E.1 of the Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; on Panel 94 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, on the Honour Board of the Chatswood Memorial, Sydney.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1375139 Sergeant Alexander Charles Shorey (21) of Islington, London was shot down and killed by flak at 2330hrs near Trave Canal, Hamburg Harbour. German Totenlist (Death List) No. 67 stated that Sergeant Shannon’s body was recovered from the sea and buried on 4th December 1941 in Collective Grave 5A E.1 of the Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 94 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire

RAFVR Air Gunner 1258909 Sergeant Victor Edward Towers (21) of Tooting, Surrey was shot down and killed by flak at 2330hrs near Trave Canal, Hamburg Harbour. German Totenlist (Death List) No. 67 stated that Sergeant Shannon’s body was recovered from the sea and buried on 4th December 1941 in Collective Grave 5A E.1 of the Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 108 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire

P2078

00May40 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial P2078 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.952962/38 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 17th of 75 Hamden aircraft built in the Serial Range P2062 to P2145.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

27May40 Aircraft received by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria.

07Aug40 Aircraft taken on charge with No.16 Operational Training Unit at RAF Station Upper Heyford, Wiltshire.

17Sep41 Received for maintenance by English Electric Co at Preston, Lancashire.

22Sep41 Returned to 16OTU.

31Aug41 Received by English Electric Co at Preston, Lancashire. The aircraft spent the next 14 months at EEC and during that time several modifications were incorporated. One such modification was conversion to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.I standard.

25Oct42 Aircraft received by Field Aircraft Services at RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

20Nov42 Received by No.455 (Australian) Sqn at RAF Leuchars in Fifeshire, Scotland where it was taken on charge and issued to B Flight as UB-P.

11Dec42 1st Operational Mission. PLTOFF G.I Gunton and crew departed Leuchars at 1050hrs with five other Hampdens for a shipping strike mission off the Norwegian coast. Upon reaching the patrol area the strike force encountered enemy shipping and moved into attack. Just as it was entering a fog bank at very low level a flak shell exploded in the petrol tank demolishing most of the port wing and setting fire to the remainder. Gunton ordered the crew to ditching stations but before that happened the port wing blew off and the aircraft crashed into the sea. The pilot and navigator were both thrown clear of the crash but the other two crewmen were KIA. The survivors were picked up by a German escort vessel and taken back to shore.

12Dec42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew one operational mission and made at least three non-operational flights. Total accrued flight time of 45hrs 15min.

RAAF pilot 403583 Pilot Officer Geoffrey Ian Gunton (21) of Roseville in Sydney, New South Wales survived the crash and was captured by the Germans. He was transported to Frankfurt, Germany where he underwent interrogation at the Luftwaffe Dulag Luft and given POW No.83 before being sent to Stalag Luft III. He was released by the advancing Allied armies in May 1945 and repatriated back to the UK then Australia. He was discharged from the RAAF on 31st October 1945 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

RAAF wireless air gunner 402779 Sergeant Douglas Frederick Thomas (23) of Inverell, New South Wales survived the crash and was captured by the Germans. He was transported to Frankfurt, Germany where he underwent interrogation at the Luftwaffe Dulag Luft and given POW No.27231. He was incarcerated in Stalag Luft VIIIB from Jan thru Oct 1943; Sagan Luft II from Oct 43 to Jan45; force marched from Sagan to Luckenwalde Camp in Jan45. He was released by the Russian Army in May45. After a short time in the UK he was repatriated to Australia where he discharged from the RAAF on 11th November 1945 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

Doncaster War Memorial in Melbourne.

Doncaster War Memorial in Melbourne.

RAAF navigator 404814 Pilot Officer Tom Alfred Edgoose (27) of Doncaster in Melbourne, Victoria was KIA in the crash and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 109 of the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT. He is also remembered on the Roll of Honour at Doncaster War Memorial in Melbourne.

RAAF wireless air gunner 404633 Sergeant Arnold Erol Crossley (25) of Ashgrove in Brisbane, Queensland was KIA in the crash and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 112 of the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT. He is also remembered on the Roll of Honour at the Ashgrove War Memorial in Brisbane.

P2085

00Jun40 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial P2085 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.952962/38 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 24th of 75 Hamden aircraft built in the Serial Range P2062 to P2145.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

13Jun40 Aircraft received by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria.

07Apr40 Received by No.16 Operational Training Unit at RAF Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire.

01Jan41 Received for storage by Tollerton Aircraft Services at RAF Station Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

15Oct41 Received for servicing by No.29 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station High Ercall, Shropshire

02Nov41 Received by the English Electric at Preston, Lancashire for conversion to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1.

09Dec41 Received for storage by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria.

24Feb42 Flying Officer Ray and crew travelled to RAF Edzell to pick up P2085 from No.44MU. The aircraft was then flown to RAF Station Wigsley in Nottinghamshire where it was taken on charge, issued to B Flight as UB-U.

10Mar42 1st Operational Mission. SGT E.H Busfield with a crew comprised of SGT Waites (N), SGT Gower (WAG) and SGT Biggin (AG) departed Wigsley at 1926hrs with seven other Hampdens then joined 118 more Lancasters, Stirlings, Wellingtons and Hampdens for a Main Stream raid on Essen, Germany. The aircraft sustained flak damage to the hydraulics system, undercarriage and fuselage. When landing at Wigsley the undercarriage collapsed causing Cat.B/FB damage but the aircrew were uninjured.

14Mar42 Aircraft transported for repair to London Midland & Scottish Railway Ltd near Derby.

00Apr42 Aircraft reassessed as Cat.E and struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew one operational mission and made at least two non-operational flights.

P2126

00Jun40 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial P2126 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.952962/38 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 56th of 75 Hamden aircraft built in the Serial Range P2062 to P2145.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

13Jul40 Aircraft received by No.24 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Tern Hill, Shropshire.

10Sep40 Aircraft taken on charge with No.83 (B) Sqn at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire.

17Nov40 SGT A.F Jackson and crew returned from a bombing mission to Hamburg at 0800hrs and when landing in very poor visibility the pilot could not clearly see the flare path resulting in an overshoot. The aircraft ran off the runway and collided with an ambulance and the squadron watch office. SGT R.E Fenton and AC R. Heath received minor injuries while the rest of the crew was unhurt. The aircraft sustained Cat.AC/FB damage and was repaired on site by a contractor.

00Jan41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.49 (B) Sqn at RAF Scampton.

22Apr41 PLTOFF S.D Bowes-Cavanagh and crew landed at 1200hrs after completing a local training flight. While taxying back to dispersal over rough ground the tail wheel collapsed. There were no crew injuries but the aircraft sustained Cat.AC/FA damage and was repaired on site by a contractor.

08Jul41 Aircraft received for servicing.

04Dec41 Aircraft received for servicing by Tollerton Air Services at RAF Station Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

31Dec41 Aircraft received by Brush Coachworks Ltd, Loughborough for modification to Hamden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1.

13Mar42 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire.

24May42 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (TB) Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars, Fifeshire, Scotland and issued to B Flight as UB-S.

01Jul42 PLTOFF B.R.D O’Connor and crew departed Leuchars with 11 other Hampdens for a transit flight to RAF Station Wick, Scotland. The squadron was tasked to conduct Air Launched Torpedo Exercises with elements of the Royal Navy.

05Jul42 1st Squadron Operation using Hampden Torpedo Bombers and the aircraft’s 1st Operational Mission.

PLTOFF B.R.D O’Connor and crew departed Wick at 1600hrs with four other Hampdens each carrying a single torpedo to attack German naval vessels transiting along the Norwegian coast. No targets were sighted and the aircraft returned to Wick at 0220hrs

29Aug42 One of 18 Hampdens selected to be part of Operation Orator, the detachment of Hampdens to Murmansk, Russia to support Arctic Convoy PQ-18. FLTLT B.R.D O’Connor and crew flew a series of rigorous air tests over the next three days in preparation for the ferry flight to Russia.

02Sep42 Departed RAF Leuchars at 1025hrs for RAF Station Sumburgh, Shetland Islands on the first 514km leg of the ferry flight to Russia (Operation Orator). The aircraft was crewed by FLTLT B.R.D O’Connor, PLTOFF R.N Lindeman, SGT C.H Waters SGT J. Collins and fitter LAC Forbes; arrived safely at RAF Sumburgh 1220hrs.

04Sep42 FLTLT B.R.D O’Connor and crew departed RAF Sumburgh at 2045hrs for the second 3,100km ferry leg to Vaenja (later renamed Severomorsk) in the Murmansk Oblast, Russia. The aircraft flew over occupied-Norway, neutral Sweden and enemy Finland.

05Sep42 Arrived at Afrikanda Military Airport, in the Murmansk Oblast at 0450hrs. FLTLT B.R.D O’Connor and crew departed Afrikanda at 1735hrs for the short 1 hour third leg ferry to Vaenja Military airport-No.1 Strip, Murmansk Oblast.

14Sep41 Participated in a 24 aircraft 7-hour sortie over Alten Fjord, Norway as indirect support of Convoy PQ-18. Twelve aircraft each from 455 Sqn and 144 Sqn departed at 0800hrs and RTB at 1605hrs.

22Sep41 Offered as a gift to the Soviet Northern Fleet (VVS-SF) for service with AV-MF (Aviatsiya Voenno-Morskogo Flota) Northern Fleet Aviation.

27Sep41 The aircraft was destroyed during a Luftwaffe raid on Pachenga airstrip.

21Oct41 Aircraft struck off charge.

P2145

00Jul40 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial P2145 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.952962/38 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 75th of 75 Hamden aircraft built in the Serial Range P2062 to P2145.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

31Jul40 Aircraft received by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria.

13Aug40 Aircraft taken on charge with No.49 (B) Sqn at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire.

22Dec40 Received for maintenance by Tollerton Aircraft Services at RAF Station Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

10Jul41 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

28Jul41 Received for modification by English Electric Co at Preston, Lancashire.

10Aug41 Aircraft received by No.20 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Ashton Down, Gloucestershire.

01Sep41 Received by No.16 Operational Training Unit at RAF at RAF Station Upper Heyford, Wiltshire

16Sep41 PLTOFF H.W Southgate and crew crash landed at Upper Heyford after suffering an engine failure. All four crewmen sustained a variety of minor injuries while the aircraft was classified as Cat.B/FA. The injured crewmen were: PLTOFF H.W Southgate RNZAF, SGT P.F Bailey RAFVR, SGT G.V Price RAFVR and SGT J.W Minchin RFAVR.

20Sep41 Received for repair by Brush Coachworks Ltd at Loughborough, Leicestershire.

24Feb42 Received by Tollerton Aircraft Services at RAF Station Tollerton, Nottinghamshire

29Mar42 Received by No.44MU at RAF Edzell in Angus, Scotland.

20Apr42 Received by the English Electric Co in Preston, Lancashire for conversion to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1.

18May42 Aircraft taken on charge with No.455 (RAAF) Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars, Scotland and issued to B Flight as UB-N.

12Jul42 SGT R.D Wells and crew were tasked to fly to RAF Wick with five other Hampdens. When taxying out of the dispersal area a fractured airline caused the aircraft to veer off course and head for parked aircraft. Pilot SGT Wells tried to avoid the other machines but in doing so the tail unit clipped AD865, causing minor damage to both machines. The aircraft was classified as Cat.A/FA and was repaired overnight at the unit.

14Jul42 SGT R.D Wells and crew ferried the aircraft to RAF Wick.

16Jul42 SGT R.D Wells and RAAF navigator SGT F.J Dawborn departed RAF Crail in Fifeshire, Scotland at 1030hrs in formation with several other aircraft to carry out dummy torpedo runs on a target ship. During these exercises the port engine gave indications of failing and the aircraft broke formation with the intention of returning to base. On the way back the engine picked up and appeared to function normally but approaching the landing strip the engine failed again. The pilot lowered the flaps and wheels hydraulically to avoid damaging the aircraft by belly landing, but was unable to maintain height, and the aircraft stalled and spun in.

The navigator escaped from the wreckage with a broken leg and various other minor injuries. However, the pilot had his neck broken in the crash and died within two hours of being pulled from the wreckage by emergency services; he was buried at 1400hrs on 20th July in the Leuchars cemetery.

31Jul42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn flew no operational missions and made at least three non-operational flights. Total accumulated aircraft flight time was 322hrs 55min.

Leuchars Cemetery, Scotland

Leuchars Cemetery, Scotland

RAAF pilot 403388 Sergeant Robert Douglas Wells (25) of West Wyalong, New South Wales was KIA and is buried in Section 1, Grave 33M of the Leuchars Cemetery, Scotland. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; and, on the West Wyalong War Memorial, NSW.

P5304

00Oct40 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Bomber Serial P5304 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.965794/38 by the Quebec Group of the Canadian Associated Aircraft consortium at their facility in Saint Hubert, Quebec. The 7th of 40 Hamden aircraft built in the 1st Production Batch in the Serial Range P5298 to P5337.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

00Jan41 At the completion of test flights and acceptance checks the aircraft, minus engines, was broken down for sea shipment. The fuselage and centre section of the wing (including the undercarriage) travelled as protected deck cargo; the tail unit, outer wings and miscellaneous items were crated and went in the hold. The aircraft were shipped from Montreal to Birkenhead, Liverpool and after unloading went by road to No.7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAF Hooton Park, a few miles south of Liverpool.

28Mar41 Received in crates by No 7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAAF Station Hooton Park, Cheshire where the aircraft was assembled and tested.

25May41 Received by No.44MU at RAF Edzell in Angus, Scotland.

27Jul41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.16 Operational Training Unit at RAF Station Upper Heyford, Wiltshire. Coded as JS-L

P5304 JS-L with No.16 Operational Training Unit 1941.

P5304 JS-L with No.16 Operational Training Unit 1941.

16Dec41 Aircraft sustained Cat.B damage in a flying accident.

25Dec41 Aircraft transported to London Midland & Scottish Railway Ltd workshops for repair.

30Dec41 Aircraft transported to Handley Page, Radlett for repair.

08Jan42 Aircraft transported to London Midland & Scottish Railway Ltd workshops for maintenance and conversion to Hampden Mk.1 Torpedo bomber standard.

04Mar42 Aircraft received by Tollerton Air Services at RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

22Mar42 Received by No.24 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Tern Hill, Shropshire.

08Apr42 Received by No.34 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Montford Bridge, Shropshire

16May42 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (TB) Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars, Fifeshire, Scotland. Coded as UB-H

P5304 with 455 Sqn Coded UB-H c. 1942 (Photo via Magnus Löwenstein)

P5304 with 455 Sqn Coded UB-H c. 1942 (Photo via Magnus Löwenstein)

Colour profile by Torstein Landstrom

Colour profile by Torstein Landstrom

20May42 PLTOFF J.N Davenport and crew were conducting a familiarization training flight when the aircraft overshot a landing at RAF Station Inverness and sustained minor (Cat.A) damage. There were no injuries to the crew and the aircraft was repaired at Inverness before returning to Leuchars on May 22nd.

01Jul42 PLTOFF M.S Humphrey and crew departed Leuchars with 11 other Hampdens for a transit flight to RAF Station Wick, Scotland. The squadron was tasked to conduct Air Launched Torpedo Exercises with elements of the Royal Navy.

05Jul42 1st Squadron Operation using Hampden Torpedo Bombers and the aircraft’s 1st Operational Mission.

PLTOFF M.S Humphrey and crew departed Wick at 1600hrs with five other Hamdens each carrying a single torpedo to attack German naval vessels transiting along the Norwegian coast. At 2015hrs the formation was attacked by two Me109s and after 20min of inconclusive combat the aircraft disengaged and RTB.

08Jul42 PLTOFF M.S Humphrey and crew flew the aircraft from RAF Wick to RAF Sumburgh in the Shetland Islands to prepare for another attempt on the naval targets.

09Jul42 2nd Operational Mission. SQNLDR J. Catanach and crew departed Sumburgh at 2125hrs with 12 other Hampdens to seek and engage German naval vessels. Despite their best efforts no vessels were discovered and the aircraft returned as planned to RAF Wick.

raaf in russia book

03Aug42 All of the Squadron’s aircraft were pulled off operations to begin preparations for a Detachment to Russia in support of Allied convoys engaged on the Murmansk Run. The aircraft flew a series of rigorous air tests in preparation for the ferry flight to Russia.

29Aug42 One of 18 Hampdens selected to be part of Operation Orator, the detachment of Hampdens to Murmansk, Russia to support Arctic Convoy PQ-18. SGT E.J Smart and crew flew a series of rigorous air tests over the next three days in preparation for the ferry flight to Russia.

02Sep42 SGT E.J Smart, SGT T.G Nicholls, SGT L.A Biggin, SGT J.M.O Harris and Fitter D.H Nelson departed RAF Leuchars at 1015hrs for a transit flight to RAF Station Sumburgh, Shetland Islands, on the first 514km leg of the ferry flight to Russia (Operation Orator). Arrived safely at RAF Sumburgh 1210hrs.

04Sep42 3rd Operational Mission. SGT E.J Smart and crew departed RAF Sumburgh at 2040hrs for the second 3,100km ferry leg to Vaenja (later renamed Severomorsk) in the Murmansk Oblast, Russia. The aircraft planned to fly over occupied-Norway, neutral Sweden and enemy Finland. The aircraft failed to arrive at Vaenja and was declared Missing.

Some weeks later it was learned that the aircraft had crashed into Arvestuottar Mountain, north of Arjeplog in Swedish Lappland and it was assumed that either the aircrat suffered severe icing and could not climb above the mountain or, the aircraft was shot down by Swedish AAA. All of the crew were buried at Overlulea in Sweden on 23Sep42. After the War all the bodies were exhumed and reburied in the Gothenburg War Cemetery

P5304 crash site (Photo via Magnus Löwenstein)

P5304 crash site (Photo via Magnus Löwenstein)

RAAF pilot 400842 Sergeant Edward John Smart (25) of Irymple near Mildura, Victoria was KIA and is buried in Section 4.A.Collective Grave No 1-5 of the Kviberg Cemetery, near the north eastern city of Gothenburg, Sweden. He is also remembered on panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; and, on the Mildura War Memorial Cenotaph in Mildura, Victoria.

 Kviberg Cemetery

Kviberg Cemetery, Sweden

RAAF navigator 400331 Sergeant Thomas Graham Nicholls (22) of Mordialloc in Melbourne, Victoria was KIA and is buried in Section 4.A. Collective Grave No 1-5 of the Kviberg Cemetery, near the north eastern city of Gothenburg, Sweden. He is also remembered on panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; and, on the Mordialloc War Memorial, Melbourne.

RAAF wireless operator air gunner 408129 Sergeant John Mackenzie Oberlin Harris (20) of Malvern in Melbourne, Victoria was KIA and is buried in Section 4.A. Collective Grave No 1-5 of the Kviberg Cemetery, near the north eastern city of Gothenburg, Sweden. He is also remembered on panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; and, on the Hobart Roll of Honour, Tasmania.

RAAF Fitter IIA 6707 Corporal Donald Henry Nelson (21) of Norman Park in Brisbane, Queensland was KIA and is buried in Section 4.A. Collective Grave No 1-5 of the Kviberg Cemetery, near the north eastern city of Gothenburg, Sweden. He is also remembered on panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT.

RAFVF wireless operator air gunner 1358006 Flight Sergeant Louis Arthur Biggin (27) of Queen Camel, Somerset was KIA and is buried in Section 4.A. Collective Grave No 1-5 of the Kviberg Cemetery, near the north eastern city of Gothenburg, Sweden.

P5323

00Nov40 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Bomber Serial P5323 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.965794/38 by the Quebec Group of the Canadian Associated Aircraft consortium at their facility in Saint Hubert, Quebec. The 26th of 40 Hamden aircraft built in the 1st Production Batch in the Serial Range P5298 to P5337.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

00Mar41 At the completion of test flights and acceptance checks the aircraft, minus engines, was broken down for sea shipment. The fuselage and centre section of the wing (including the undercarriage) travelled as protected deck cargo; the tail unit, outer wings and miscellaneous items were crated and went in the hold. The aircraft were shipped from Montreal to Birkenhead, Liverpool and after unloading went by road to No.7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAF Hooton Park, a few miles south of Liverpool.

01Jul41 Received in crates by No 7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAAF Station Hooton Park, Cheshire where the aircraft was assembled and tested.

27Sep41 Aircraft received by No.20 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Ashton Down, Gloucestershire.

16Oct41 Aircraft taken on charge with RAF No.106 (B) Bomber Sqn at RAF Station Coningsby, Lincolnshire UK.

28Dec41 At 1750hrs while performing circuit training the pilot held off too high on one approach then tried to open the throttles but was too late for a go around and landed heavily. The undercarriage collapsed on landing and the aircraft received extensive damage. SGT Ellis and his crew were uninjured. Aircraft damaged Cat B, dismantled and sent off-site for repair.

14Jan42 Aircraft received by London Midland & Scottish Railway Ltd for repairs

04Mar42 Aircraft received by Tollerton Aircraft Services at RAF Station Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

23Mar42 Aircraft received by No.24 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Tern Hill, Shropshire.

13Apr42 Aircraft received by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria.

04May42 Received by English Electric at Preston, Lancashire for conversion to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1.

