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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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

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408 Squadron Crest
19.07.1942 408 Squadron Hampden I AT227 EQ-L P/O. Edward Swatton

Operation: Moling

Date: 19th July 1942 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 408 Squadron R.C.A.F.

Type: Hampden I

Serial: AT227

Code: EQ-L

Base: R.A.F. Balderton, Nottinghamshire

Location: North Sea, 50 km. North West Vlieland

Pilot: P/O. Edward William Swatton 112365 R.A.F.V.R. Age 29. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Roland Henry Burley 1159995 R.A.F.V.R. Age 32. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edward Haville 113420 R.A.F.V.R. Age 26. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Harold Pierce 111490 R.A.F.V.R. Age ? Missing


Took off at 08.40hrs. from R.A.F. Balderton, Nottinghamshire on a daylight operation using cloud cover to attack various ground targets in occupied territories and Germany. 35 aircraft took part in this operation and four were lost.

Hampden AT227 is understood to have collided at between 11.33 – 11.56 hrs with a Bf110 F-4  R4-GN night fighter from 5./NJG2 the pilot, Ufz. Roman Brejzek (1) and crew member, Wolfgang Benna were also killed.

Both aircraft crashed into the North Sea some 50 km. North West of Vlieland

The body of the pilot, P/O. Swatton was found on Lild Strand beach on the 9th September and buried on the 11th September 1941 at Frederikshavn Cemetery. The remainder are commemorated on the Runnymede memorial.


A wintry scene at Balderton, Nottinghamshire 20th January 1942, as aircrew return from a flight in a Hampden of No. 408 (Goose) Squadron, RCAF. (courtesy I.W.M.)


Frederikshavn Cemetery (courtesy C.W.G.C.)

(1) This was the single claim credited to Ufz. Roman Brejzek.

Burial details:

P/O. Edward William Swatton. Frederikshavn Cemetery Allied Plot. Grave 23. Son of Herbert William. and Martha Swatton, husband of Catherine Mary Swatton, of West Ashling, Sussex, England.

Sgt. Roland Henry Burley. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 79. Son of Walter James Burley and Beatrice May Burley.

Sgt. Edward Haville. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 85. Son of Edmund John Nixon Haville and Eliza Haville, of Benwell, Northumberland, England.

P/O. Harold Pierce. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 71. N.o.K details currently not available – are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Researched for Jonathan Raine, nephew of Sgt. Edward Haville and Remembrance Page dedicated to the relatives of the crew. With thanks to Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie – ‘Nightfighter War Diaries Vol’s. 1 and  2’,  ‘Airwar over Denmark’ Bill Chorley – “Bomber Command Losses Vol. 3”, I.W.M, Commonwealth Graves Commission.

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 01 January 2014, 00:00

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