26May42 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (TB) Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars, Scotland. Coded UB-L

09Jul42 SGT Vincent and crew departed Leuchars at 0530hrs and ferried the aircraft to RAF Station Sumburgh via RAF Station Wick.

1st Operational Mission. PLTOFF O’Connor and crew departed Sumburgh at 2125hrs with 11 other Hampdens to seek and engage German naval vessels. Despite their best efforts no vessels were located and the aircraft returned as planned to RAF Wick.

11Jul42 Aircraft returned to Leuchars

29Aug42 One of 18 Hampdens selected to be part of Operation Orator, the detachment of Hampdens to Murmansk, Russia to support Arctic Convoy PQ-18. The aircraft flew a series of rigorous air tests in preparation for the ferry flight to Russia in September.

02Sep42 Departed RAF Leuchars at 0900hrs for RAF Station Sumburgh, Shetland Islands on the first 514km leg of the ferry flight to Russia (Operation Orator). Aircraft crewed by PLTOFF R.B Patrick, FSGT S.G McIver, SGT R.H Darnell, SGT L Clohessy and Fitter LAC Bryans. Arrived safely at RAF Sumburgh 1205hrs.

04Sep42 PLTOFF R.B Patrick departed RAF Sumburgh at 2040hrs for the second 3,100km ferry leg to Vaenja (later renamed Severomorsk) in the Murmansk Oblast, Russia. The aircraft flew over occupied-Norway, neutral Sweden and enemy Finland.

05Sep42 At 0510hrs the aircraft arrived at Afrikanda Military Airport in the Murmansk Oblast only to find the airfield covered in thick fog. Almost out of petrol, PLTOFF Patrick had no choice but to land and unfortunately landed among tree stumps in a cleared section of the forest near the airstrip. The aircraft was destroyed in the landing but the crew was unhurt.

00Sep42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew three operational missions and made at least five non-operational flights.

RAAF pilot 403468 Pilot Officer Rupert Bert Patrick (27) of Wahroonga in Sydney, New South Wales survived the crash landing with minor injuries and remained in Russia until the detachment ended. After returning to the UK he then completed his tour with 455Sqn in Sep 1943 followed by postings to No.1 Torpedo Trials Unit before his repatriation to Australia in Nov 1943. From Australia he was posted to the SWPA for duty with 32Sqn, 47 OBU, 11 Com Unit, 33 Sqn and 34Sqn. Rupert Patrick resigned from the RAAF on 25th February 1946 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

RAAF wireless air gunner 406520 Sergeant Reginald Henley Darnell (31) of Perth, Western Australia survived the crash landing with minor injuries and remained in Russia until the detachment ended. After returning to the UK he then completed his tour with 455Sqn in Sep 1943 followed by a posting to No.1 Torpedo Trials Unit then repatriation back to Australia in Nov 1943. Back in Australia he served with No.1OTU, 32Sqn, No.11 Coms Unit and finally 37Sqn before he resigned on 25th November 1946 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. Reginald Darnell passed away on 25th July 1997 in Como, Perth aged 86 years and his ashes are memorialised at Karrakatta Cemetery in Nedlands City, Western Australia.

RAAF wireless air gunner 406501 Sergeant Leo Clohessy (26) of Perth, Western Australia survived the crash landing with minor injuries and remained in Russia until the detachment ended. After returning to the UK he then completed his tour with 455Sqn in Sep 1943 followed by postings to No.1 Torpedo Trials Unit before his repatriation to Australia in Feb 1944. From Australia he was posted to the SWPA for duty with 32Sqn, 47 OBU, 11 Com Unit, and 33 Sqn. Leo Clohessy resigned from the RAAF on 30th September 1946 with the rank of Flying Officer. He passed away on 10th July 2005 aged 88 years in Perth and his ashes are memorialised at Karrakatta Cemetery in Nedlands City, Western Australia.

Karrakatta Cemetery in Nedlands City, Western Australia.

Karrakatta Cemetery in Nedlands City, Western Australia.

RCAF observer R/71683 Flight Sergeant S. G McIver survived the crash landing with minor injuries and remained in Russia until the detachment ended. Nothing further known.

P5325

00Dec40 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Bomber Serial P5325 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.965794/38 by the Quebec Group of the Canadian Associated Aircraft consortium at their facility in Saint Hubert, Quebec. The 28th of 40 Hamden aircraft built in the 1st Production Batch in the Serial Range P5298 to P5337.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

00Apr41 At the completion of test flights and acceptance checks the aircraft, minus engines, was broken down for sea shipment. The fuselage and centre section of the wing (including the undercarriage) travelled as protected deck cargo; the tail unit, outer wings and miscellaneous items were crated and went in the hold. The aircraft were shipped from Montreal to Birkenhead, Liverpool and after unloading went by road to No.7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAF Hooton Park, a few miles south of Liverpool.

06Jul41 Aircraft received in crates by No 7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAAF Station Hooton Park, Cheshire where the aircraft was assembled and tested.

12Oct41 Aircraft received by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria.

03Nov41 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire where it was issued to B Flight as UB-Q.

07Dec41 1st Operational Mission. SGT R.E Brown and crew departed Swinderby at 1757hrs with three other Hampdens to bomb the docks area in Boulogne, France. Mission completed and RTB at 2353hrs.

11Dec41 2nd Operational Mission. Flying Officer W.E Perrin and crew departed Swinderby 1707hrs with six other Hampdens and joined with a further 10 Hampdens for an attack on the harbour and port facilities at Le Havre, France. All completed the mission and RTB at 2355hrs.

28Dec41 3rd Operational Mission. PLTOFF A.H Metcalfe and crew departed Swinderby at 1750hrs with five other Hampdens then joined with 75 bombers of the main force for an attack on a Rubber Factory in Huls near Krefeld, Germany. All completed the mission and RTB at 2355hrs.

02Jan42 4th Operational Mission. SGT J.E Maloney and crew departed Skellingthorpe at 1931hrs and completed a mine laying sortie to the Frisian Islands

00Jan42 Aircraft issued to A Flight and re-coded as UB-B.

08Jan42 5th Operational Mission. SGT J.E Maloney and crew departed Swinderby at 0451hrs and joined seven other Hampdens for an attack on the docks at Cherbourg, France.

10Jan42 6th Operational Mission. SGT J.E Maloney and crew departed Swinderby at 1711hrs with three other Hampdens and joined 25 other bombers for an attack on Emden harbor.

14Jan42 7th Operational Mission. SGT J.E Maloney and crew departed Swinderby at 1658hrs with three other Hampdens for an attack on the Blohm & Voss shipyards.

26Jan42 8th Operational Mission. SQNLDR Smith and crew departed Swinderby at 1728hrs with five other Hampdens then joined with a further 11 Hampdens to attack the marshalling yards in Hannover, Germany.

28Jan42 9th Operational Mission. FLTLT W.E Perrin and crew departed Swinderby at 1728hrs with five other Hampdens then joined with a further 23 Hampdens to attack Munster, Germany.

08Feb42 Squadron moved from RAF Swinderby to RAF Wigsley, Nottinghamshire. The aircraft departed Swinderby on the morning of 8th Feb but as the airfield at Wigsley was unserviceable the aircraft flew into Wigsley’s satellite field at RAF Skellingthorpe.

12Feb42 10th Operational Mission. The Channel Dash - Operation Fuller. FLTLT W.E Perrin and crew departed Wigsley at 1522hrs with eight other Hampdens to carry out a daytime attack on the German battleships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen in the English Channel. Nine aircraft from the Squadron took part in the mission which was the 1st Wave of Operation Fuller consisting of 35 Wellingtons, 25 Blenheims, 2 Manchesters and 11 Hampdens.

21Feb42 11th Operational Mission. SGT J.E Maloney and crew departed Wigsley at 1828hrs with six other Hampdens for an Intruder sortie in the Coblenz-Cologne area. One hour after takeoff the aircraft heating system failed completely so the pilot aborted and returned to base at 2020hrs.

24Feb42 12th Operational Mission. SGT J.E Maloney and crew departed Wigsley at 0242hrs with nine other Hampdens and joined a further 31 Hampdens to lay mines in the Schillig-Weser area near Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The mine was dropped in the assigned area and the aircraft then returned safely to Wigsley at 0740hrs.

25Feb42 13th Operational Mission. SGT J.E Maloney and crew departed Wigsley at 2234hrs with two other Hampdens and joined a further 15 Hampdens to lay mines off Terschelling, Norway. The mine was dropped under very poor weather conditions then the aircraft returned back to Wigsley at 0408hrs.

27Feb42 14th Operational Mission. SGT J.E Maloney and crew departed Wigsley at 1754hrs with eight other Hampdens and joined a further 11 Hampdens to bomb the battleship Gneisenau in the Deutsch Werke’s floating dry dock at Kiel, Germany. Bombs could not be dropped because of thick cloud cover and enemy smoke screens.

03Mar42 15th Operational Mission. SGT J.E Maloney and crew departed Wigsley at 1753hrs with four other Hampdens then joined up with another 205 bombers to bomb the Renault Manufacturing Plant in the satellite town of Billancourt just west of Paris. Great secrecy shrouded the lead-up to the mission because of the political sensitivity surrounding the decision to bomb the French capital. The crew bombed their assigned target and RTB at 0002hrs.

07Mar42 16th Operational Mission. SGT J.E Maloney and crew departed Wigsley at 0230hrs with eight other Hampdens and joined a further 10 Hampdens to lay mines in the approaches to Lorient harbor, France. The port engine began to play up on the outward leg but the crew decided to push on. When approaching the French coast the engine got worse, oil temp was rising and the heating system failed so the pilot aborted and returned to Wigsley at 0613hrs.

13Mar42 17th Operational Mission. PLTOFF Bolton and crew departed Wigsley at 1946hrs with five other Hampdens and joined a further 16 Hampdens for a raid on the city centre of Cologne, Germany. The primary target of the city centre could not be identified so one of the approved secondary targets was bombed.

25Mar42 18th Operational Mission. SGT J.E Maloney and crew departed Wigsley at 0230hrs with six other Hampdens and joined a further 30 Hampdens to lay mines in the approaches to Lorient harbor, France. Mine dropped in the assigned area then returned to Wigsley at 2351hrs.

28Mar42 19th Operational Mission. SGT J.E Maloney and crew departed Wigsley at 2034hrs with nine other Hampdens and joined a further 23 Hampdens for an attack on Lubeck, Germany. Returned to base at 0430hrs following a successful mission.

31Mar42 20th Operational Mission. PLTOFF Wakeford and crew departed Wigsley at 1219hrs with three other Hampdens for a railway interdiction sortie over northern Germany. Impenetrable low-level cloud over the Netherlands forced the pilot to abort the mission and return to Wigsley at 1541hrs.

02Apr42 21st Operational Mission. PLTOFF J.E Maloney and crew departed Wigsley at 1907hrs to carry out a mine laying mission in the Quiberon Bay area off the coast of France. The aircraft was last heard from at 2338hrs when in position 4853N/0557W; nothing more was heard and the aircraft failed to return from the mission and post war investigations could not determine the fate of the aircraft.

30Apr42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455 Sqn the aircraft flew 21 Operational missions and made an unknown number of non-operational flights.

IBCC Memorial

IBCC Memorial

RAAF Pilot 402376 Pilot Officer John Edward Maloney (29) single of Rose Bay in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is remembered on Panel 111 of the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey; on Panel 67 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, at Location 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT. He is remembered on the Roll of Honour in Sydney.

RAAF Navigator 400301 Sergeant Calder Fenton Woodburn (26) single of Black Rock in Queensland was KIA and has no known grave. He is remembered on Panel 113 of the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey; on Panel 118 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, at Location 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT. He is remembered on the Black Rock Roll of Honour in Melbourne, Victoria.

RAAF wireless air gunner 402629 Flying Officer Harry Neville Young (21) of Hamilton New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is remembered on Panel 111 of the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey; on Panel 120 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, at Location 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT. He is remembered on the Roll of Honour in Hamilton, Newcastle.

RAAF wireless air gunner 402611 Sergeant Horace Edward Rowley (28) of Merrylands in Sydney New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is remembered on Panel 113 of the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey; on Panel 92 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, at Location 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT. He is remembered on the Roll of Honour in Merrylands, Sydney.

Roll of Honour in Merrylands, Sydney.

Roll of Honour in Merrylands, Sydney.

Noted WWII Historian W.R Chorley recorded: “It is believed that this was the first all RAAF crew to lose their lives flying under Bomber Command authority.”

P5326

00Dec40 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Bomber Serial P5326 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.965794/38 by the Quebec Group of the Canadian Associated Aircraft consortium at their facility in Saint Hubert, Quebec. The 29th of 40 Hamden aircraft built in the 1st Production Batch in the Serial Range P5298 to P5337.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

00Apr41 At the completion of test flights and acceptance checks the aircraft, minus engines, was broken down for sea shipment. The fuselage and centre section of the wing (including the undercarriage) travelled as protected deck cargo; the tail unit, outer wings and miscellaneous items were crated and went in the hold. The aircraft were shipped from Montreal to Birkenhead, Liverpool and after unloading went by road to No.7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAF Hooton Park, a few miles south of Liverpool.

10Jul41 Aircraft received in crates by No 7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAAF Station Hooton Park, Cheshire where the aircraft was assembled and tested.

12Oct41 Aircraft received by No.44 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Edzell in Angus, Scotland.

25Oct41 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire. Aircraft was issued to B Flight and coded UB-O. The code was changed to UB-V in February 1942.

08Nov41 1st Operational Mission SGT J. Shannon and crew departed Swinderby at 1807hrs with P5329 to bomb the docks at Dunkirk, France. Bombs were dropped on target then the aircraft returned to Swinderby at 2237hrs.

11Dec41 2nd Operational Mission. SGT E.H Busfield and crew departed Swinderby at 1654hrs with six other Hampdens and joined another eight Hampdens for an attack on the docks and port facilities at Le Havre, France. The crew could not identify the target thru the heavy cloud cover so the pilot aborted and returned to base at 2248hrs.

15Dec41 3rd Operational Mission. SGT E.H Busfield and crew departed Swinderby at 1806hrs with eight other Hampdens to attack the docks and harbor facilities at Ostend, Belgium. Bombs were dropped on target then the aircraft returned to Swinderby at 2237hrs.

17Dec41 4th Operational Mission. SGT E.H Busfield and crew departed Swinderby at 1710hrs with two other Hampdens for an attack on shipping and port facilities in Le Havre, France. The crew could not identify the target thru the heavy cloud cover so the pilot aborted and returned to base at 2225hrs.

23Dec41 SGT E.H Busfield and crew were taxying out to depart on a mine laying mission when the aircraft skidded on ice causing the machine to slide off the taxiway resulting in moderate Cat.A damage to the undercarriage moderate damage. No injuries were reported.

27Dec41 5th Operational Mission. PLTOFF J. Catanach and crew departed Skellingthorpe at 1732hrs with three other Hampdens for an attack on shipping and port facilities in Boulogne, France. The crew bombed the assigned target and returned to base at 2236hrs.

02Jan42 6th Operational Mission. SQNLDR R.R Banker and crew departed Skellingthorpe at 1705hrs three other Hampdens to lay mines off the approaches to La Rochelle, France. The mine was dropped in the correct area and the aircraft returned to Base at 2346hrs.

10Jan42 7th Operational Mission. FLGOPFF M.S Humphrey and crew departed Skellingthorpe at 1700hrs with eight other Hampdens and joined a further 24 Hampdens for an attack on the main Railway Station in Essen, Germany. Bombs were dropped as briefed and the aircraft returned to base at 2355hrs.

14Jan42 8th Operational Mission. PLTOFF John Banbury and crew departed Skellingthorpe at 1705hrs with three other Hampdens to attack the Blohm & Voss shipyards in Hamburg, Germany. At 1910hrs the Wireless Operator called a night fighter approaching from the rear so the pilot took ‘slight’ evasive action by diving toward a nearby cloud. This mild action caused the artificial horizon to topple leaving the pilot in dense cloud without his primary blind flying instrument. The pilot therefore tried to fly blind in cloud at night relying only on his secondary flight instruments. Sometime later sensing, rightly or wrongly, that his aircraft was entering a spin or spiral dive the pilot jettisoned his bombs to lighten his machine and regain control. Bereft of weapons the pilot headed home [hopefully] on a course for England. He eventually got his bearings and cleared the thick cloud and made a grateful landing at RAF Coningsby at 2304hrs. One can only imagine the ordeal the young pilot endured on this night and, sadly, this scenario played-out virtually every night with Bomber Command crews during the harsh winter of 1941-42.

15Jan42 9th Operational Mission. PLTOFF J. Catanach and crew departed Skellingthorpe at 1737hrs with three other Hampdens and joined up with 92 bombers of the main force for an attack on Hamburg. After dropping their bombs the aircraft was hit by Flak which knocked out the port engine and caused moderate damage to other non-vital areas. Catanach flew back to the UK and landed at RAF Lindholme, South Yorkshire. The crew was uninjured and the aircraft was assessed as Cat.Ac.

17Jan42 Aircraft flown back to Skellingthorpe for repair.

24Jan42 A repair crew from Tollerton Aircraft Services at RAF Station Tollerton, Nottinghamshire came to Skellingthorpe and repaired the aircraft during the period 24Jan-07Mar42.

08Feb42 Squadron moved from RAF Swinderby to RAF Wigsley, Nottinghamshire. The aircraft departed Swinderby on the morning of 8th Feb but as the airfield at Wigsley was unserviceable the aircraft flew into Wigsley’s satellite field at RAF Skellingthorpe.

12Mar42 Aircraft took off from RAF Wigsley to carry out the usual air test in preparation for the night’s mission. Immediately after take-off the port engine failed causing the aircraft to bank steeply to port before diving into the ground and exploding. The pilot [SGT K.A Andrew] died in the crash but the Navigator [SGT E.G Miflin] sustained a broken leg and was rescued before the fire took hold and survived the ordeal. Damaged Cat B.

Thurlby (St Germain) Church Yard, Lincolnshire, UK

Thurlby (St Germain) Churchyard, Lincolnshire, UK

RAAF pilot 404823 Sergeant Keith Alexander Andrew (24) married of Crows Nest, Queensland was KIA and is buried in Grave A.5 of the Thurlby (St Germain) Churchyard, Lincolnshire, UK. He is also remembered at Location 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on Panel 2 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and on Panel 65 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAAF Navigator 404898 Sergeant Ernest George Alford Miflin (25) of McKay, Queensland was rescued from the wreckage and was admitted to Sick Quarters with a broken leg, contusions, cuts and shock. He returned to duty in December 1942 and completed his tour. He remained in the UK for the duration of the war with postings to 5OTU, 1TTU, 502 Sqn, 4APC, 15ACHU and finally to No.11PDRC where he was repatriated back to Australia on 30Oct45. He resigned from the RAAF on 26th February 1946 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. Ernest George Miflin died on 20th August 1968 in McKay and is buried in C of E Section 1, Line 29, Plot 21 of the Mount Bassett Cemetery, McKay.

P5328

00Jan41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Bomber Serial P5328 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.965794/38 by the Quebec Group of the Canadian Associated Aircraft consortium at their facility in Saint Hubert, Quebec. The 31st of 40 Hamden aircraft built in the 1st Production Batch in the Serial Range P5298 to P5337.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

00Apr41 At the completion of test flights and acceptance checks the aircraft, minus engines, was broken down for sea shipment. The fuselage and centre section of the wing (including the undercarriage) travelled as protected deck cargo; the tail unit, outer wings and miscellaneous items were crated and went in the hold. The aircraft were shipped from Montreal to Birkenhead, Liverpool and after unloading went by road to No.7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAF Hooton Park, a few miles south of Liverpool.

21Jul41 Aircraft received in crates by No 7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAAF Station Hooton Park, Cheshire where the aircraft was assembled and tested.

12Oct41 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

30Oct41 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire. Issued to B Flight as UB-Q.

15Dec41 1st Operational Mission SGT A.H Wincott and crew departed Swinderby for the short flight to Skellingthorpe where it was bombed-up, refuelled and prepared for the nights’ mission. At 1833hrs they departed Skellingthorpe with seven other Hampdens for an attack on the dockyards at Ostend, Belgium. The crew could not find the target area through the thick cloud cover and after trying for 35min the captain aborted and returned to Base at 2215hrs.

02Jan42 2nd Operational Mission PLTOFF C. Ludwig and crew departed Swinderby for the short flight to Skellingthorpe where it was bombed-up, refuelled and prepared for the nights’ mission. At 1716hrs they departed Skellingthorpe with three other Hampdens to bomb naval targets at La Rochelle, France. The aircraft completed the mission and headed home when they were told to divert to RAF Upper Heywood, Oxfordshire because all the Yorkshire bases were covered by thick fog.

Ludwig joined the circuit but somehow lost control when configuring his aircraft for landing. At 0103hrs the aircraft dived vertically into the ground which is consistent with flight path of a spin, or the steep dive as a result a too-low-recovery from a spin or stall. The aircraft crashed and burned on Folly Farm in Haddenharm, 9km SW of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Three of the crew died from the impact but the Wireless Operator was alive when gently eased from the burning wreckage. Despite being rushed to the nearby RFA Hospital at Halton he died soon after admission.

09Jan42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew one operational mission and made three non-operational flights.

Aberdeen (Allenvale) Cemetery

Aberdeen (Allenvale) Cemetery, Scotland

RAFVR pilot 100090 Pilot Officer Charles Ludwig (30) single of Aberdeen, Scotland is buried in Section D, Grave 1993 of the Aberdeen (Allenvale) Cemetery. He is commemorated on Panel 65 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAAF Navigator 400110 Pilot Officer John Lennox Siesel Willox (26) married of East Malvern in Melbourne, Victoria is buried in Plot 3. Row B. Grave 121 of the St Michaels (All Angels) Church Yard in Halton, Buckinghamshire, UK. He is commemorated on Panel 117 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT. He is also remembered on the Roll of Honour in Malvern, Melbourne.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1005937 Sergeant Joseph Ross Stansfield (30) single of Fagley, Bradford is buried in Section A Grave 89 of the Calverley (St Wilfrid) Churchyard Yorks, Yorkshire. He is commemorated on Panel 65 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAAF Air Gunner 404579 Flying Officer Alec McNaughton Christie (26) married of Ingham, Queensland is buried in Plot 3, Row B, Grave 120 of the St Michaels (All Angels) Church Yard, in Halton Buckinghamshire, UK. He is commemorated on Panel 19 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT. He is also remembered on the Ingham RSL Honour Board, Queensland.

P5329

00Jan41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Bomber Serial P5329 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.965794/38 by the Quebec Group of the Canadian Associated Aircraft consortium at their facility in Saint Hubert, Quebec. The 32nd of 40 Hamden aircraft built in the 1st Production Batch in the Serial Range P5298 to P5337.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

00Apr41 At the completion of test flights and acceptance checks the aircraft, minus engines, was broken down for sea shipment. The fuselage and centre section of the wing (including the undercarriage) travelled as protected deck cargo; the tail unit, outer wings and miscellaneous items were crated and went in the hold. The aircraft were shipped from Montreal to Birkenhead, Liverpool and after unloading went by road to No.7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAF Hooton Park, a few miles south of Liverpool.

21Jul41 Aircraft received in crates by No 7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAAF Station Hooton Park, Cheshire where the aircraft was assembled and tested.

23Oct41 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

30Oct41 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire and issued to A Flight as UB-J.

08Nov41 1st Operational Mission. PLTOFF Charlton and crew departed Swinderby at 1825hrs with P5326 to bomb the docks at Dunkirk, France. Bombs were dropped on target then the aircraft returned to Swinderby at 2213hrs.

15Dec41 2nd Operational Mission. PLTOFF Charlton and crew departed Swinderby at 1809hrs with seven other Hampdens and joined 32 bombers of the main force to attack the Ostend Dock area in Belgium. The crew bombed their assigned target and returned to base at 2126hrs .

23Dec41 3rd Operational Mission. PLTOFF Charlton and crew departed Swinderby at 1705hrs with six other Hampdens then joined a further 10 Hampdens for a mine laying sortie to the Frisian Islands. The crew dropped their mine in the assigned area and returned to base at 2216hrs.

27Dec41 4th Operational Mission. SGT B.E Brown and crew departed Swinderby at 1722hrs with six other Hampdens then joined a further 24 Hampdens for a raid on Dusseldorf marshalling yards. Target bombed as briefed then returned to base at 2104hrs.

08Jan42 5th Operational Mission. Flying Officer Charlton and crew departed Swinderby at 0358hrs with three other Hampdens and dropped mines in the Nectarine area near the Frisian Islands.

10Jan42 6th Operational Mission. Flying Officer Charlton and crew departed Swinderby at1704hrs with eight other Hampdens then joined with 22 main force Hampdens for an attack on the main railway station of Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The crew dropped their bombs on the target area then returned to base at 0002hrs.

26Jan42 7th Operational Mission. PLTOFF E.H Busfield and crew departed Swinderby at 1714hrs with five other Hampdens then joined with a further 11 Hampdens to attack the marshalling yards in Hannover, Germany. The bombs were dropped as briefed and the crew returned to Swinderby at 0058hrs.

07Feb42 8th Operational Mission. Flying Officer R.A Wakeford and crew departed Swinderby at 1203hrs with five other Hampdens for a mining sortie to St Nazaire, France. Mines dropped in the assigned are and the aircraft returned to base at 1625hrs

08Feb42 Squadron moved from RAF Swinderby to RAF Wigsley, Nottinghamshire. The aircraft departed Swinderby on the morning of 8th Feb but as the airfield at Wigsley was unserviceable the aircraft flew into Wigsley’s satellite field at RAF Skellingthorpe.

12Feb42 9th Operational Mission. The Channel Dash - Operation Fuller. FGOFF Charlton and crew departed Wigsley at 1532hrs with eight other Hampdens to carry out a daytime attack on the German battleships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen in the English Channel. Nine aircraft from the Squadron took part in the unsuccessful mission which was the 1st Wave of Operation Fuller consisting of 35 Wellingtons, 25 Blenheims, 2 Manchesters and 11 Hampdens.

operation fuller 1942

21Feb42 10th Operational Mission. Flying Officer Charlton and crew departed Leuchars at 1847hrs with six other Hampdens for an Intruder sortie in the Coblenz-Cologne area. A few minutes before arriving at the target the pilot aborted when the directional gyrocompass failed and the heating system also failed. Flew back to base without further problems and landed at 2021hrs.

24Feb42 11th Operational Mission. Flying Officer Charlton and crew departed Wigsley at 0250hrs with nine other Hampdens and joined a further 31 Hampdens to lay mines in the Schillig-Weser area near Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The mine was dropped in the secondary target area and the aircraft then returned safely to Wigsley at 0747hrs.

27Feb42 12th Operational Mission. PLTOFF J. Catanach and crew departed Wigsley at 1744hrs with eight other Hampdens and joined a further 11 Hampdens to bomb the battleship Gneisenau in the Deutsch Werke’s floating dry dock at Kiel, Germany. Target could not be positively identified because of thick cloud cover and enemy smoke screens instead, the crew dropped their bombs based on ETA. On the return journey the aircraft encountered severe icing and struggled to maintain height. The pilot managed, through a dint of skillful flying, to land some 250km away from Wigsley at RAF Acklington in Northumberland.

24Mar42 13th Operational Mission. FLTLT A.H Metcalfe and crew departed Wigsley at 1858hrs with three other Hampdens and joined 16 further Hampdens to lay mines in the approached to Lorient harbour, France. The mine was dropped as briefed and the aircraft headed home but was diverted to RAF St Eval because of poor weather conditions at Wigsley.

25Mar42 FLTLT A.H Metcalfe and crew departed St Eval at 1700hrs for the return to Wigsley but at 1743hrs the stbd propeller fell off and the aircraft crashed at Sparks Farm, Watchfield, 3km east of Highbridge, Somerset. The machine exploded on impact and all four crewman were killed.

28Mar42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew 13 operational missions and made at least 16 non-operational flights.

Camberwell New Cemetery, London

Camberwell New Cemetery, London

RAFVR pilot 67621 Flight Lieutenant Alan Herbert Metcalfe DFC (21) of Forest Hill, Oxfordshire is buried in Square 69, Plot No.7077 of the Camberwell New Cemetery, London. He is commemorated on Panel 73 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAAF Navigator 404547 Fling Officer James Albert Sayer (26) single of Carlton New South Wales is buried in Section O Grave No.3 of the Burnham-on-Sea General Cemetery, Somerset, UK. He is commemorated at Location 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on Panel 94 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 971301 Flight Sergeant George Stevenson Wilson (24) of Leith, Scotland is buried in Section C, Grave No.501 of the Edinburgh [Piershill] Cemetery, Scotland. He is commemorated on Panel 117 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAAF wireless air gunner 402591 Sergeant Frederick Max Donohoe (30) single of Gulargambone, New South Wales is buried in Section O Grave No.2 of the Burnham-on-Sea General Cemetery, Somerset, UK. He is remembered at Location 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on Panel 29 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

X3140

00Nov40 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial X3140 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B. B994449/39 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 26th of 40 Hamden aircraft built in the Serial Range X3115 to X3154.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

24Nov40 Aircraft received by No.20 Maintenance Unit at RAF Ashton Down, Gloucestershire.

05Dec40 Aircraft taken on charge with No.61 (B) Sqn at RAF Hemswell, Lincolnshire.

28Dec40 On a local training flight the aircraft became trapped in thick fog and the crew became totally disorientated. At 0900hrs the pilot made a forced landing in a field near Great Gonerby, Lincolnshire. No injuries were reported and only minor damage sustained by the aircraft.

06Sep41 Received for maintenance by Tollerton Aircraft Services at RAF Station Tollerton, Nottinghamshire

17Oct41 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

24Oct41 Received by RCAF No.408 (Goose) Sqn at RAF Syerston, Nottinghamshire where it was taken on charge with B Flight as GX-T

07Nov41 Sergeant J W Russell was injured when the aircraft force landed after an engine failure. Aircraft sustained Cat.Ac damage.

16Nov41 Received for repair by Air Service Training at Hamble.

27Jan42 Aircraft transferred for repairs to Handley Page Repair Organisation, York.

04Feb42 Aircraft transferred for repairs to London Midland& Scottish workshops, Derby

01Apr42 Aircraft transferred to RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

23Apr42 Aircraft received for storage by No.44 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Edzell in Angus, Scotland.

00Dec41 Received by RCAF No.415 (Swordfish) TB Sqn at RAF Thorney Island, West Sussex.

08Jun42 Received by English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire for conversion to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1.

22Jun42 Aircraft received by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria.

02Jul42 Aircraft taken on charge with No.415 (TB) Sqn RAAF at RAF station Thorney Island, West Sussex.

16Sep42 Received for repairs by London Midland& Scottish workshops, Derby

14Oct42 Aircraft transferred to RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

24Oct42 Aircraft received by No.13 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Henlow, Bedfordshire.

31Dec42 Aircraft taken on charge with No.455 (TB) Sqn RAAF at RAF station Leuchars, Fifeshire Scotland and issued to B Flight as UB-T.

11Jan43 1st Operational Mission. FLTLT A.H.G Clarke and crew departed Leuchars at 1550hrs for a Shipping Strike & Reconnaissance mission with eleven other Hampdens. No enemy sighted and RTB at 2240hrs.

25Jan43 2nd Operational Mission. PLTOFF E.J Gleeson and crew departed RAF Leuchars at 1330 hrs with five other Hampdens for on an armed reconnaissance flight off the Norwegian coast. The aircraft performed their mission then set course for base at 1645hrs. At 1912hrs the crew exchanged course information with AE228 but that was the last time contact with X3140. The aircraft failed to return and was listed as MIA.

28Jan43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew two operational missions and made at least three non-operational flights.

 Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

RAAF Pilot 404707 Pilot Officer Eric John Gleeson (26) married of Alstonville New South Wales is commemorated on Panel 191 on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. He is also remembered at Location 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on the Lismore Cenotaph, NSW.

RAAF Navigator 404766 Flying Officer Kevin James Murphy (24) single of Toowong, Queensland is commemorated on Panel 188 of the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. He is also remembered at Location 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on the Brisbane Roll of Honour, Queensland.

RAAF wireless air gunner 404149 Sergeant Henry Witte (26) single of Samson Vale, Queensland is commemorated on Panel 197 of the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. He is also remembered at Location 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on the Roll of Honour at Wynnum, Queensland.

RAAF wireless air gunner 404395 Sergeant Ronald James Booth (31) singe of Caboolture, Queensland is commemorated on Panel 195 of the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. He is also remembered at Location 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on the Caboolture War Memorial, Queensland.

X3150

00Nov40 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial X3150 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B. B994449/39 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 36th of 40 Hamden aircraft built in the Serial Range X3115 to X3154.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

24Nov40 Aircraft received by No.24 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Tern Hill, Shropshire.

06Dec40 Aircraft taken on charge with No.44 (Rhodesian) Sqn at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire.

08Jul41 SGT D.M Bruce and crew were departing Waddington ay 1600hrs when the aircraft swung violently to stbd causing the undercarriage to collapse. The aircraft then skidded along the runway before catching fire and coming to rest. The crew quickly evacuated the aircraft and received only minor injuries. Prompt and effective action by the Station’s emergency services extinguished the flames and saved the aircraft. Damage was assessed as Cat.Ac/FA.

09Jul41 Aircraft was taken by road to English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire for repair. After repairs were completed the aircraft was converted to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1 standard.

25Oct41 Aircraft received by RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

07Nov42 Aircraft received by No.29 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station High Ercall, Shropshire

22Nov42 Aircraft taken on charge with No.455 (B) Sqn RAAF at RAF station Leuchars in Fifeshire, Scotland and issued to B Flight as UB-O.

11Jan43 1st Operational Mission. PLTOFF R.B Patrick and crew departed Leuchars at 1552hrs departed with eleven other Hampden Torpedo Bombers for a strike against German surface vessels off the Norwegian coast. 15min after departure the port engine failed and the aircraft returned to Base.

18Jan43 2nd Operational Mission. PLTOFF R.B Patrick and crew departed Leuchars at 0850hrs with a 144Sqn Hampden for a shipping Reconnaissance/Strike off the Norwegian Coast. No sightings were made and the aircraft safely returned to Leuchars by 1455hrs.

19Jan43 PLTOFF W.H Martin and crew flew the aircraft from Leuchars to RAF Abbotsinch, Glasgow for repairs.

22Jan43 PLTOFF W.H Martin and crew returned the aircraft to Leuchars.

23Jan43 3rd Operational Mission. PLTOFF R.B Patrick and crew departed Leuchars at 1005hrs with two other Hampdens for a daylight shipping Reconnaissance/Strike off the Norwegian Coast. No sightings were made and the aircraft safely returned to Leuchars by 1500hrs.

25Jan43 4th Operational Mission. Flying Officer R.B Patrick and crew departed Leuchars at 1335hrs with five other Hampdens and were joined by a further six Hampdens of 489 Sqn RNZAF and nine Beaufighter escorts from 235Sqn RAF for a shipping strike along the Norwegian coast. Poor weather forced the aircraft to split and most aircraft carried out individual missions before returning to Leuchars. One Hampden failed to return.

16Feb43 5th Operational Mission. Flying Officer R.B Patrick and crew departed Leuchars at 1335hrs with two other Hampdens for a night shipping reconnaissance between Strand Fjord and Anda Island, Norway. At 0141hrs Patrick sighted an unescorted 2,000 ton merchant vessel and immediately attacked, dropping a stick 4 x 500lb MC bombs from 3500ft. One bomb was seen to explode close to the ship’s stern. Heavy flak from the nearby shore batteries forced the attack to be called off. Returned safely to Leuchars at 0425hrs.

18Feb43 6th Operational Mission. Flying Officer R.B Patrick and crew departed Leuchars at 1335hrs with three other Hampdens for a night shipping reconnaissance near Kristiansand, Norway. No sightings were made and the aircraft safely returned to Leuchars at 0325hrs.

20Feb43 7th Operational Mission. Flying Officer A.F.G Broughton and crew departed Leuchars at 1815hrs with three other Hampdens for a night shipping reconnaissance between Selbjoin Fjord and Bjorne Fjord, Norway. No sightings were made and the aircraft safely returned to Leuchars at 0020hrs.

23Feb43 8th Operational Mission. SGT H.O Hansen and crew departed Leuchars at 0906hrs for a cross-over patrol to Kinnairds Head and return. No sightings were made and the aircraft safely returned to Leuchars at 1606hrs.

28Feb43 9th Operational Mission. Flying Officer R.B Patrick and crew departed Leuchars at 0558hrs for a SAR mission for missing aircrew in the North Sea. Because of very poor visibility and extreme weather conditions no sightings were made, returned to Leuchars at 1210hrs.

09Mar43 Flying Officer J.G.C Oliver and crew ferried X2904 back from Wick to Leuchars for repair. They then flew X3150 back to Wick as a replacement for the detachment.

11Mar43 10th Operational Mission. Flying Officer J.G.C Oliver and crew departed Wick at 1643hrs with eleven other Hampdens for a torpedo search & strike near Egero Island, Southern Norway. No contacts made due to snow storm.

12Mar43 Flying Officer J.G.C Oliver and crew flew the aircraft back to Leuchars.

17Mar43 11th Operational Mission. FSGT H.O Hansen and crew departed Leuchars at 0558hrs at 1643hrs and flew an uneventful ASW escort mission for two convoys. Nothing unusual sighted before returning to Leuchars at 1346hrs.

21Mar43 PLTOFF M.S Humphrey and crew were detached with AD987 (FSGT Freeth) for independent operations at RAF Sumburgh, Shetland Islands.

22Mar43 12th Operational Mission. PLTOFF M.S Humphrey and crew departed Sumburgh at 0203hrs for a solo shipping strike mission to Aalesund Island, Norway. At 0426hrs they sighted seven merchant vessels in the anchorage and attacked immediately. A stick of 4 x 500lb MC bombs was dropped on a line of three vessels, but no results were possible as the aircraft was immediately illuminated by several searchlights and placed under a heavy flak barrage. The pilot avoided the worst of the flak and returned to Sumburgh with minor flak damage.

04Apr43 PLTOFF P.H Baker and crew were flying a night navigation exercise. When touching down at RAF Abbotsinch, Glasgow the flaps sustained Cat.A damage. The crew were told to remain in Glasgow until the aircraft was repaired.

06Apr43 PLTOFF P.H Baker and crew flew the aircraft back to Leuchars.

16Apr43 13th Operational Mission. FSGT G.V Courtney and crew departed Leuchars at 2245hrs with three other Hampdens for a night shipping reconnaissance along parts of the Norwegian and Danish coasts. No sightings were made before returning to Leuchars at 0550hrs.

19Apr43 14th Operational Mission. Flying Officer P.D Mackie and crew departed Leuchars at 0622hrs for a cross-over patrol to Kinnairds Head and return. No sightings were made and the aircraft safely returned to Leuchars at 1245hrs.

22Apr43 15th Operational Mission. Flying Officer R.C Barton and crew departed Leuchars at 0710hrs for a cross-over patrol to Rottray Head and return. Numerous British ships in convoy and alone were sighted and investigated. Diverted to Wick because of low fuel. Returned to Leuchars the following morning.

29Apr43 16th Operational Mission. FSGT N. Bayliss and crew departed Leuchars at 1310hrs, carrying a Lindholme dinghy, for an SAR patrol. Nothing sighted before returning to Leuchars at 1732hrs.

01May43 One of three A Flight aircraft and crews detached for operations to RAF Sumburgh:

X3150 (O) PO B. Atkinson PO K.K Edwards FSGT L. Arter SGT A. Rigby

P1207 (U) FO A.E Ethell FSGT V.A Griffiths FSGT N. Bayliss SGT K.P McDonald

AN149X FO B. Atkinson FO K.K Edwards FSGT L. Arter SGT A. Rigby

03May43 17th Operational Mission. Flying Officer A.E Ethell and crew departed Sumburgh at 0915hrs for an uneventful seven hour ASW convoy patrol. Carried 8 x Torpex 250lb depth charges.

07May43 Flying Officer A.E Ethell and crew returned to Leuchars.

05Jun43 Aircraft re-coded as UB-U.

07Jul43 18th Operational Mission. FSGT A.E Jones and crew departed Leuchars at 1628hrs with 14 other Hampdens for a Shipping Rover Patrol between Lister and Kristiansand. Enemy fighters were encountered enroute in the cloudless sky so the leader aborted the patrol and all aircraft returned to Leuchars.

16Jul43 Departed Leuchars at 1059hrs on training mission and for reasons that will never be known, entered a spin and dived into the ground 3km south of the runway. The aircraft was destroyed and all three crewmen were killed on impact.

31Jul43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew 18 operational missions and made at least 21 non-operational flights.

Ayr Cemetery, Scotland

Ayr Cemetery, Scotland

RAFVR Pilot 1343179 SGT Robert Brown Mack Gemmel (23) of Perth, Scotland is buried in Section T 1931 Division, Grave 3262 of the Ayr Cemetery, Scotland.

RAFVR Navigator 1334766 SGT Arthur Neville Owen (22) single of Winchester is buried in Row N.3 Grave 62 of the Winchester (Magdalen Hill) Cemetery

RNZAF wireless air gunner 412649 Flying Officer Winston Francis Bradshaw (26) single of Christchurch, NZ is buried in Grave 2.D.1 of the Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey UK. He is commemorated on the Roll of Honour in the RNZAF Museum in Wigram, South Island of New Zealand.

AD783

00Jan41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AD783 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 2nd of 25 Hamden aircraft of the 8th Production Batch built in the Serial Range AD782 to AD806.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

22Jan41 Aircraft received by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria.

15Mar41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.144 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Hemswell, Lincolnshire and coded PL-D.

04Apr41 Aircraft was landing at RAF St Eval after completing a minelaying mission when the pilot overshot the landing due to hydraulic failure. Undercarriage collapsed resulting in Cat.B damage.

13Apr41 Received for repairs by London Midland& Scottish workshops, Derby

24Oct41 Aircraft received by No.20 Maintenance Unit at RAF Ashton Down, Gloucestershire.

15Nov41 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire and issued to B Flight as UB-U.

23Dec41 1st Operational Mission. SGT A.H Wincott and crew departed Swinderby at 1706hrs with six other Hampdens and joined a further 11 Hampdens to lay mines near the Frisian Islands. The crew aborted after they reached the target area because they could not identify their assigned dropping point in the foul weather. Returned to Swinderby at 2225hrs.

08Feb42 Squadron moved from RAF Swinderby to RAF Wigsley, Nottinghamshire. The aircraft departed Swinderby on the morning of 8th Feb but as the airfield at Wigsley was unserviceable the aircraft flew into Wigsley’s satellite field at RAF Skellingthorpe.

12Feb42 2nd Operational Mission. FSGT J.B Kennedy and crew departed Wigsley at 2345 hours with two other Hampdens to lay mines in the Wangerooge area off Emden, Germany but when the port engine began spluttering the aircraft turned back for Wigsley. However at 0155hrs, on the downward circuit, and with the port engine now on fire whilst the plane prepared to land, it crash near the village of Eagle, 10km SW of Lincoln, killing all the crew. During the crash, a mine had broken away from its mountings and come to rest near the stricken aircraft, shortly after, it exploded, damaging houses in Eagle. No-one from the village was injured in the explosion.

17Feb42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew two operational missions and made at least three non-operational flights.

Newark-upon-Trent Cemetery, Nottinghamshire, UK

Newark-upon-Trent Cemetery, Nottinghamshire, UK

RNZAF Pilot 402874 FSGT John Bernard Kennedy (26) of Christchurch in Canterbury, New Zealand was KIA and is buried in Section R, Grave 298 of the Newark-upon-Trent Cemetery, Nottinghamshire, UK. He is commemorated on the Roll of Honour in the RNZAF Museum in Wigram, South Island of New Zealand; and, on Panel 58 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR Navigator 778346 SGT Verner James Hopwood (26) married of Transvaal in Southern Rhodesia was KIA and is buried in Grave 529 of the Thurlby (St Germain) Church Yard, Lincolnshire, UK. He is commemorated Panel 51 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR Wireless air gunner 1000480 SGT William Leonard Kelly (21) single of Ashton-in-Makerfield. Lancashire was KIA and is buried in Line No.2, Grave.55 of the Ashton-in-Makerfield (St Thomas) Churchyard, Lancashire, UK He is commemorated Panel 58 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR Air Gunner 1375863 SGT George Arthur Metcalfe was KIA and his ashes are interred in the Screen Wall of the Edmonton Cemetery, Middlesex, UK. He is commemorated Panel 211 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

In 2022 a memorial was erected in the village of Eagle

In 2022 a memorial was erected in the village of Eagle and dedicated by The Right Reverend Dr. Nicholas Chamberlain on 13 February 2022, marking the 80th anniversary of the crash.

AD792

00Jan41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AD792 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 11th of 25 Hamden aircraft of the 8th Production Batch built in the Serial Range AD782 to AD806.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

30Jan41 Aircraft received by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria.

16Dec41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.49 (B) Sqn at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire.

12Aug41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.14 Operational Training Unit at RAF Cottesmore, Leicestershire.

10Sep42 Aircraft sustained Cat.B damage in an unspecified flying accident. Repaired on site by a civilian contractor.

21Oct42 Aircraft transported to London Midland & Scottish Railway Ltd in Derby for repairs and modification to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1 configuration plus fitment of ASV and associated aerials.

04Nov42 Aircraft received by RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

25Nov42 Aircraft received by No.29 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station High Ercall, Shropshire

22Dec42 Taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars in Fifeshire, Scotland where it was issued to B Flight as UB-P.

11Jan43 1st Operational Mission. FLGOFF P.J Hill and crew departed Leuchars at 1556hrs with eleven other Hampdens for a strike against German naval forces off Norway. At 2215hrs the aircraft was transmitting a position report when it went off the air and nothing more was heard. The aircraft and crew were posted as MIA.

On 13Jan43 the Squadron received word that the aircraft had crashed nose first into the side of the Hill of Warren, North of Edzell in Scotland. The pilot and navigator were killed on impact whilst both wireless air gunners survived the crash. One gunner, SGT Smithers, was severely injured and could not be moved. The other gunner, SGT Spohn, sustained minor injuries during the crash and was able to extricate himself from the wreckage. Quickly determining that SGT Smithers needed urgent medical assistance Spohn decided to leave Smithers and go for help. Some 40hrs later Spohn discovered a farmhouse and from there was able to raise the alarm.

Both Sergeants were evacuated to Strathcathro Hospital, Angus where SGT Smithers had one leg amputated. Unfortunately, Smithers relapsed with complications from the amputation and the effects of his other injuries and died on 18 January 1943. Spohn recovered physically from his ordeal but one wonders about his mental state when he was returned to active service.

01Feb43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn RAAF the aircraft flew one operational missions and an unknown number of non-operational flights. Total accumulated airframe flight time was 523hrs 50min.

RAFVR 122499 Flying Officer Phillip James Hill (22) single of Almondsbury, Gloucestershire was KIA and is buried in Section D, Grave No.20 of the Fettercairn Cemetery, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

RAFVR Navigator/Bomb Aimer 123457 Flying Officer William John Rees (27) of Abercarn in Cardiff, Wales was KIA and is buried in Section 3 Row 1 Grave 5 of the Abercarn Cemetery, Cardiff.

RAAF wireless air gunner 411656 Sergeant Reginald Allan Smithers (25) single of Waratah NSW is buried in Section L Grave 33C of the Leuchars Cemetery, Fifeshire Scotland. He is commemorated at Location 106 in the Commemorative Area of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF wireless air gunner 412208 Sergeant Ronald Keith Spohn (21) of West Marrickville in Sydney, New South Wales survived the crash with only minor injuries. He completed his tour of operations and was repatriated back to Australia where he was discharged from the RAAF on the 26th of November 1944 with the rank of Warrant Officer.

AD792

00Jan41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AD792 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 11th of 25 Hamden aircraft of the 8th Production Batch built in the Serial Range AD782 to AD806.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

30Jan41 Aircraft received by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria.

16Dec41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.49 (B) Sqn at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire.

12Aug41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.14 Operational Training Unit at RAF Cottesmore, Leicestershire.

10Sep42 Aircraft sustained Cat.B damage in an unspecified flying accident. Repaired on site by a civilian contractor.

21Oct42 Aircraft transported to London Midland & Scottish Railway Ltd in Derby for repairs and modification to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1 configuration plus fitment of ASV and associated aerials.

04Nov42 Aircraft received by RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

25Nov42 Aircraft received by No.29 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station High Ercall, Shropshire

22Dec42 Taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars in Fifeshire, Scotland where it was issued to B Flight as UB-P.

11Jan43 1st Operational Mission. FLGOFF P.J Hill and crew departed Leuchars at 1556hrs with eleven other Hampdens for a strike against German naval forces off Norway. At 2215hrs the aircraft was transmitting a position report when it went off the air and nothing more was heard. The aircraft and crew were posted as MIA.

On 13Jan43 the Squadron received word that the aircraft had crashed nose first into the side of the Hill of Warren, North of Edzell in Scotland. The pilot and navigator were killed on impact whilst both wireless air gunners survived the crash. One gunner, SGT Smithers, was severely injured and could not be moved. The other gunner, SGT Spohn, sustained minor injuries during the crash and was able to extricate himself from the wreckage. Quickly determining that SGT Smithers needed urgent medical assistance Spohn decided to leave Smithers and go for help. Some 40hrs later Spohn discovered a farmhouse and from there was able to raise the alarm.

Both Sergeants were evacuated to Strathcathro Hospital, Angus where SGT Smithers had one leg amputated. Unfortunately, Smithers relapsed with complications from the amputation and the effects of his other injuries and died on 18 January 1943. Spohn recovered physically from his ordeal but one wonders about his mental state when he was returned to active service.

01Feb43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn RAAF the aircraft flew one operational mission and an unknown number of non-operational flights. Total accumulated airframe flight time was 523hrs 50min.

RAFVR 122499 Flying Officer Phillip James Hill (22) single of Almondsbury, Gloucestershire was KIA and is buried in Section D, Grave No.20 of the Fettercairn Cemetery, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

RAFVR Navigator/Bomb Aimer 123457 Flying Officer William John Rees (27) of Abercarn in Cardiff, Wales was KIA and is buried in Section 3 Row 1 Grave 5 of the Abercarn Cemetery, Cardiff.

RAAF wireless air gunner 411656 Sergeant Reginald Allan Smithers (25) single of Waratah NSW is buried in Section L Grave 33C of the Leuchars Cemetery, Fifeshire Scotland. He is commemorated at Location 106 in the Commemorative Area of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF wireless air gunner 412208 Sergeant Ronald Keith Spohn (21) of West Marrickville in Sydney, New South Wales survived the crash with only minor injuries. He completed his tour of operations and was repatriated back to Australia where he was discharged from the RAAF on the 26th of November 1944 with the rank of Warrant Officer.

AD836

00Feb41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AD836 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 13th of 50 Hamden aircraft of the 9th Production Batch built in the Serial Range AD824 to AD873.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

26Feb41 Aircraft received by No.44 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Edzell in Angus, Scotland.

20May41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.50 Sqn at RAF Station Lindholme, Lincolnshire UK

02Jul41 Aircraft aborted on a raid to Duisburg with inoperative flaps and IFF system.

11Jul41 Aircraft received for servicing and modification by Brush Coachworks Ltd, Loughborough

04Dec41 Aircraft received by RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

23Dec41 Aircraft received by No.24 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Tern Hill, Shropshire.

04Apr42 Aircraft received by No.29 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station High Ercall, Shropshire

24Apr42 Aircraft received by English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire for conversion to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1.

13May42 An A.T.A pilot ferried the aircraft from English Electric to RAF Leuchars in Fifeshire, Scotland

14May42 The aircraft was taken on charge with No.455 (Australian) Sqn at RAF Leuchars where it was issued to A Flight as UB-A. From its arrival at the squadron until early December 1942 the aircraft was used exclusively as a torpedo training aircraft.

13Jun42 Aircraft withdrawn from service, repaired and serviced on site by Tollerton Air Services.

22Aug42 Aircraft returned to service.

09Dec42 1st Operational Mission. FLGOFF A.H.G Clarke and crew departed Leuchars at 1145hrs with three other Hampdens for a daylight shipping strike. The formation leader aborted the mission because there was no cloud cover in the target area. The aircraft returned safely to Leuchars at 1610hrs.

10Dec42 2nd Operational Mission. FLGOFF A.H.G Clarke and crew departed Leuchars at 0900hrs with three other Hampdens and set course for RAF Sumburgh where the four machines would refuel and begin their strike mission. At 1040hrs the aircraft landed at Sumburgh where it encountered large pools of surface water which sprayed up and damaged the flaps. The mission was aborted and the aircraft remained at Sumburgh for two days while the flaps were repaired.

12Dec42 FLGOFF A.H.G Clarke and crew ferried the aircraft back to Leuchars.

18Dec42 3rd Operational Mission. FLGOFF R.B Patrick and crew departed Leuchars at 1335hrs with three other Hampdens for a daylight shipping strike. No sightings were made and the aircraft returned to Leuchars at 1925hrs.

22Dec42 4th Operational Mission. WOFF P.H Baker and crew departed Leuchars at 1105hrs planning to join three other Hampdens for a daylight shipping strike. However, just three minutes after departure the port engine failed completely and the pilot had no option but to make a forced landing into a wooded area on the eastern side of Leuchars airport. The aircraft was assessed as Cat.E/FB and written off the squadron’s charge.

RAFVR pilot 1154323 WOFF P.H Baker sustained minor cuts, bruising and shock and soon returned to active service.

RAAF navigator 402568 FSGT Gordon Sutherland Dunn (31) of Strathfield in Sydney, New South Wales sustained minor cuts, bruising and shock and soon returned to active service. He survived the War and discharged from the RAAF on the 23rd January 1946 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

RAAF wireless air gunner 400755 SGT Leslie Arthur Henri Jonas (25) of Box Hill, Victoria sustained minor cuts, bruising and shock and soon returned to active service. He survived the War and discharged from the RAAF on the 4th September 1945 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

RAAF wireless air gunner 402562 SGT Noel Bayliss (26) of Hastings, New Zealand was taken to Bangor Hospital with a broken nose, cuts, abrasions and shock, then returned to active service one month later. He survived the War and discharged from the RAAF on the 31st August 1945 with the rank of Flying Officer.

31Jan43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew four operational missions and made at least 10 non-operational flights. Total accumulated airframe flight time was 160 hrs 55 min.

AD920

00Mar41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AD920 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 26th of 45 Hamden aircraft of the 10th Production Batch built in the Serial Range AD895 to AD939.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

23Mar41 Aircraft received by No.24 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Tern Hill, Shropshire.

05May41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.44 (Rhodesian) Sqn at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire.

24Dec41 Aircraft sustained Cat.B damaged while on an operational mission.

14Jan42 Aircraft transported for repairs to London Midland & Scottish Railway Ltd workshops in Derby.

11Mar42 Aircraft received by the Hampden Bomber Repair organization at RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

03Apr42 Aircraft received by No.29 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station High Ercall, Shropshire

18Apr42 Aircraft issued to English Electric Co at their facility in Preston, Lancashire for conversion to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1.

05May42 Aircraft taken on charge with No.144 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Hemswell, Lincolnshire.

02Feb43 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (TB) Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars in Fifeshire, Scotland where it was issue to A Flight as UB-K

26Feb43 SQNLDR J.H Davenport flew solo to RAF St Athan to pick up the crew of AT184

27Feb43 1st Operational Mission. SGT J.S Freeth and crew departed Leuchars at 1226hrs for a convoy ASW escort patrol. No unusual sightings were made and the aircraft returned to Leuchars at 1930hrs.

02Mar43 2nd Operational Mission. SQNLDR J.H Davenport and crew departed Leuchars at 0735hrs to search for survivors of a torpedoed merchant vessel in the North Sea. Three lifeboats were found at 0955hrs; one empty, one with a lifeless body and, one with three crewmen. Circled the lifeboats for forty minutes broadcasting their position before returning to Leuchars at 1225hrs

01par43 Aircraft issued to B Flight and recoded as UB-Q

05Apr43 FLGOFF J.W Wilkins and crew departed Leuchars at 1005hrs but returned 4min after take-off with engine problems.

10May43 Aircraft issued to A Flight and recoded as UB-H

19May43 SGT A.R McDonald and crew were on a navigational exercise and when they landed at Longman Aerodrome near Inverness they overshot the runway and hit a fence. Cat.A/FA damage and no injuries. Aircraft received temporary repairs at No.56 MU, Longman then returned to Leuchars the next day.

28May43 Aircraft sent for repair and servicing to a civilian contractor. Aircraft was assessed as Cat.B

06Jul43 Aircraft transferred to the Hampden Bomber Repair Organization at RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

21Dec43 Aircraft deemed not worthy of repair and reassessed as Cat.E then struck off charge.

AD979

00Apr41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AD979 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 21st of 30 Hamden aircraft of the 11th Production Batch built in the Serial Range AD959 to AD988.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

14Apr41 Aircraft received by No.37 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Burtonwood, Cheshire.

30Jun41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.49 (B) Sqn at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire.

12Dec41 PLTOFF R.J Robinson and crew departed Scampton at 1001hrs to bomb military barracks at Cuxhaven naval base, Germany. The crew could not find the target due to heavy cloud cover so the crew decided to bomb and strafe the local aerodrome. Robinson dived down to 100ft and bombed/strafed the airfield; one hangar was blown up and at least two aircraft were set alight. The Hampden was hit numerous times by the airfield flak emplacements causing considerable damage to the aircraft. RNZAF FSGT S. Black was struck by fragments from a cannon shell and killed. Robinson now had his hands full to get the battered aircraft back to England. Making landfall over the Norfolk coast, the aircraft made for Bircham Newton where he managed a successful crash-landing at 1635hrs. PLTOFF R J Robinson was injured but SGT J C Price and SGT J Mossop were uninjured.

Great Bircham (St Mary) Churchyard, Norfolk

Great Bircham (St Mary) Churchyard, Norfolk

RNZAF air gunner 402844 Flight Sergeant Stuart Corliss Black (27) of Seatoun in Wellington. New Zealand was KIA. He is buried in Plot 1, Row 2 Grave 8 of the Great Bircham (St Mary) Churchyard, Norfolk. He is commemorated on Panel 10 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, on the Honour Roll in the RNZAF Museum at Wigram in Christchurch, New Zealand.

29Dec41 Aircraft assessed as Cat.B and transported for repair to Hanley Page Ltd. While under repair the aircraft was converted to a Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1

03Oct42 Repairs completed and the aircraft received for storage by No.23 Maintenance Unit at RAF Aldergrove near Antrim, Northern Island.

17Dec42 Aircraft taken on charge with No.144 (B) Sqn at RAF Leuchars

09Feb43 Aircraft taken on charge with No.489 (New Zealand) Sqn at RAF Leuchars in Fifeshire, Scotland

26Apr43 Aircraft taken on charge with No.455 (Australian) Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars in Fifeshire, Scotland where it was issued to B Flight as UB-M.

02May43 1st Operational Mission. FSGT V.B Finn and crew departed Leuchars at 0830hrs with AE228 for a SAR patrol. No sightings were made and the aircraft returned to Leuchars at 1632hrs.

11May43 The aircraft was parked in the dispersal area when it was struck by a landing Beaufighter of 235Sqn. The aircraft caught fire and was completely destroyed.

00May43 Aircraft struck off charge.

AE146

00Apr41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AE146 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 32nd of 45 Hamden aircraft of the 12th Production Batch built in the Serial Range AE115 to AE159.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

08May41 Aircraft received by No.44 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Edzell in Angus, Scotland.

25Jun41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.16 Operational Training Unit at RAF Station Upper Heyford, Wiltshire

00Oct41 Aircraft sustained Cat.B damage in a flying accident.

19Oct41 Aircraft transported for repair to No.13 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Henlow, Bedfordshire.

14Feb42 Repairs completed and aircraft awaiting allocation.

09Mar42 Aircraft received by No.44 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Edzell in Angus, Scotland.

08Apr42 Aircraft received by English Electric Co at their facility in Preston, Lancashire for conversion to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1.

09May42 Aircraft taken on charge with No.144 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Hemswell, Lincolnshire.

07Aug42 Aircraft sustained Cat.B damage in a flying accident.

10Aug42 Aircraft reassessed as Cat.E and struck off charge.

20Aug42 Aircraft reassessed as Worthy of Repair and brought back on charge. Transported to Brush Coachworks Ltd, Loughborough for repairs.

21Dec42 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (TB) Sqn at RAF station Leuchars, Scotland. Coded UB-N.

11Jan43 1st Operational Mission. SGT E.J Gleeson and crew departed Leuchars at 1555hrs with 11 other Hampdens for a strike against German Naval units off the Norwegian south coast. Nothing was seen and the aircraft RTB at 2200hrs.

31Jan43 Aircraft flew four operational missions and made at least seven non-operational flights in January 1943

28Feb43 Aircraft flew five operational missions and made at least nine non-operational flights in February 1943.

31Mar43 Aircraft flew eight operational missions and made at least 12 non-operational flights in March 1943.

14Apr43 20th Operational Mission. FLGOFF A.E Ethell and crew departed Leuchars at 1135hrs for a Rover Stand patrol off the Norwegian coast. Soon after departure the Captain was forced to abort when the torpedo became loose. Aircraft RTB at 1227hrs.

30Apr43 Aircraft flew four operational missions and made at least seven non-operational flights in April 1943.

31May43 Aircraft flew eight operational missions and made at least 10 non-operational flights in May 1943.

26Jun43 Aircraft withdrawn from service for a major servicing.

30Jun43 Aircraft flew no operational missions and made at least 14 non-operational flights in June 1943.

14Jul43 Aircraft returned to service after maintenance.

16Jul43 30th Operational Mission. FSGT J.A McDonald and crew departed Leuchars at 0033hrs with six other Hampden Torpedo Bombers for a Rover Stand patrol off the Norwegian coast. The aircraft failed to return and was listed as MIA.

24Aug43 RAAF Overseas HQ London was informed by the International Red Cross that the crew of AE146 were all POWs. Post war records show the aircraft was shot down by AAA and ditched near Stavanger, Norway. The crew was picked up by a German Minesweeper and taken to Bergen then sent to Germany.

RAFVR Pilot 1388758 FSGT J A R McDonald to Stalag 4B at Muhlberg with POW No.83670

RAFVR Navigator 129410 Flying Officer John Douglas Arthurell to Stalag Luft L3 at Sagan with POW No.1805

RCAF wireless air gunner R/121360 SGT W E Ramsay to Stalag Luft L6 at Heydekrug with POW No.83675

RCAF wireless air gunner R/109240 SGT L F C Stewart to Stalag Luft L6 at Heydekrug with POW No.83694

31Aug43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew 30 Operational Missions and mad at least 59 non-operational flights. Total accrued airframe hours were 555hrs 20min.

AE195

00Jun41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AE195 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 12th of 20 Hamden aircraft built in the 12th Production Batch within the Serial Range AE184 to AE203.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

25Jun41 Aircraft received by No.29 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station High Ercall, Shropshire

09Jul41 Aircraft taken on charge with RAF No144 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Waddington, Lincolnshire. The aircraft flew nine operations in the July-August period before being damaged on its ninth mission and sent away for repair.

20Aug42 Aircraft sustained Cat.B damage in a flying accident.

24Aug42 Aircraft received for repair by the Hampden Bomber Repair Organization (HBRO) at Tollerton.

12Nov41 Aircraft returned to 144Sqn.

26Dec41 Aircraft received for servicing by Rollason Aircraft Services, Croydon.

10Jan42 Aircraft serviceable and awaiting allocation.

14Feb42 Aircraft received by No.37 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Burtonwood, Cheshire.

28Feb42 Aircraft taken on charge with No.16 Operational Training Unit at RAF Station Upper Heyford, Wiltshire UK.

11Apr42 Aircraft sustained Cat.Ac damage in a flying accident.

14Apr42 A repair crew from Rollason Aircraft Services, Croydon arrived on site and repaired the aircraft during the period 14Apr to 08May42.

09May42 Aircraft returned to No.16 OTU.

19Jun42 Aircraft taken on charge with Coastal Command Development Unit at RAF Station Tain, Ross-Shire, Scotland.

00Aug42 Aircraft sustained Cat.Ac damage in a flying accident.

15Aug42 Aircraft transported for repairs to London Midland & Scottish Railway Ltd workshops, Derby

17Sep42 Aircraft transferred to the Hampden Bomber Repair Organization (HBRO) at Tollerton.

14Oct42 Aircraft returned to London Midland & Scottish Railway Ltd for further repairs which included conversion of the aircraft to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1 standard.

09Dec42 Aircraft received by RAF Tollerton for additional repairs.

24Dec42 Aircraft received for storage by No.23 Maintenance Unit at RAF Aldergrove near Antrim, Northern Island.

13May43 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (TB) Sqn at RAF Leuchars, Scotland. Coded as UB-M.

15May43 Detached from Leuchars with six other 455 Sqn Hampdens to RAF Sumburgh, Shetland Islands to perform Air Launched Torpedo (ALT) exercises with major RN Fleet elements.

16May43 Air Launched Torpedo exercise with major RN Fleet elements.

17May43 Air Launched Torpedo exercise with major RN Fleet elements.

19May43 1st Operational Mission. FLGOFF R.C Barton and crew departed Leuchars at 2206hrs with three other Torpedo Bombers for an uneventful six hour 30 minute night Rover Stand patrol off the Norwegian coast.

31May43 Aircraft flew four operational missions and made at least six non-operational flights in May 1943.

30Jun43 Aircraft flew six operational missions and made at least eight non-operational flights in June 1943.

31Jul43 Aircraft flew two operational missions and made at least seven non-operational flights in Jul 1943.

00Aug43 Aircraft flew four operational missions and made at least four non-operational flights in August 1943. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew 16 operational missions and made at least 19 non-operational flights

26Aug43 SGT B.C Woodruff and crewmen departed Leuchars at 2005hrs for a Night Navigation Training Flight over the North Sea. On the return leg to Base the starboard engine started missing then failed completely. The aircraft would not maintain height on one engine and struck the water at 2218hrs in position 56 54N 01 51E, a few minutes later the fuel and oil on the surface ignited and the downed aircraft was engulfed in flames. The pilot, navigator and air gunner were killed in the crash or the ensuing fire but RCAF Air Gunner R116081 SGT B.L Martin managed to get into a dinghy and survived. He was later picked up by a naval vessel and taken to Leith Docks and then taken to Edinburgh Hospital for observation.

Runnymede, Surrey

Runnymede, Surrey

RAFVR pilot 1558418 Sergeant Bertram Cecil Woodroffe (28) of Aintree, Lancashire was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 140 of the Air Forces Memorial to the Missing at Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey.

RAFVR navigator 1317474 Sergeant John Peter Taylor (20) single of Naivasha, Kenya was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 166 of the Air Forces Memorial to the Missing at Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey.

RCAF wireless air gunner R/130972 SGT Alexander Gracey McKenzie (22) single of Warwick in Alberta, Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 184 of the Air Forces Memorial to the Missing at Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey. He is also commemorated on Page 191 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada

AE228

00Jun41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AE228 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 11th of 50 Hamden aircraft built in the 14th Production Batch within the Serial Range AE218 to AE267.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

14Jun41 Aircraft received for storage by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire.

10Jul41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.50 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire.

13Aug41 SGT R.J Fisher and crew departed Swinderby at 2045hrs with seven other Hampdens for an attack on Magdeburg. 10/10th cloud over Magdeburg and the secondary prevented bombing but the crew took advantage of a break in the clouds on the homeward leg and dropped their bombs on Wilhelmshaven. At 0310hrs/14Aug when landing at Swinderby, the pilot held off too high resulting in a very heavy landing. The undercarriage collapsed and the aircraft suffered Cat.B Damage.

14Aug41 Aircraft transported to Brush Electrical Service Aircraft Section at Loughborough for specialist repairs. While at Brush the aircraft was converted to a Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1.

21Oct42 Aircraft received by RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

24Oct42 Aircraft received by No.23 Maintenance Unit at RAF Aldergrove near Antrim, Northern Island.

23Nov42 Aircraft taken on charge with No.455Sqn RAAF at RAF Leuchars, Scotland. Issued to B Flight as UB-S.

30Nov42 Aircraft flew no operational missions and made two non-operational flights in November 1942.

09Dec42 1st Operational Mission. WNGCDR G.M Lindeman DFC and crew departed Leuchars at 1145hrs with three other Hampden Torpedo bombers for a daylight Rover Stand patrol off the Norwegian coast. Owing to a complete lack of cloud cover the mission was curtailed and all returned to Base safely.

31Dec42 Aircraft flew four operational missions and made at least five non-operational flights in December 1942.

31Jan43 Aircraft flew three operational missions and made at least four non-operational flights in January 1943.

28Feb43 Aircraft flew five operational missions and made at least six non-operational flights in February 1943.

31Mar43 Aircraft flew three operational missions and made at least five non-operational flights in March 1943.

12Apr43 16th Operational Mission. FLGOFF W. Austin and crew departed Leuchars at 1205hrs with three other Hampden Torpedo bombers and formatted with six 235Sqn Beaufighters. The strike group then headed for a Rover Stand patrol off the Norwegian coast. As the aircraft made landfall near Obrestad on the Norwegian west coast the formation was attacked by a mixture on Me109 and FW 190 fighters. After a short encounter one Beaufighter was shot down and all four Hampdens sustained damage from cannon and machine gun strikes.

14Apr43 Aircraft assessed as Cat.Ac/FB and issued to 43 Group for repair.

30Apr43 Aircraft flew two operational missions and made at least four non-operational flights in April 1943.

22May43 Aircraft underwent scheduled maintenance on site by a Civilian Contractor.

30May43 Aircraft returned to service with 455Sqn.

31May43 Aircraft flew eight operational missions and made at least 10 non-operational flights in May 1943.

30Jun43 Aircraft flew one operational missions and made at least three non-operational flights in June 1943.

11Jul43 FLGOFF R.C Barton and a two-man crew departed Leuchars for a practice bombing mission. After three single passes the crew was at 500ft preparing for another run when the pilot noticed smoke coming out of the starboard engine cowling. Soon thereafter flames began to issue from the engine so the pilot immediately turned for Base and initiated the engine-fire drill. As the aircraft descended through 200ft the engine cowling burned away and large sheets of flame attacked the starboard wing. Realising he had very little time remaining the pilot lowered the flaps, left the wheels up, and made a controlled belly landing in a ploughed field 850 metres north of Leuchars aerodrome.

RAFVR Pilot 123155 Flying Officer R.C Barton was uninjured apart from some bruising and shock. He completed his tour with 455Sqn and survived the war.

RAFVR navigator 1369722 SGT K.R McLaren sustained a fractured ankle along with some bruising and shock He completed his tour with 455Sqn and survived the war.

RCAF WOAG R121479 SGT E.M Birkland sustained a dislocated knee along with some bruising and shock He completed his tour with 455Sqn and survived the war.

31Jul43 Aircraft flew no operational missions and made one non-operational flight in July 1943.

02Aug43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew 26 operational missions and made at least 39 non-operational flights. Total accrued airframe hours were 323 hrs 25min.

AE243

00Jun41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AE243 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 26th of 50 Hamden aircraft built in the 14th Production Batch within the Serial Range AE218 to AE267.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

29Jun41 Aircraft received for storage by No.20 Maintenance Unit at RAF Ashton Down, Gloucestershire.

00Jul41 Allocated to RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire.

21Jul41 SQNLDR J.S Sherwood and crew delivered the aircraft direct from 20MU. Taken on charge and issued to A Flight as UB-B.

12Aug41 SGT Jenkins and crew flew a 30min acceptance test flight.

26Aug41 SGT Jenkins and crew departed Swinderby at 1850hrs for a local night training flight. At 2240hrs the port undercarriage leg collapsed on landing causing Cat.Ac damage. The crew were uninjured but the aircraft was extensively damaged and was beyond Unit repair capability. Sent by road to a RAF RSU for repair. SGT Jenkins was deemed to be lacking in some areas of airmanship and was sent to No.25 OTU at RAF Finningley for a seven day rectification training course, plus the obligatory red ink entry into his log book.

20Oct41 aircraft flown back from the Repair Unit by a ferry pilot.

23Oct41 1st Operational Mission SGT M.A Jenkins and crew departed Swinderby at 0040hrs with three other Hampdens and flew a successful 8hr 05min bombing sortie to Kiel.

26Oct41 2nd Operational Mission SGT M.A Jenkins and crew departed Swinderby at 1750hrs for a minelaying mission but 30min into the flight, the rear gunner’s door blew off and the aircraft RTB.

07Nov41 3rd Operational Mission SGT M.A Jenkins and crew departed Swinderby at 1830hrs for a Trout B Intruder Operation before the main force bombers attacked Cologne. The mission was to fly ahead of the bomber stream and shoot up any searchlight and Flak batteries they encountered in the Black Forest/ Aachen-Maastricht area. The aircraft and crew failed to return and were posted as MIA. Post war investigations revealed the aircraft was shot down over Belgium on its way back to Base and all the crew killed. See Archive Report P1201

Heverlee War Cemetery

Heverlee War Cemetery

RAFVR Pilot 1255580 SGT Maurice Albert Jenkins (20) single of Plymouth was KIA and is buried in Collective Grave 3, F.12-14 of the Heverlee War Cemetery, 30km south of Brussels, Belgium. He is also commemorated on Panel 55 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR Navigator 1251662 SGT Donald Reginald Rawlings was KIA and is buried in Collective Grave 3, F.12-14 of the Heverlee War Cemetery, 30km south of Brussels, Belgium. He is also commemorated on Panel 88 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 969452 SGT George Albert McGarvey (20) single of Derbyshire was KIA and is buried in Collective Grave 3, F.12-14 of the Heverlee War Cemetery, 30km south of Brussels, Belgium. He is also commemorated on Panel 71 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 553926 FSGT Keith Morris (19) single of Sale, Cheshire was KIA and is buried in Collective Grave 3, F.12-14 of the Heverlee War Cemetery, 30km south of Brussels, Belgium. He is also commemorated on Panel 76 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

AE243 Graves

11Nov41 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew three operational missions and made at least six non-operational flights. Total accrued airframe hours were 37hrs 25min

AE249

00Jun41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AE249 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 32nd of 50 Hamden aircraft built in the 14th Production Batch within the Serial Range AE218 to AE267.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

29Jun41 Aircraft received by No.24 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Tern Hill, Shropshire.

11Jul41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.207 (B) Sqn at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire

11Aug41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.50 (B) Sqn at RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire

00Sep41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.455 (RAAF) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby UK. Coded as UB-Y.

15Sep41 1st Operational Mission PLTOFF A.J Hibell and crew departed Swinderby at 1924hrs with two other Hampdens and joined with 166 bombers of the main force for an attack on the Port of Hamburg. The aircraft and crew failed to return and were posted as MIA. Later learned the aircraft had bombed and was heading home when, at 2435hrs, it was attacked near Zeven, Germany by Oberleutnant Walter Barte in Me110 G9+FM of II.NJG1. After the attack the pilot and rear gunner baled out but the navigator and Wireless Operator did not before the aircraft crashed at 2354hrs near Winkeldorf, 12km SSW of Zeven.

Note: This was the aircraft’s only operational mission and it was also the first RAAF bomber aircraft to be shot down in World War 2.

RAFVR pilot 68744 PLTOFF A.J Hibell bailed out, captured and made a POW. He was placed in Stalag Luft L3 with POW No.3775.

RAFVR Air Gunner 116626 SGT P.H Clayden bailed out, captured and made a POW. He was placed in Stalag Luft 357 with POW No.9627

RAFVR Navigator 990739 SGT William Norman Pratt (24) of Dublin, Ireland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on commemorated on Panel 50 of the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey and, he is also commemorated on Panel 86 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 944085 SGT Hubert Hobbs (22) single of Ebbw Vale, Monmouthshire was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on commemorated on Panel 45 of the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey and, he is also commemorated on Panel 49 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

01Oct41 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew one operational mission and made three non-operational flights. Total acc rued airframe hours were 66hrs 10min

AE256

00Jun41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AE256 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 39th of 50 Hamden aircraft built in the 14th Production Batch within the Serial Range AE218 to AE267.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

01Jul41 Aircraft received by No.37 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Burtonwood, Cheshire.

27Jul41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.61 (B) Sqn at RAF North Ruffenham, Rutland.

08Oct41 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire. Issued to A Flight as UB-D.

12Oct41 1st Operational Mission. SQNLDR Reynolds and crew departed Swinderby at 0115hrs but the pilot aborted and returned to base when the artificial horizon toppled.

23Oct41 2nd Operational Mission. The aircraft was loaned to 50Sqn for that night’s operation. PLTOFF K.T Cooper and crew departed Swinderby at 2310hrs with six other Hampdens to attack the Kiel Shipyards, Germany. The aircraft was making a low level attack when it was engaged by German flak batteries at 0547hrs and hit several times. Eyewitness reports from the German gunners state the aircraft’s port engine was in flames and smoke issuing from the starboard engine when the Hampden altered course in a sweeping turn and crashed directly onto a search light battery. Four men of the search light battery were killed in the crash and four more injured. All four of the Hampden crew were also killed in the crash.

The four Hampden crewmen were buried on the site and one airscrew from the aircraft was emplaced above the graves as a memorial. After the war the crew was exhumed and reinterred in the Commonwealth war graves cemetery in Kiel. The airscrew memorial was still standing in its original location in 2020.

Kiel War Cemetery

Kiel War Cemetery

RAFVR pilot 61279 Pilot Officer Kenneth Tyrrel Cooper (19) of Highgate, Middlesex was KIA in the crash and was originally buried at the crash site. After the War Cooper was exhumed and reinterred in Plot 1, Row F Grave 11 of the Kiel War Cemetery in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 23 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR Navigator 1164368 Sergeant Richard Cubitt Blamey (20) of Wadebridge, Cornwall was KIA in the crash and was originally buried at the crash site. After the War Blamey was exhumed and reinterred in Plot 1, Row F Grave 10 of the Kiel War Cemetery in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 10 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 930289 Sergeant Samuel Barton (23) of Guilford, Surrey was KIA in the crash and was originally buried at the crash site. After the War Barton was exhumed and reinterred in Plot 1, Row F Grave 9 of the Kiel War Cemetery in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 6 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR Air Gunner 1154295 Sergeant William Conyers Wright (27) of Batley, Yorkshire was KIA in the crash and was originally buried at the crash site. After the War Wright was exhumed and reinterred in Plot 1, Row F Grave 12 of the Kiel War Cemetery in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 120 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

AE291

00Jul41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AE291 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 6th of 35 Hamden aircraft built in the 15th Production Batch within the Serial Range AE286 to AE320.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

10Jul41 Aircraft received by No.44 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Edzell in Angus, Scotland.

27Jul41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.50 (B) Sqn at RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire

30Jul41 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire.

17Dec41 Aircraft received for servicing and repair at Rollason Aircraft Services, Croydon.

28Jan42 Aircraft received by No.20 Maintenance Unit at RAF Ashton Down, Gloucestershire.

24Mar42 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Wigsley. Coded UB-K.

02Apr42 1st Operational Mission. PLTOFF S.T Manners and crew departed Wigsley at 1923hrs with AT131 (SGT Gleeson and crew) to attack Docks and shipping in Le Havre, France. The aircraft completed their mission and returned without incident to Base at 0004hrs.

10Apr42 2nd Operational Mission. PLTOFF S.T Manners and crew departed Wigsley at 2140hrs loaded with eight Bundles of Nickels (propaganda leaflets) 1 x 2000lb GP bomb and 2 x 250lb GP bombs. The aircraft was one of eight 455Sqn Hampdens tasked to attack the Main Square of Essen, Germany. The aircraft and crew failed to return and were posted as MIA. Post war checks determined that the aircraft was probably shot down by Flak and the crew killed.

Taree Honour Roll in Fotheringham Park, Taree

Taree Honour Roll in Fotheringham Park, Taree

RAAF Pilot 403142 Pilot Officer Seth Tilstone Manners (26) single of Taree, New South Wales was KIA and is buried in Plot 1, Row C, Grave 17 of the Rheinberg War Cemetery, 24kms north of Krefeld, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 67 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT. He is also honoured on the Taree Honour Roll in Fotheringham Park, Taree.

RAAF Navigator 404790 Flying Officer Charles Antony Harland (27) married of Brisbane, Queensland was KIA and buried in Plot 1, Row C, Grave 20 of the Rheinberg War Cemetery, 24kms north of Krefeld, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 45 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT. He is also honoured on the Brisbane Roll of Honour.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1310060 Sergeant Joseph Anthony Larkin (26) of Westbury Park, Bristol was KIA and is buried in Plot 1, Row C, Grave 19 of the Rheinberg War Cemetery, 24kms north of Krefeld, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 61 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 18407835 Sergeant Charles Kay Ormston was KIA and is buried in Plot 1, Row C, Grave 19 of the Rheinberg War Cemetery, 24kms north of Krefeld, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 81 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.AE308

00Jul41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AE308 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 23rd of 35 Hamden aircraft built in the 15th Production Batch within the Serial Range AE286 to AE320.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

25Jul41 Aircraft received by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria.

03Aug41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.61 (B) Sqn at RAF North Ruffenham, Rutland.

08Oct41 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire where it was issued to A Flight as UB-L.

20Oct41 1st Operational Mission SGT J.E Jones and crew departed Leuchars at 1810hrs and carried out a successful 5hr 30min mine laying operation in the Nectarine Zone, near the Frisian Islands.

06Feb42 14th Operational Mission SGT B.E Brown and crew departed Swinderby at 1205hrs to lay mines off the Frisian Islands as part of a 49 aircraft mission comprised of 34 Hampdens and 15 Manchesters. This was also the first daytime operation of the Squadron. AE308 and crew failed to return and were posted as MIA. AE308 was the only aircraft lost on this raid. See Archive Report AE308

German records show that Hauptman Helmut Lent of Stab II./NJG2 took off with three other Bf110’s from Terschelling Island air base, Holland. The flight were vectored onto the minelaying operation and at 1510 hrs Lent attacked AE308 over the North Sea, 70 kilometres West of Terschelling and shot it down.

Buckden War Memorial in St Marys Church in Buckden Village, Huntingdonshire.

Buckden War Memorial in St Mary's Church in Buckden Village, Huntingdonshire.

RAFVR pilot 1281447 Sergeant Bernard Edward Brown (24) was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 79 of the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Surrey; and, on the Buckden War Memorial in St Mary's Church in Buckden Village, Huntingdonshire.

RAFVR navigator 1169761 SGT Robert Anthony Billington (20) single of Beckenham, Kent was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 79 of the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Surrey.

RAFVR WOAG 1356057 SGT David Michael Pickersgill was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 91 of the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Surrey.

RAFVR AG 1051834 Sgt Eric Bland (19) single of Halifax, Yorkshire was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 78 of the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Surrey.

08Feb42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew 14 operational missions and made at least 21 non-operational flights. Total accrued airframe time was 154 hours.AE352

00Aug41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AE352 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 1st of 50 Hamden aircraft built in the 16th Production Batch within the Serial Range AE352 to AE401.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

07Aug41 Aircraft received by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria

11Aug41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.61 (B) Sqn at RAF North Ruffenham, Rutland.

09Sep41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.44 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Waddington, Lincolnshire.

27Dec41 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire

07Jan42 1st Operational Mission. PLTOFF A.H Metcalfe and crew departed Swinderby with two other Hampdens to attack targets in Emden. The crews arrived over a heavily clouded target area but were able to bomb through the cloud break.

17Jan42 2nd Operational Mission. SGT E.H Thompson and crew departed Swinderby at 1707hrs with SGT Poulton and crew (AT119) to attack Emden docks. Heavy cloud cover prevented bombing of the target but a searchlight concentration was bombed thru the clouds.

21Jan42 3rd Operational Mission. SGT E.H Thompson and crew departed Swinderby at 1707hrs with three other Hampden bombers to attack harbour installations at Emden, Germany. The aircraft failed to return and was listed as MIA. Post war investigation revealed that at 1030hrs the aircraft was flying home at 13000ft over Sexberium, NNE of Harlingen on the Dutch coast when it was suddenly attacked and shot down in the Waddenzee, between the mainland and Terschelling Island. The aircraft was shot down by Oberfeldwebel Hans Rasper flying Bf110 E-2 from 5/NJG2.

runnymede

Runnymede UK

RAAF pilot 404367 Sergeant Evan Hamilton Thompson (23) married of Northgate in Brisbane, Queensland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 113 of the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Surrey. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT.

RAAF observer 404275 Flying Officer James Earnest Field Stanfield (20) single of Kavieng, New Ireland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 111 of the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Surrey. He is also commemorated on Panel 101 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1186108 Sergeant William Giles (37) of Old Hill, Staffordshire was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 83 of the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Surrey. He is also commemorated on Panel 39 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR air gunner 988987 Sergeant William Ernest Mabbett (19) of Bradford, Yorkshire was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 88 of the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Surrey. He is also commemorated on Panel 65 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

31Jan42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew three operational missions and made at least five non-operational flights. Total accrued airframe flight time was 130 hours 10 minutes.AE378

00Sep41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AE378 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 27th of 50 Hamden aircraft built in the 16th Production Batch within the Serial Range AE352 to AE401.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

10Sep41 Aircraft received by No.37 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Burtonwood, Cheshire.

19Oct41 Aircraft taken on charge with RAF No.106 (B) Bomber Sqn at RAF Station Coningsby, Lincolnshire.

05Dec41 A1 1300hrs the aircraft landed with the undercarriage unlocked. Inevitably, the undercarriage collapsed under the full weight of the aircraft causing extensive damage. SGT A. C Crowhurst and crew were uninjured.

00Dec41 The aircraft damage was assessed as Cat A/FA and repairs were started at the Unit. However, as the aircraft was stripped down the true extent of the damage was revealed and the aircraft was reassessed as Cat.B which was beyond the Unit’s repair capability.

11Dec41 Aircraft received for repair by Tollerton Air Services at RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

28Jan42 Aircraft transferred for repair to London Midland & Scottish Railway Ltd workshops, Derby. While under repair the aircraft was converted to a Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1

17Mar42 Aircraft received by RAF Tollerton for servicing.

01Apr42 Aircraft received for storage by No.20 Maintenance Unit at RAF Ashton Down, Gloucestershire.

17Jun42 Aircraft taken on charge with No.420 (Snowy Owl) Sqn RCAF at RAF Station Waddington, Lincolnshire

05Aug42 Aircraft taken on charge with No.408 (Goose) Sqn RCAF at RAF Station Balderton, Nottinghamshire

11Sep42 Aircraft sustained Cat.Ac/FA damage in a flying accident.

14Sep42 A repair crew from Tollerton Air Services arrived on site to repair the aircraft but quickly discovered the damage was much worse than initially thought.

30Sep42 Aircraft transported for repair to London Midland & Scottish Railway Ltd workshops, Derby.

17Nov42 Aircraft received by Tollerton Air Services for specialist repairs.

08Dec42 Aircraft repairs and modifications completed, aircraft awaiting collection.

09Dec42 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (TB) Sqn at RAF station Leuchars, Scotland and issued to A Flight as UB-G.

18Dec42 1st Operational Mission. WOFF P.H Baker and crew departed Leuchars at 1337hrs with three other Hampden Torpedo bombers for an uneventful 5hr 10min Rover Stand patrol off the Norwegian west coast.

31Dec42 Aircraft flew one operational mission and made at least three non-operational flights in December 1942.

31Jan43 Aircraft flew seven operational mission and made at least 11 non-operational flights in January 1943.

28Feb43 Aircraft flew two operational mission and made at least three non-operational flights in February 1943.

31Mar43 Aircraft flew five operational mission and made at least six non-operational flights in March 1943.

31Apr43 Aircraft flew one operational mission and made at least two non-operational flights in April 1943.

31May43 Aircraft flew no operational mission and made at least two non-operational flights in May 1943.

30Jun43 Aircraft flew three operational missions and made at least four non-operational flights in June 1943.

31Jul43 Aircraft flew one operational mission and made at least two non-operational flights in July 1943.

31Aug43 Aircraft flew one operational mission and made at least six non-operational flights in August 1943.

15Aug43 21st Operational Mission. PLTOFF V.B.J Finn and crew departed RAF Leuchars at 2059hrs loaded with 3 x 500lb MC and 2 x 250ln MC HE bombs for a Rover patrol in Leads, Fjords and anchorages along the Norwegian coast. The aircraft was never heard of again and was posted as MIA. Another Hampden on the same mission saw burning aircraft wreckage in Bommel Fjord at 0157hrs. No trace of the missing aircraft or crew was ever found.

Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT

Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT

RAAF Pilot 411763 Pilot Officer Vincent Bernard Joseph Finn (30) single of Waterloo in Sydney, New south Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 113 of the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Surrey; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT. He is also honoured on the Roll of Honour

RAFVR Navigator 124933 Flying Officer Richard Thomas Edwin Latham (34) B.A. (Melbourne), B.C.L. (Oxon.); Rhodes Scholar; Fellow of All Souls (Oxon.) son of the Rt. Hon. Sir John Greig Latham, P.C., G.C.M.G., K.C., M.A., LL.M., and Lady Latham, of South Yarra, Victoria, Australia. He is commemorated on Panel 125 of the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Surrey. He is also commemorated in the King’s College Chapel, London; and in the Commemorative Roll Book located in the Commemorative Area of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF wireless air gunner 406431 Warrant Officer Colin Blair Campbell (22) married of Caernarvon, Scotland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 191 of the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Surrey; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 551777 Flight Sergeant Kenneth Edward Marriott (22) of Cobham, Surrey was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 158 of the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Surrey

17Aug43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew 21 operational missions and made at least 39 non-operational flights.

AE430

00Oct41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AE430 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 13th of 25 Hamden aircraft built in the 17th Production Batch within the Serial Range AE418 to AE442.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

10Oct41 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire.

16Oct41 Aircraft allocated to No.44 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Waddington, Lincolnshire but the allocation was changed to RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire.

17Oct41 Aircraft taken on charge with 455Sqn, taken on charge and issued to B Flight as UB-M.

23Oct41 1st Combat Operation. PLTOFF J.A.C Gordon and crew were scheduled to depart Swinderby at 0030hrs but an aircraft unserviceability delayed the departure until 0140hrs 24Oct41. Upon making landfall west of Sylt at 0420hrs the captain realised the aircraft could not reach the assigned target of Kiel before daylight. Therefore, the captain bombed a secondary target and RTB at 0642hrs.

26Oct41 2nd Combat Operation. PLTOFF A.H Metcalfe and crew departed Swinderby at 1804hrs with PLTOFF Bolton and crew (AN155) and laid mines in the Kiel Canal, Germany.

31Oct41 3rd Combat Operation. SGT C.J Blunt and crew departed Swinderby at 1805hrs with two other Hampdens and successfully dropped mines in the Heligoland Area.

31Oct41 Aircraft flew four non-operational and three operational missions in October.

04Nov41 4th Operational Mission SGT C.J Blunt and crew departed Swinderby for the short flight to Skellingthorpe where it was bombed-up, refuelled and prepared for the nights’ mission. At 0004hrs 05Nov they departed Skellingthorpe with four other Hampdens to lay mines in the Kiel Canal. The crew spent 30min trying to locate their assigned target but could not identify the specified target because of very poor weather conditions. The captain decided to jettison the mine fused and headed for home with fuel running low. At 0745hrs the aircraft landed at RAF North Luffenham, Rutland.

08Nov41 5th Operational Mission PLTOFF J.D Bolton and crew departed Swinderby for the short flight to Skellingthorpe where it was bombed-up, refuelled and prepared for the nights’ mission. At 1808hrs they departed Skellingthorpe with AD786 to bomb an Armaments Factory in Essen. One hour after take-off the Intercom system failed so the captain aborted and returned to Base.

30Nov41 6th Operational Mission SGT C.J Blunt and crew departed Swinderby for the short flight to Skellingthorpe where it was bombed-up, refuelled and prepared for the nights’ mission. At 1652hrs they departed Skellingthorpe with four other Hampdens and joined 181 bombers of the main force to bomb the Blohm & Voss Shipbuilding Yards at Hamburg. The aircraft and crew failed to return and were posted as MIA. German records stated the crew were shot down and killed by flak at 2131hrs and crashed in a field near Tuttendorf, 15km NNW of Kiel.

Kilndown Memorial Kent.

Kilndown War Memorial Kent UK.

RAFVR pilot 1167740 SGT Charles John Harvey Blunt (20) single of Gourdhurst, Kent was KIA and is buried in Collective Grave 2.A 19-20 of the Kiel War Cemetery, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. He is also remembered on the Kilndown Memorial Kent.

RAFVR Navigator 924208 SGT Leslie George Manning (20) single of Wadeford, Somerset was KIA and is buried in Collective Grave 2.A 19-20 of the Kiel War Cemetery, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1157216 SGT Arthur Henry Gee (21) single of Shepherds Bush, London was KIA and is buried in Grave 2.A.18 of the Kiel War Cemetery, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

RAFVR Air Gunner 1168701 SGT Ernest Waller was KIA and is buried in Collective Grave 2.A 19-20 of the Kiel War Cemetery, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

00Dec41 The aircraft was struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew seven non-operational and made at least 12 non- operational flights. Accumulated airframe time was 55 hours 20 minutes.

AE434

00Oct41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AE434 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 17th of 25 Hamden aircraft built in the 17th Production Batch within the Serial Range AE418 to AE442.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

17Oct41 Aircraft received by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria.

26Oct41 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire where it was issued to A Flight as UB-G.

04Nov41 1st Operational Mission. SGT J. Jones and crew departed Swinderby with four other Hampdens for mining operations in Kiel Bay. Landed 0740hrs on 05Nov41 at RAF Coltishall due to fuel shortage.

05Nov41 After refuelling, the aircraft departed Coltishall at 1030hrs for the return trip to Swinderby. At 1126hrs the port engine failed and the aircraft began to lose height. The pilot picked out a relatively clear area and set up for a landing but something went wrong just before touchdown causing the machine to crash land in the grounds of Witham House at Bassingham, 11km SW of Lincoln.

RNZAF Pilot 401767 SGT James Edward Jones (21) of Wellington, New Zealand survived with minor injuries and completed his tour with 455sqn. He was posted as an instructor to No.5 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit where he was killed when his Hampden P1199 was involved in a mid-air collision with Beaufort aircraft L9932.

RNZAF navigator NZ39864 SGT F.S Kirke survived with minor injuries and completed his tour with 455sqn.

RAFVR wireless air gunner SGT Baunes survived with minor injuries and completed his tour with 455sqn.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 551212 SGT K.R Shimmons survived with minor injuries and completed his tour with 455sqn.

07Nov41 Aircraft damaged assessed as Cat.E and struck off charge. The aircraft flew one operational mission and three non-operational flights while serving with 455Sqn. Total accrued aircraft flight time was 15 hours 35 minutes.

AN148

00Feb42 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.1 Torpedo Bomber Serial AN148 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.965794/38 by the Quebec Group of the Canadian Associated Aircraft consortium at their facility in St Hubert near Montreal, Quebec. The 26th of 45 Hamden aircraft built in the 2nd Production Batch in the Serial Range AN123 to AN167.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

00Mar42 At the completion of test flights and acceptance checks the aircraft, minus engines, was broken down for sea shipment. The fuselage and centre section of the wing (including the undercarriage) travelled as protected deck cargo; the tail unit, outer wings and miscellaneous items were crated and went in the hold. The aircraft were shipped from Montreal to Birkenhead, Liverpool and after unloading went by road to No.7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAF Hooton Park, a few miles south of Liverpool.

20Mar42 Aircraft received in crates by No 7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAAF Station Hooton Park, Cheshire where the aircraft was assembled and tested.

25Jul42 Aircraft received by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria.

06Sep42 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

18Sep42 Aircraft received by No.82 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Calshot, Hampshire.

27Sep42 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

12Dec42 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (TB) Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars, Scotland. Coded UB-K.

05Jan43 1st Operational Mission. SQNLDR J.N Davenport and crew departed Leuchars at 0920hrs with four other Hampdens and carried out an unsuccessful SAR mission for a missing trawler.

11Jan43 SQNLDR J.N Davenport and crew departed Leuchars at 1125hrs with five other A Flight Hampdens for a detachment to RAF Wick in north east Scotland.

18Jan43 3rd Operational Mission. SQNLDR J.N Davenport and crew departed RAF Wick at 0925hrs with four other Hampdens and six Beaufighter escorts from 235Sqn for a shipping reconnaissance/strike mission off the Norwegian west coast. At 1230hrs a German destroyer emerged from the fog near Vigra Island which immediately opened fire with accurate flak forcing the aircraft to break away and regroup for an attack as they flew round the Island, three aircraft then made a low level attack while two made attacks from medium height. Davenport drove in close to the destroyer and the other pilots saw his bombs straddle the vessel and explode; as Davenport pulled away the aircraft was hit several times by medium calibre flak in the wings and tail boom. The formation then regrouped and headed for Base leaving the destroyer dead in the water.

30Jan43 8th Operational Mission. PLTOFF M.S Humphrey and crew departed Leuchars at 1130hrs with FLTLT Clarke and crew (AE314) for a Rover Patrol off the Norwegian west coast. At 1411hrs they spotted a small convoy moving up the coast consisting of a 3,500 ton MV and two 2,000 ton vessels escorted by two flak ships to seaward. Both aircraft made an offset attack from seaward and both torpedoes were seen to activate and track but the aircraft were forced to turn away due to the heavy flak put up by the escort vessels. AN148 was hit on the run in and again on egress.

AN148 'K' flying back to Wick, Caithness,

AN148 'K' flying back to Wick, Caithness, after sustaining damage to its port rudder from anti-aircraft fire
while attacking shipping off Norway.

01Feb43 Aircraft assessed as Cat.Ac/FB, beyond unit repair capability.

03Feb43 A repair crew from Tollerton Air Services came to the base and repaired the aircraft during the period 03Feb to 12 Mar 1943

13Mar43 Aircraft returned to service with 455Sqn.

24Apr43 10th Operational Mission. FLGOFF R.C Barton and crew departed Leuchars at 1435hrs for a shipping recce/strike off the Norwegian coast. At 1508hrs Barton aborted the mission and RTB when the starboard engine failed.

15May43 FSGT G.V Courtney and crew departed Leuchars with six other 455 Sqn Hampdens to RAF Sumburgh, Shetland Islands to perform specific duties.

17May43 The seven detached Hampdens and six Beaufighters from 235 Sqn Air Launch departed Sumburgh for an Air Launched Torpedo exercise with major RN Fleet elements near the Shetlands. Shortly after one ‘attack’ smoke was seen coming from the starboard engine of AN148 and FSGT Courtney jettisoned the torpedo and set course for base. Approximately 50 minutes later the aircraft was seen to spin into the sea. SQNLDR O’Connor circled the area in AE228 but all that was seen was one rubber tyre and a petrol tank. FSGT G.V Courtney and his crew were posted as MIA.

30May43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew 12 operational missions and made at least 16 non-operational flights.

Roll of Honour in Drummoyne, Sydney

Roll of Honour in Drummoyne, Sydney

RAAF Pilot 411290 Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Vincent Courtney (25) married of Drummoyne in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 192 of the Air Forces Memorial to the Missing at Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT. He is also honoured on the Roll of Honour in Drummoyne, Sydney.

RAFVR Navigator 125634 Flying Officer Alfred Charles Smith (25) of Ealing, Middlesex was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 129 of the Air Forces Memorial to the Missing at Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1193308 Sergeant John Alexander King (20) of Bournemouth, Hampshire was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 156 of the Air Forces Memorial to the Missing at Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 411627 Flight Sergeant Charles Hilton Alfonso Smith (30) single of Crookwell, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 193 of the Air Forces Memorial to the Missing at Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT. He is also honoured on Panel 7 of the Crookwell War Memorial, New South Wales.

AN157

00Mar42 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.1 Torpedo Bomber Serial AN157 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.965794/38 by the Quebec Group of the Canadian Associated Aircraft consortium at their facility in St Hubert near Montreal, Quebec. The 35th of 45 Hamden aircraft built in the 2nd Production Batch in the Serial Range AN123 to AN167.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

00Apr42 At the completion of test flights and acceptance checks the aircraft, minus engines, was broken down for sea shipment. The fuselage and centre section of the wing (including the undercarriage) travelled as protected deck cargo; the tail unit, outer wings and miscellaneous items were crated and went in the hold. The aircraft were shipped from Montreal to Birkenhead, Liverpool and after unloading went by road to No.7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAF Hooton Park, a few miles south of Liverpool.

24Apr42 Aircraft received in crates by No 7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAAF Station Hooton Park, Cheshire where the aircraft was assembled and tested.

10Sep42 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

18Sep42 Aircraft received by No.82 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Calshot, Hampshire.

07Oct42 Aircraft moved for storage to No.3 Satellite Landing Ground at RAF Middle Farm, Oxfordshire.

31Dec42 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

22Mar43 Aircraft received by No.29 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station High Ercall, Shropshire

02Aug43 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (TB) Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars, Scotland and issued to B Flight as UB-N.

05Aug43 FLTLT A.F Broughton and crew departed Leuchars with nine other Hampdens for detached duty at RAF Station Benbecula, Hebrides.

06Aug FLTLT A.F Broughton and crew departed RAF Benbecula at 1530hrs with four other Hampdens and returned to Leuchars.

14Aug43 1st Operational Mission. FLTLT A.F Broughton and crew departed Leuchars with two other Hampdens and completed an uneventful 4hr 37min Rover Stand patrol off Norway.

14Aug43 2nd Operational Mission. FLTLT A.F Broughton and crew departed Leuchars for an independent Shipping Recce of Norwegian fjords and harbours, loaded with 3 x 500lb and 2 x 250lb MC bombs. No vessels were sighted in the poor weather conditions and the crew RTB at 0355hrs/15Aug.

07Sep43 3rd Operational Mission. FSGT A.E Jones and crew departed Leuchars at 1150hrs to search and locate reported Danish fishing vessels in UK Waters. A CLA type search was conducted between 1300hrs and 1620hrs but no trawlers were sighted. RTB safely at 1737hrs.

14Sep43 4th Operational Mission. FLGOFF W. Austin and crew departed Leuchars with five other Hampdens at 1353hrs for a Rover Shipping Reconnaissance along the Norwegian coast. Three aircraft aborted the mission while AE386, P5302 and AN157 continued. At 1625hrs the aircraft came across four 800 ton Flak ships and moved to attack. The Flak ships opened accurate and intense fire and AE386 and P5302 broke away violently to avoid the fire and headed home. However, AN157 was last seen turning between the ships and the nearby shore batteries and crews of the departing Hampdens saw a bright red-orange flash in the vicinity of the Flak ships. Nothing was ever heard again of AN157 or its crew and they were posted as MIA.

16Sep43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew four operational missions and made at least seven non-operational flights.

Runnymede UK

Runnymede UK

RAAF Pilot 402841 Flying Officer William Austin (30) of Yarraville in Melbourne, Victoria was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 187 of the Air Forces Memorial to the Missing at Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT. He is also honoured on the Roll of Honour in Melbourne.

RAFVR Navigator 655438 Flight Sergeant John Mellor was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 187 of the Air Forces Memorial to the Missing at Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1111788 Sergeant Eric William Smith (27) of Hull, Yorkshire was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 165 of the Air Forces Memorial to the Missing at Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey

RCAF WOAG R114980 WOI Robert Segel Williams Esmay (22) single of Davidson, Saskatchewan Canada is commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing, Runnymede, Surrey UK. Lake Esmay in Northern Saskatchewan was named in honour of Warrant Officer Esmay by The Geographical Feature Names Board of Canada.

AN163

00Apr42 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.1 Torpedo Bomber Serial AN163 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.965794/38 by the Quebec Group of the Canadian Associated Aircraft consortium at their facility in St Hubert near Montreal, Quebec. The 41st of 45 Hamden aircraft built in the 2nd Production Batch in the Serial Range AN123 to AN167.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

00Apr42 At the completion of test flights and acceptance checks the aircraft, minus engines, was broken down for sea shipment. The fuselage and centre section of the wing (including the undercarriage) travelled as protected deck cargo; the tail unit, outer wings and miscellaneous items were crated and went in the hold. The aircraft were shipped from Montreal to Birkenhead, Liverpool and after unloading went by road to No.7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAF Hooton Park, a few miles south of Liverpool.

17May42 Aircraft received in crates by No 7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAAF Station Hooton Park, Cheshire where the aircraft was assembled and tested.

14Sep42 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

07Oct42 Aircraft moved for storage to No.3 Satellite Landing Ground at RAF Middle Farm, Oxfordshire.

31Dec42 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

06Jun43 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (TB) Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars, Scotland. Coded UB-K.

19Jun43 1st Operational Mission. FLGOFF M.S Humphrey and crew departed Leuchars at 0551hrs with FLGOFF I.H Masson and crew (L4105) for a Rover Stand patrol off the Norwegian coast. At 0803hrs the pair sighted and attacked a 3,500 ton ship escorted by three small vessels. Both Torpedoes launched successfully and were seen heading toward the target but the aircraft were forced to break away from the intense flak from the escorts before the torpedoes were due to hit the target. Both aircraft suffered hits from 20mm flak during the run in to the target.

20Jun43 Aircraft damage assessed as Cat.A/FB and was repaired at the unit.

30Jun43 Aircraft flew one operational mission and made at least three non-operational flights in June 1943.

31Jul43 Aircraft flew four operational missions and made at least six non-operational flights in July 1943.

05Aug43 2nd Operational Mission. FLGOFF I.H Masson and crew departed Leuchars with nine other Hampdens and performed an offensive sweep while enroute to RAF Station Benbecula on the Outer Hebrides Islands.

07Aug43 3rd Operational Mission. FLGOFF I.H Masson and crew departed Benbecula with three other Hampdens and performed an offensive sweep while enroute to Leuchars.

08Aug43 SQNLDR A.H Clarke and crew departed Leuchars at 0915hrs leading five other Hampdens for a detachment to RAF Tain on a two week Torpedo Refresher Course at the Air Weapons Range on Dornoch Firth, Scotland.

21Aug43 Aircraft ceased detachment and returned to Leuchars.

31Aug43 Aircraft flew six operational missions and made at least 10 non-operational flights in August 1943.

30Sep43 Aircraft flew five operational missions and made at least seven non-operational flights in September 1943.

30Oct43 Aircraft flew four operational missions and made at least six non-operational flights in October 1943.

05Nov43 21st Operational Mission. SGT S.J Cliff and crew departed Leuchars at 1326hrs with two other Hampdens and two escort Beaufighters from No.404 (F) Sqn for a Rover Stand patrol off the Norwegian coast. On the return leg the aircraft were diverted to RAF Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire, Scotland because very bad weather forced the closure of Leuchars. Weather at Fraserburgh was marginal and the combination of poor weather, gloomy light and unfamiliarity caused the pilot to overshoot. The aircraft crashed through the boundary hedge and struck a ditch resulting in severe damage to the aircraft.

RAFVR pilot 156701 PLTOFF Sidney John Cliff sustained minor injuries and shock. He completed his tour with 455Sqn and survived the war.

RAFVR observer 121251 PLTOFF John Costello McGhee sustained minor injuries and shock. He completed his tour with 455Sqn then went on to serve with 131 (C) OTU, Camp Kilmer in the USA then No.11 (C) OTU in Nassau where he was involved with ferrying Liberators to India. He survived the War and resigned from the RAF on 23May46 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. John McGhee passed away peacefully in 2000 aged 79 years in Falkirk, Scotland.

RAFVR air gunner 982440 SGT James MacFeeley sustained minor injuries and shock. He completed his tour with 455Sqn then went to Burma with 117Sqn until the War ended. He remained in the RAF until 1952.

RCAF air gunner R/92022 SGT Donald Harry McLean sustained minor injuries and shock. He went on to complete his tour with 455Sqn. He was later commissioned and survived the War. Details are hard to find regarding Don McLean but it appears he returned to Canada then migrated to the USA. On 30th October 1983 McLean died in Santa Barbara, California aged 83 years.

08Nov43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew 21 operational missions and made at least 32 non-operational flights.

AN166

00Apr42 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.1 Torpedo Bomber Serial AN166 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.965794/38 by the Quebec Group of the Canadian Associated Aircraft consortium at their facility in St Hubert near Montreal, Quebec. The 44th of 45 Hamden aircraft built in the 2nd Production Batch in the Serial Range AN123 to AN167.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

00Apr42 At the completion of test flights and acceptance checks the aircraft, minus engines, was broken down for sea shipment. The fuselage and centre section of the wing (including the undercarriage) travelled as protected deck cargo; the tail unit, outer wings and miscellaneous items were crated and went in the hold. The aircraft were shipped from Montreal to Birkenhead, Liverpool and after unloading went by road to No.7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAF Hooton Park, a few miles south of Liverpool.

05May42 Aircraft received in crates by No 7 Aircraft Assembly Unit at RAAF Station Hooton Park, Cheshire where the aircraft was assembled and tested.

26Sep42 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

20Nov42 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (TB) Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars, Scotland. Coded UB-R.

22Dec42 1st Operational Mission. SGT E.J Gleeson and crew departed Leuchars at 1104hrs with three other Hampdens and carried out an uneventful 5hr 25min Rover Stand patrol off the Norwegian coast.

11Jan43 2nd Operational Mission. SGT S.A Vincent and crew departed Leuchars at 1543hrs as part of a 12 strong Strike Package tasked to locate and attack a German Naval Force north of Kristiansand, Norway. Six minutes after take-off the aircraft experienced complete power loss and crash landed in a field near Tentsmuir village, Fifeshire. The pilot sustained minor injuries and shock, the Observer and one air gunner sustained more serious injuries and, the other air gunner was killed in the crash landing.

12Jan43 The aircraft was assessed as Cat.E/FB and truck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew two operational missions and made at least four non-operational flights.

RAAF Pilot 403612 Sergeant Sydney Allen Vincent (28) of Broken Hill, New South Wales received minor injuries and shock. He completed his tour with 455Sqn and went on to serve as an instructor with No.5 (C) Operational Training Unit. He survived the war and was repatriated back to Australia where he remained in the RAAF until his discharge on 4th March 1946 with the rank of Warrant Officer.

RCAF Navigator R/86494 FSGT A L W Watt sustained injuries to his legs and chest that required hospitalisation.

RAAF wireless air gunner 407634 Sergeant Kenneth Charles Appelkamp (26) of Adelaide, South Australia sustained serious injuries that required lengthy hospitalization in the Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, Scotland. After his recovery he was medically boarded as non-operational and was posted to No.5 (C) Operational Training Unit where he remained until his repatriation to Australia in March 1945. In Australia he was commissioned to Pilot Officer (General Duty) until his discharge on 9th October 1945 with the rank of Flying Officer. Kenneth Charles Appelkamp returned to Adelaide where he remained until his death on 1st March 2005 aged 87 years. He is buried in St Saviour's Anglican Cemetery, Adelaide.

National War Memorial of SA on North Terrace, Adelaide.

National War Memorial of SA on North Terrace, Adelaide.

RAAF wireless air gunner 407681 Sergeant Douglas Thorne Martin (23) single, of Semaphore in Adelaide, South Australia was KIA and is buried in Section K Grave No.33 of the Leuchars Cemetery, Leuchars, Fifeshire, Scotland. He is also remembered at Location 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT. He is also remembered on Semaphore Roll of Honour, Port Adelaide; and, on the World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA on North Terrace, Adelaide.

AT109

00Oct41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AT109 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 1st of 50 Hamden aircraft of the 18th Production Batch built in the Serial Range AT109 to AT158.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

31Oct41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.50 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire

00Dec41 Aircraft sustained Cat.B/FA damage in a flying accident.

20Dec41 Aircraft transported for repair to London Midland & Scottish Railway Ltd workshops, Derby.

11Mar41 Aircraft transported to Tollerton Aircraft Services at RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire

27Mar42 Aircraft received by No.24 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Tern Hill, Shropshire.

29Mar42 Aircraft received for storage by No.20 Maintenance Unit at RAF Ashton Down, Gloucestershire.

24Apr42 Aircraft received by English Electric Co, Lancashire for conversion to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1.

09May42 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (TB) Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars, Scotland where it was issued to A Flight as UB-C.

01Jul42 PLTOFF A.F.G Broughton and crew departed Leuchars with 11 other Hampdens for a transit flight to RAF Station Wick, Scotland. The squadron was tasked to conduct Air Launched Torpedo Exercises with elements of the Royal Navy.

08Jul42 PLTOFF M.S Humphreys and crew departed Wick with six other Hampdens for a transit flight to RAF Station Sumburgh in the Outer Hebrides.

09Jul42 1st Operational Mission. PLTOFF M.S Humphreys and crew departed Sumburgh at 2125hrs with 11 other Hampdens led by their Commanding Officer, Wing Commander G.M Lindeman in AD977, to search for and strike a major German Naval target off Norway, which was believed to be the 52,000 ton Bismarck Class Battleship Tirpitz and her escorts. At 0125hrs/10Jul the search revealed nothing so the leader ordered a course set for RAF Wick.

14Jul42 PLTOFF M.S Humphreys and crew departed Wick with six other Hampdens for a for a transit flight to RAF Leuchars.

04Aug42 2nd Operational Mission. PLTOFF M.S Humphreys and crew departed Leuchars at 0445hrs with four other Hampdens for a shipping strike off Norway. No target was found and all aircraft RTB

29Aug42 One of 18 Hampdens selected to be part of Operation Orator, the detachment of Hampdens to Murmansk, Russia to support Arctic Convoy PQ-18. SQNLDR J. Catanach and crew flew a series of rigorous air tests over the next three days in preparation for the ferry flight to Russia.

02Sep42 3rd Operational Mission. SQNLDR J. Catanach, FLGORR G.R Anderson, FSGT C.W Cameron, SGT J.R Hayes and Fitter FSGT J.D Davidson departed RAF Leuchars at 1025hrs for RAF Station Sumburgh, Shetland Islands on the first 514km leg of the ferry flight to Russia (Operation Orator). Arrived safely at RAF Sumburgh 1200hrs.

04Sep42 4th Operational Mission. SQNLDR J. Catanach and crew departed RAF Sumburgh at 2040hrs for the second 3,100km ferry leg to Vaenja (later renamed Severomorsk) in the Murmansk Oblast, Russia. The aircraft planned to fly over occupied-Norway, neutral Sweden and enemy Finland. When approaching the Norwegian coast the aircraft was hit several times by AAA from the German fortress at Kiberg and a nearby flakship UJ1105, which caused the aircraft to make a forced landing on a beach at Molvika near Vardø, Norway. The crew all survived the crash and were made POWs. The Germans salvaged the aircraft and recovered the PQ18/QP-14 communication schemes from the wreck. The crew were flown to Helsinki then onto Frankfurt where they underwent interrogation at the Luftwaffe Dulag Luft before being sent to a POW camp.

24Sep42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew two operational missions and made at least four non-operational flights. Total accrued airframe time was 140 hours 35 minutes.

Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland

Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland


cataNACH

RAAF pilot 400364 Squadron Leader James Catanach DFC MID (22) (left) of Malvern in Melbourne, Victoria escaped from Stalag Luft III at Sagan, Silesia as part of the 'Great Escape and was shot on 29 March 1944 by German Authorities at Roter Hahn near Kiel.

He was one of 'The Fifty' escapees murdered by the Germans.

His body was initially cremated and the remains buried at Sagan but was reinterred after the War in Plot IX, Row A of the Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland.

He is also remembered on panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT. (see Vitz Archive)

See Archive Report on the loss of Hampden AT109 with Catanach onboard.


RAAF Fitter IIA No.5372 Flight Sergeant John Donald Davidson (36) of Melbourne Victoria was held as a POW at Stalag IXC near Bad Sulza in Thuringia, Germany. In March 1945 he was one of a batch of POWs that were forced to march eastwards in advance of the US Army offensive. On 17Mar45 FSGT Davidson died from the effects of dysentery and malnutrition at Bad Sulsa (Stalag 1xC). He has no known grave and is honoured on Panel 284 of the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Surry UK. He is also remembered on panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT.

The remaining crew members were all captured and survived the War.

RAAF navigator No.400316 Flight Lieutenant George Robert Anderson (34) of Ascot Vale in Melbourne, Victoria was captured and after interrogation in Frankfurt at the Luftwaffe Dulag Luft he was given POW No.698 and sent to Stalag Luft III Sagan (Sep-Oct42) followed by Stalag XXIB, Schubin (Oct42-Apr43) then back to Sagan (May43-Jan45). While incarcerated Anderson successfully escaped from Schubin via an escape tunnel with 41 other POWs and remained at large for 26 days until arrested by the Volkdeutche and sent back to Schubin. In January 1945 he was part of the infamous forced march from Sagan to Luckenwalde and it was from here Anderson was released by the Red Army on 21 April 1945.

He was returned to the UK and posted to No.11 Personnel and Despatch and Reception Centre at RAF Morecombe. He was repatriated to Australia on 9th August 1945 and resigned from the RAAF on 19th November 1945 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. He is remembered on the Australian POW War Memorial in Ballarat, Victoria

RAAF wireless air gunner 404632 Flying Officer Cecil William Francis Cameron (20) of Aramac, Queensland was captured and after interrogation in Frankfurt at the Luftwaffe Dulag Luft he was given POW No.27134 and sent to Stalag VIIIB 344 Lamsdorf. On 3rd May 1943 Cameron escaped from an outside work party with two other prisoners with a plan to reach Vienna to the south and merge with the large refugee community. However, after five days he was captured near Prerov, Poland by two German policemen and handed over to the local S.S Troop Garrison. He was then subjected to six days of interrogation before being returned to Lamsdorf. In February 1945 he was moved from Lamsdorf to Luckenwalde where he was released from captivity on 22 April 1945 by advancing Russian troops.

He was returned to the UK and posted to No.11 Personnel and Despatch and Reception Centre at Brighton, Sussex. He was repatriated to Australia on 9th September 1945 and resigned from the RAAF on 3rd November 1945 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. He is remembered on the Australian POW War Memorial in Ballarat, Victoria.

RAAF wireless air gunner 404462 Sergeant John Richard Hayes (26) of Townsville, Queensland was captured and after interrogation in Frankfurt at the Luftwaffe Dulag Luft he was given POW No.3023 and sent to Stalag VIIIB 344 Lamsdorf. Promoted to Flight Sergeant (May 1943) then Warrant Officer (May 1944). He remained as Lamsdorf until 20Jan45 when he participated in the forced march from Lamsdorf to Luckenwalde but was released on 11 April 1945 by advancing American troops near Durenberg, Germany.

Returned to UK on 26Apr45 to No.11 Personnel and Despatch and Reception Centre at Brighton, Sussex and repatriated to Australia on 9th September 1945. Hayes resigned from the RAAF on 24th October 1945 with the rank of Warrant Officer. He is remembered on the Australian POW War Memorial in Ballarat, Victoria.

AT119

00Oct41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AT119 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 11th of 50 Hamden aircraft of the 18th Production Batch built in the Serial Range AT109 to AT158.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

01Nov41 Aircraft received by No.37 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Burtonwood, Cheshire.

11Dec41 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire, issued to B Flight as UB-Y.

08Jan42 1st Operational Mission. SGT F.G Poulton and crew departed Swinderby at 0418hrs with two other Hampdens tasked to bomb Cherbourg Docks, France. Aircraft bombed through thick cloud and RTB with incident at 1030hrs.

10Jan42 2nd Operational Mission. SGT F.G Poulton and crew departed Swinderby at 2332hrs with eight other Hampdens tasked to attack the shipping and dockyards in Emden, Germany. Crew bombed the dockyards and set course for home but were diverted to RAF Coningsby.

17Jan42 3rd Operational Mission. SGT J.R Moody and crew departed Swinderby at 1709hrs with AE352 (SGT E.H Thompson) to attack dockyards in Emden, Germany. 10/10 cloud cover was encountered all the way from the English coast to Emden and after orbiting for as long as possible the aircraft bombed a flak and searchlight concentration before returning to Base.

21Jan42 4th Operational Mission. SGT F.G Poulton and crew departed Swinderby at 1719hrs with three other Hampdens to attack the harbour installations at Emden, Germany. The aircraft and crew failed to return and were posted as MIA. Post war Luftwaffe records show the aircraft was shot down at 2110hrs by a Bf110D-2 Werks No3376 flown by Oberfeldwebel Siegfried Ney of II/NJG2 near the small rural hamlet of Schloshteren, 15kms E of Groningen, Holland. The pilot bailed out and was taken prisoner but the other three crewmen died in the attack.

A post war report by WOFF Poulton recorded: “We were shot down by a night fighter at 12,000 feet. Bail out orders were given to all members over the Inter/Com at once as the aircraft was well on fire after being attacked. No reply received from any member from the moment the fighter attacked. I was able to fly the aircraft on both engines down to 10,000 feet when fire forced me to bail out. Owing to my position in the cockpit I was unable to see any member of my crew and whether anyone had bailed out. I also tried to attract the crew through the warning light on the panel. The aircraft was straight and level when I bailed out. The aircraft crashed near Groningen, Holland. I was later informed by British Red Cross that the others had died. Captured a few hours after baling out. Released by Russians 22/4/45.

22Jan42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew four operational missions and made at least seven non-operational flights. Total accrued airframe time was 33 hours 15 minutes.

RAAF pilot 404261 Sergeant Francis Gerard Poulton (22) of Mount Gravatt in Brisbane, Queensland was captured and after interrogation in Frankfurt at the Luftwaffe Dulag Luft he was given PoW No.90116 and sent to Stalag VIIIA near Goritz, Lower Silesia. He was imprisoned in Stalag 383 near Hohenfels, Bavaria from Sep42 until Jul44 followed by a stay in Stalag Luft 7 in Bankau, Silesia from Jul44 to Jan45. From there he was one of 1500 Allied PoWs forced to march to Stalag IIIA Luckenwalde where was liberated on 22 April 1945 by advancing Russian troops. While imprisoned he was promoted to Flight Sergeant (June 1943) then Warrant Officer (June 1944).

Returned to the UK on 26Apr45 to No.11 Personnel and Despatch and Reception Centre at Brighton, Sussex and repatriated to Australia on 9th September 1945. Poulton resigned from the RAAF on 30th November 1945 with the rank of Warrant Officer.

Francis Gerard Poulton passed away in on 5th April 1996 aged 75 years and is buried in the Tweed Heads Lawn Cemetery, New south Wales. He is remembered on the Australian PoW War Memorial in Ballarat, Victoria.

Australian POW War Memorial in Ballarat, Victoria

Australian PoW War Memorial in Ballarat, Victoria

RAAF observer 400028 Sergeant Ian MacPherson Ince (23) of Carnegie in Melbourne, Victoria was KIA and initially buried in Grave 1.1 of the Parish Cemetery Kolham, Groningen Province Germany. After the War he was exhumed and reinterred in Plot IV, Row C, Grave No.3 at the Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Holten in Overijssel, Netherlands. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on Panel 53 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, on the Honour Roll at Prahan in Melbourne, Victoria.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1381723 Sergeant Samuel Williams (29) of Hightown, Manchester was KIA and initially buried in Grave 1.2 of the Parish Cemetery Kolham, Groningen Province Germany. After the War he was exhumed and reinterred in Plot IV, Row C, Grave No.2 at the Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Holten in Overijssel, Netherlands. He is commemorated on Panel 117 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR air gunner 1375311 Sergeant George Edmondson Wilkinson (20) of Workington, Cumberland was KIA and initially buried in Grave 1.3 of the Parish Cemetery Kolham, Groningen Province Germany. After the War he was exhumed and reinterred in Plot IV, Row C, Grave No.2 at the Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Holten in Overijssel, Netherlands. He is commemorated on Panel 116 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

AT132

00Nov41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AT132 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 24th of 50 Hamden aircraft of the 18th Production Batch built in the Serial Range AT109 to AT158.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

18Nov41 Aircraft received by No.44 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Edzell in Angus, Scotland

17Dec41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.44 (Rhodesia) Sqn at RAF Station Waddington, Lincolnshire.

30Dec41 Aircraft taken on charge with No.420 (Snowy Owl) Sqn RCAF at RAF Station Waddington, Lincolnshire.

03May42 FLGOFF Smith and crew departed Waddington at 2241hrs with five other Hampdens to attack targets in Hamburg. The aircraft would not climb above 11000ft but the crew elected to push on and complete the mission. Returned without incident to Waddington at 0520hr/04May.

11May42 Aircraft repaired on site by a repair crew from the HBRO (Hampden Bomber Repair Organization)

07Aug42 Aircraft returned to RAF when 420Sqn ceased Hampden Operations.

00Aug42 Aircraft received for maintenance and storage by HBRO.

05Oct42 Aircraft sustained Cat.B damage while in storage. Repaired by HBRO.

20Jan43 Aircraft transferred to Tollerton Air Services for additional repairs.

06Feb43 Aircraft repaired and awaiting allocation.

00Feb43 Aircraft received for storage by No.44 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Edzell in Angus, Scotland. While at 44MU the aircraft was converted to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.I standard.

00Apr43 Aircraft allocated to RAAF No.455 (TB) Sqn at RAF Station Leuchars, Scotland.

13May43 Aircraft taken on charge with 455Sqn and issued to A Flight as UB-K

24May43 FSGT J.S Freeth and crew departed Leuchars at 1250hrs for an Air Launched Torpedo exercise with one Beaufighter from 235 Sqn. At some point of the exercise the two aircraft collided mid-air and both aircraft disintegrated with the wreckage falling into the North Sea approximately 8km off Frazerburgh, Aberdeenshire Scotland. All personnel on both aircraft were killed. The bodies of Flt Sgt Wheatcroft and Flt Sgt Downing were recovered by the Peterborough Life Guard. No trace of the other two Hampden crew members was ever found.


RAAF Pilot 411768 Flight Sergeant John Samuel Freeth (23) single of Coogee NSW was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 192 of the Air Forces Memorial to the Missing at Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF wireless air gunner 404593 Flying Officer Ian Hamilton Whitson (25) of Ayr, Queensland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 190 of the Air Forces Memorial to the Missing at Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on the Roll of Honour at Ayr, North Queensland.

RAFVR Observer 1330814 Flight Sergeant Albert John Wheatcroft (22) of Enfield, Middlesex was KIA. His body was recovered from the North Sea and is buried in Section M, Grave 33 W of the Leuchars Cemetery in Fifeshire, Scotland.

RCAF WOAG R/74871 FSGT Horace Robert John Downing (25) of Lylton, Vancouver was KIA. His body was recovered from the North Sea and cremated at the Dundee Crematorium and the ashes later returned to Canada where he is buried in Block 52 Grave 7 of the Vernon (Pleasant Valley) Cemetery, Vancouver British Columbia, Canada. He is commemorated on Page 155 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

31May42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew no operational missions and made at least three non-operational flights.

AT137

00Nov41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AT137 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 29th of 50 Hamden aircraft of the 18th Production Batch built in the Serial Range AT109 to AT158.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

21Nov41 Aircraft received by No.37 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Burtonwood, Cheshire.

12Dec41 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire. Initially coded as UB-‘o’ then changed to UB- Ċ.

27Dec41 1st Operational Mission. SGT B.E Brown and crew departed Swinderby at 1714hrs with six other Hampdens to attack the CBD of Dusseldorf, Germany. Target bombed successfully and RTB at 2226hrs.

31Dec41 Aircraft flew two operational missions and made at least four non-operational flights in December 1941.

21Jan42 4th Operational Mission. SGT J.B Kennedy and crew departed Swinderby at 1730hrs on a raid to Emden. Six minutes after take-off the ASI failed, followed by the AHI, then the heating system. Pilot aborted the mission and landed safely at 1747hrs.

31Jan42 Aircraft flew one operational missions and made at least three non-operational flights in January 1942.

10Feb42 Aircraft moved from Swinderby to new operating base at RAF Wigsley, Nottinghamshire.

28Feb42 Aircraft flew four operational missions and made at least six non-operational flights in February 1942.

31Mar42 Aircraft flew five operational missions and made at least eight non-operational flights in March 1942.

26Apr42 SGT L.R Lord and crew flew from Wigsley to the new operating base at RAF Leuchars, Scotland.

30Apr42 Aircraft flew five operational missions and made at least six non-operational flights in April 1942.

31May432 Aircraft flew two operational missions and made at least three non-operational flights in May 1942.

08Jun42 The aircraft was burnt out and classified as Cat.E. No details have been found to clarify if the aircraft was involved in a flying accident or a ground accident. The official RAF Form 78 Movement Card simply states the aircraft was Cat.E Burnt and SOC.

16Jul42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 455Sqn the aircraft flew 19 operational missions and made at least 32 non-operational flights.

AT150

00Dec41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AT150 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 42nd of 50 Hamden aircraft of the 18th Production Batch built in the Serial Range AT109 to AT158.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

07Dec41 Aircraft received by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria.

08Jan42 Aircraft taken on charge with No.49 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Scampton, Lincolnshire

17Jan42 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire. Issued to B Flight as UB-N.

28Jan42 1st Operational Mission. PLTOFF O. Gandy and crew departed Swinderby at 1817hrs with eight other Hampdens to attack the Railway Yards at Munster, Germany.

31Jan42 Aircraft flew one operational mission and made at least three non-operational flights in January 1942.

12Feb42 2nd Operational Mission. The Channel Dash - Operation Fuller. SGT E.H Busfield and crew departed Wigsley at 1525hrs with eight other Hampdens to carry out an unsuccessful daytime attack on the German battleships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen in the English Channel. Nine aircraft from the Squadron took part in the mission which was the 1st Wave of Operation Fuller consisting of 35 Wellingtons, 25 Blenheims, 2 Manchesters and 11 Hampdens.

25Feb42 4th Operational Mission. SGT E.H Busfield and crew departed Wigsley at 1820hrs with five other Hampdens tasked to lay mines near the Terschelling Islands of the Netherlands NW coast. The pilot aborted the mission when the weather fell below minimums and returned to base. The pilot overshot the landing causing Cat.A/FB damage, no reported injuries.

28Feb42 Aircraft flew three operational missions and made at least four non-operational flights in February 1942.

31Mar42 Aircraft flew seven operational missions and made at least nine non-operational flights in March 1942.

26Apr42 FLGOFF R. Holmes and crew flew from Wigsley to the new operating base at RAF Leuchars, Scotland.

30Apr42 Aircraft flew five operational missions and made at least six non-operational flights in April 1942.

31May42 Aircraft flew one operational mission and made at least two non-operational flights in May 1942.

20May42 Aircraft received by English Electric Co Ltd for conversion to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1.

15Jun42 Aircraft received by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria.

30Jun42 Aircraft taken on charge with No.415 (Swordfish) Sqn RCAF at RAF Station Thorney Island, West Sussex. Issued to A Flight and coded as GX-F.

07Sep42 Aircraft moved from Thorney Island to RAF Leuchars, Scotland.

07Nov42 Aircraft moved from RAF Leuchars to Thorney Island, West Sussex

22Dec42 SGT G.C Ellergot and crew departed Thorney Island at 2144hrs with two other Hampdens tasked for an anti-shipping strike off the southern Netherlands coast. At 0020hrs the crew spotted several ships in the moonlight and immediately attacked, releasing their torpedo at 40ft from 800 yards. Results were not observed as the pilot was forced to take violent evasive action to try and dodge the intense and accurate flak. Three medium calibre shells detonated within the fuselage rendering all flight instruments inoperable. The elevator trim control was shot away causing the aircraft to pitch up uncontrollably to 800ft before the pilot managed to get the gyrating aircraft back under control. Ellergot then carried out a crew and damage check before setting course for home which was reached without further incident at 0324hrs/23Dec.

24Dec42 Aircraft assessed as Cat.B/FB damaged and transported for repair to the HBRO (Hampden Bomber Repair Organization) at RAF Tollerton.

20Jan43 Aircraft transferred for further repair to London Midland & Scottish Railway Ltd workshops, Derby.

31Mar43 Aircraft transferred for specialist repair to Tollerton Aircraft Services at RAF Tollerton, Nottinghamshire

15Apr43 Aircraft received by No.23 Maintenance Unit at RAF Aldergrove near Antrim, Northern Island.

20May43 Aircraft taken on charge with No.455 Sqn RAAF at RAF Station Leuchars, Scotland. Coded as UB-N.

29May43 FLGOFF R.C Barton and crew crashed on take-off when departing Leuchars for a pre-mission test flight following an engine failure. The crew only sustained minor injuries and shock but the aircraft was extensively damaged.

30May43 Aircraft transferred to Brush Electrical Service Aircraft Section for specialist repairs.

24Nov43 Aircraft transferred to HBRO (Hampden Bomber Repair Organization) at RAF Tollerton.

21Dec43 Aircraft reclassified as Cat.E – not economical to repair.

AT181

00Dec41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AT181 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 10th of 25 Hamden aircraft of the 19th Production Batch built in the Serial Range AT172 to AT196.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

27Dec41 Aircraft received by No.8 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

17Jan42 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire where it was issued to B Flight as UB-V.

07Feb42 1st Operational Mission. SGT J.R Moody and crew departed Wigsley at 1218hrs tasked to lay mines near the Frisian Islands. Returned safely at 1621hrs.

08Feb42 Squadron moved from RAF Swinderby to RAF Wigsley, Nottinghamshire. The aircraft departed Swinderby on the morning of 8th Feb but as the airfield at Wigsley was unserviceable the aircraft flew into Wigsley’s satellite field at RAF Skellingthorpe.

21Feb42 3rd Operational Mission. SGT J.R Moody and crew departed Wigsley at 1843hrs with six other Hampdens tasked to carry out night nuisance raids in and around the Coblenz area of the Rhine valley, Germany. The aircraft and crew failed to return and were posted as MIA. Post war searches failed to shed any light on the fate of the crew and they were eventually officially declared as KIA.

RAFVR Pilot 1193594 Sergeant John Richard Moody (20) was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 89 of the Air Forces Memorial to the Missing at Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey.

RAFVR Observer 115408 Pilot Officer Arthur Timothy Daly (21) was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 69 of the Air Forces Memorial to the Missing at Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey.

RAAF wireless air gunner 400751 Sergeant John James Davey (25) single, of Heidelberg in Melbourne, Victoria was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 112 of the Air Forces Memorial to the Missing at Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey. He is also remembered at location 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on the Roll of Honour in Mildura, Victoria.

Mildura War Memorial Australia

Mildura War Memorial Australia

RAAF air gunner 407990 Sergeant Colin Robert Scott (31) of Port Noarlunga, South Australia was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 113 of the Air Forces Memorial to the Missing at Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey. He is also remembered at location 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on the Roll of Honour in Unley, South Australia.

28Feb42 Aircraft struck off charge. The aircraft flew three operational missions and made at least seven non-operational flights while serving with 455Sqn. Total accrued aircraft flight time was 32 hours 46 minutes.

AT184

00Dec41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AT184 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 13th of 25 Hamden aircraft of the 19th Production Batch built in the Serial Range AT172 to AT196.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

28Dec41 Aircraft received by No.44 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Edzell in Angus, Scotland

30Jan42 Aircraft delivered to Station Flight Leuchars.

05Feb42 Aircraft ferried from RAF Leuchars by PLTOFF Bunbury to RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire where it was taken on charge with B Flight as UB-ẍ.

10Feb42 Aircraft moved from Swinderby to the squadron’s new base at RAF Station Wigsley, Nottinghamshire.

21Feb42 1st Operational Mission. WOFF J.H Bolton and crew departed Wigsley at 1844hrs as one of seven Hampdens tasked for individual Rover Intruder missions in the Coblenz-Cologne corridor, Germany. Bombed a suspect target and RTB at 0125hrs/22Feb.

28Feb42 Aircraft flew four operational missions and made at least five non-operational flights in February 1942.

31Mar42 Aircraft flew five operational missions and made at least six non-operational flights in March 1942.

26Apr42 Aircraft transferred from Bomber Command to Coastal Command and moved from RAF Wigsley to RAF Station Leuchars, Fifeshire, Scotland.

30Apr42 Aircraft flew seven operational missions and made at least nine non-operational flights in April 1942.

01May42 Aircraft issued to A Flight and recoded as UB-C.

27May42 Aircraft received by English Electric Co in Preston for conversion to Hampden Torpedo Bomber Mk.1.

25Jun42 Aircraft returned to 455Sqn.

01Jul42 PLTOFF A.H.G Clarke and crew departed Leuchars with 11 other Hampdens for a transit flight to RAF Station Wick, Scotland. The squadron was tasked to conduct Air Launched Torpedo Exercises with elements of the Royal Navy.

31Jul42 Aircraft flew two operational missions and made at least four non-operational flights in July 1942.

30Nov42 Aircraft did not fly any operational missions during the months of Aug thru Nov 1942.

31Dec42 Aircraft flew one operational mission and made at least two non-operational flights in December 1942.

31Jan43 Aircraft did not fly any operational missions.

20Feb43 23rd Operational Mission. FSGT L.R Lord and crew departed Leuchars at 1810hrs with three other Hampdens for a Rover Stand patrol off the Norwegian coast. While searching for shipping in Bjorne Fiord the aircraft was hit by light flak in the starboard mainplane.

26Feb43 WO P.H Baker and crew flew the aircraft to No.32 Maintenance Unit at RAF St Athan for RDF Modifications. SQNLDR Davenport flew solo in AD920/K to St Athan and returned to Base with WOFF Baker and crew.

27Mar43 RNZAF pilot 415007 SGT J. O’Connor and crew collected the aircraft from 32MU and departed on a transit flight to RAF Leuchars. Approaching Wigtown in the Dumfries and Galloway region of Scotland the aircraft experienced serious fuel starvation problems and the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing at Low Eldring near Wigtown. The aircraft sustained substantial damage but the crew walked away from the wreckage with only minor bumps and bruises. The next day SQNLDR J. Davenport led a ground team to recover all the RDF mods and ‘special’ gear.

30Mar43 Aircraft struck off charge.The aircraft flew 23 operational missions and made at least 31 non-operational flights while serving with 455Sqn.

AT192

00Dec41 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AT184 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 13th of 25 Hamden aircraft of the 19th Production Batch built in the Serial Range AT172 to AT196.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

28Dec41 Aircraft received by No.20 Maintenance Unit at RAF Ashton Down, Gloucestershire.

07Feb42 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Swinderby, Lincolnshire. Issued to B Flight as UB-R.

08Feb42 Squadron moved from RAF Swinderby to RAF Wigsley, Nottinghamshire. The aircraft departed Swinderby on the morning of 8th Feb but as the airfield at Wigsley was unserviceable the aircraft flew into Wigsley’s satellite field at RAF Skellingthorpe.

08Feb42 Squadron moved from RAF Swinderby to RAF Wigsley, Nottinghamshire. The aircraft departed Swinderby on the morning of 8th Feb but as the airfield at Wigsley was unserviceable the aircraft flew into Wigsley’s satellite field at RAF Skellingthorpe.

24Feb42 1st Operational Mission. PLTOFF Bunbury and crew departed Wigsley at 0244hrs as one of 10 Hampdens dispatched to conduct mine laying in the Heligoland Bight. Completed the mission and RTB at 0808hrs.

10Mar42 2nd Operational Mission. PLTOFF O. Gandy and crew departed Wigsley at 1917hrs with seven other Hampdens tasked to attack the dockyards at Essen, Germany. The aircraft and crew failed to return and were posted MIA. Post war searches determined that the aircraft was lost (most likely due to severe icing) between Repelen and Baeri, about 10km NW of Duisburg, Germany. All four crew were buried nearby in Lohmannseide Cemetery near Moers in Nordrhein-Westfalen, but later reinterred in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

 Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Germany

RAFVR Pilot 103553 Pilot Officer Orrell Gandy (29) of High Tranmere, Birkenhead UK was KIA and initially buried in Section A.2522 Plot 4A, Grave 22 of the Lohmannseide Cemetery near Moers in Nordrhein-Westfalen. On 24 June 1947 he was reinterred in Plot XXIX, Row F, Grave 8 of the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery in Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 38 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1171218 Sergeant Eric Maynard Jennings (21) of Milton-under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire was KIA and initially buried in Section A.2522 Plot 4A, Grave 23 of the Lohmannseide Cemetery near Moers in Nordrhein-Westfalen. On 24 June 1947 he was reinterred in Plot XXIX, Row F, Grave 9 of the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery in Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 55 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RNZAF Observer 401800 Pilot Officer Lewis Alfred Wright (26) of Christchurch New Zealand was KIA and initially buried in Section A.2522 Plot 4A, Grave 21 of the Lohmannseide Cemetery near Moers in Nordrhein-Westfalen. On 24 June 1947 he was reinterred in Plot XXIX, Row F, Grave 7 of the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery in Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 119 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire; and, on the Roll of Honour in the RNZAF Museum at Wigram, Christchurch New Zealand.

RAAF wireless air gunner 407461 Sergeant Garfield Lloyd Skinner (26) of Hackney in Adelaide, South Australia was KIA and initially buried in Section A.2522 Plot 4A, Grave 24 of the Lohmannseide Cemetery near Moers in Nordrhein-Westfalen. On 24 June 1947 he was reinterred in Plot XXIX, Row F, Grave 10 of the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery in Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 97 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire. He is also commemorated at Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the Roll of Honour in St Peters Church in Adelaide; and, on the World War II Honour Roll at the National War Memorial of South Australia on North Terrace, Adelaide.

AT221

00Jan42 Handley Page Model HP.52 Hampden Mk.I bomber Serial AT221 was manufactured to Air Ministry Specification B.30/36 under Contract No B.67577/40 by the English Electric Co at their Preston facility in Lancashire UK. The 6th of 45 Hamden aircraft of the 20th Production Batch built in the Serial Range AT216 to AT260.

Powered by two Bristol Pegasus XVIII 28-litre nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines developing 720 kW (965 hp) driving three-bladed De Havilland constant speed propellers.

Defensive armament consisted of six .303 inch machine guns: one fixed Browning gun in the nose operated by the pilot; a single Vickers K gun fired by the navigator; and, two twin Vickers K guns in the upper and lower rear gunner positions. In 1941 two rectangular apertures were cut in the fuselage just aft of the wing spar that allowed the navigator to use his Vickers F gun to defend against beam attacks.

The maximum bomb load was 6,587lbs (2,994kg). The aircraft was painted in the standard RAF Night scheme of matt Dark Green and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Black on all undersurfaces.

29Jan42 Aircraft received by No.44 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Edzell in Angus, Scotland

09Feb42 Aircraft received by No.12 Maintenance Unit at RAF Station Kirkbride, Cumbria.

26Feb42 Aircraft taken on charge with RAAF No.455 (B) Sqn at RAF Station Wigsley, Lincolnshire where it was issued to A Flight as UB-D.

07Mar42 1st Operational Mission. PLTOFF W.H Martin and crew departed Wigsley at 0221hrs as one of seven Hamdens dispatched to lay mines in Lorient Bay, France. Mine laid successfully and RTB at 0815hrs.

10Mar42 2nd Operational Mission. PLTOFF W.H Martin and crew departed Wigsley at 1954hrs as one of eight Hamdens dispatched to attack targets in Essen, Germany. As the aircraft approached the Dutch coast the intercom failed completely and the TR9 RT became erratic. Pilot aborted and RTB at 2257hrs.

31Mar42 Aircraft flew four operational missions and made at least six non-operational flights in March 1942.

01Apr42 5th Operational Mission. WNGCDR G.M Lindeman and crew departed Wigsley at 2005hrs for an Interdiction mission in NW Germany. Lindeman attacked trains on the Rhine-Munster Line at 2154hrs and trains on the Rheine-Burghsteinfurt Line at 2340hrs. Expended all bombs and fired 3,100 mg rounds. The crew eventually returned to base safely at 0213hrs but they very nearly didn’t make it home.

The Stabilised Yaw problem that nearly claimed the aircraft and crew is described in Lindeman’s own words: ' ... we stopped four trains that night, but in the excitement of making steep turns near the ground and getting jolted from the blast ot our bombs I neglected my flying and got into a sideways skid from which I could not recover. With both feet on one side of the rudder bar I could not shift it. The control column was floppy, ailerons useless, and the aircraft quickly losing height. In the nick of time I woke up to the dodge of closing the starboard throttle and opening up the port throttle to twist the aircraft out of its situation by brute force. Luckily it worked, but it took a great effort of will to close the throttle in such desperate circumstances and we could not have been more than a couple of hundred feet above the ground by the time I regained control'.

One wonders if all Hampden pilots would have reacted in the same manner and saved the aircraft and crew.

08Apr42 6th Operational Mission. SGT W.H.S Martin and crew departed Wigsley at 2105hrs with AE291 to lay mines in the Seine River near Rouen, France. The mines were successfully laid and the crew RTB at 0309hrs.

10Apr42 7th Operational Mission. PLTOFF R.C Roberts and crew departed Wigsley at 2146hrs loaded with six Bundles of Nickels (propaganda leaflets) 1 x 2000lb HC bomb and 2 x 250lb GP bombs to attack the Main Square of Essen, Germany. The aircraft and crew failed to return and were posted as MIA.

Post war checks determined that the aircraft was lost and all the crew killed when it was shot down by Flak and crashed at Sturzelberg on the west bank of the Rhine, 11kms south east of Neuss. They were all initially buried in the Neuss Cemetery but later reinterred in the Rheinberg War Cemetery 24kms north of Krefeld, Germany. See Archive Report AT221

Rheinberg War Cemetery

Rheinberg War Cemetery Germany

RAAF Pilot 3200 Pilot Officer Robert Charles Roberts (29) of St Kilda in Melbourne, Victoria was KIA and initially buried in Section F, Grave 29 of the Neuss Cemetery in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. On 19 April 1947 he was reinterred in Plot VI, Row C, Grave 10 of the Rheinberg War Cemetery in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 90 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire. He is also commemorated at Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on the Roll of Honour at Sunshine in Melbourne, Victoria.

RAAF Navigator 400623 Flying Officer Frederick Abbey Keck (27) of Launceston, Tasmania was KIA and initially buried in Section F, Grave 28 of the Neuss Cemetery in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. On 19 April 1947 he was reinterred in Plot VI, Row C, Grave 11 of the Rheinberg War Cemetery in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 58 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire. He is also commemorated at Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on the Roll of Honour in Melbourne, Victoria.

RAAF wireless air gunner 408045 Sergeant Frank Hill Canning (22) of New Norfolk, Tasmania was KIA and initially buried in Section F, Grave 27 of the Neuss Cemetery in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. On 19 April 1947 he was reinterred in Plot VI, Row C, Grave 9 of the Rheinberg War Cemetery in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 17 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire. He is also commemorated at Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on the Roll of Honour in Queenstown, Tasmania.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1057411 Sergeant John Ripley Wright (21) of Southport, Lancashire UK was KIA and initially buried in Section F, Grave 26 of the Neuss Cemetery in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. On 19 April 1947 he was reinterred in Plot VI, Row C, Grave 8 of the Rheinberg War Cemetery in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He is commemorated on Panel 119 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

2022-08-25 PMcG

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