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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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214 Squadron crest
05/06.03,1943 214 Squadron Stirling III BK662 BU-K Sgt. Harry W. Baldock

Operation: Essen (1)

Date: 05/06th March 1943 (Friday/Saturday

Unit: No. 214 Squadron (FMS - Federated Malay States) (2)

Type: Stirling III

Serial: BK662

Code: BU-K

Base: RAF Chedburgh, Suffolk

Location: North Sea off Ijmuiden

Pilot: Sgt. Harry William Baldock 657240 RAF Age 23. Missing

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Peter Roy Kimber 1336307 RAFVR Age 21. Missing

Nav: F/O. Hugh Terence Etienne 129058 RAFVR Age 21. Missing

Air/Bmr: Sgt. William Taylor 1458100 RAFVR Age ? Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Hedley Trotter 1128255 Age 31. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ernest Albert Wright 526692 RAF Age ? Missing

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Alphe Baptiste Amirault R/88416 RCAF Age 24. Missing

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Chedburgh in Suffolk at 19:35 hrs to bmb the city of Essen. Some 442 aircraft dispatched of which 56 aircraft turned back early due to technical defects. The city was attacked in 3 waves with 214 taking part in the second. The attack lasted for some 40 minutes with 70% of the bombs being incendiary the remaining 30% a long delay high explosive. 

F/O. Hugh Terence Etienne shown rear, extreme right. (With an earlier crew)

Post bombing reconnaissance photographs showed a massive 160 acres of destruction with the main trek of Krupps suffering 53 buildings destroyed. 3.018 houses were destroyed, 2,166 seriously damaged - reports state that around 480 people killed on the ground.

This Stirling III BK662 was delivered to the Squadron the previous month on 28th February 1943 and was the first Mk III Stirling lost by 214. Understood to have been hit by flak and crashed into the North Sea at 22:10hrs. Seven of the crew were classed as missing, the body of Sgt Trotter was eventually washed up on Texel 25th May 1943 and buried.

Krupps works, Essen at the end of the war.

(1) The RAF reportedly dropped some 36,429 tons of bombs on the city during the war.
(2) The British Malayan Federation adopted the Squadron after placing the funds to equip it. It was then officially named 214 (FMS) Squadron.

Above - village sign at Chedburgh 2013 and area of crash. 

Below: Sgt. William Hedley Trotter and grave at Texel (courtesy Michel Beckers)

Burial details:

Sgt. Harry William Baldock. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 141. Son of James E. and Elsie Baldock, of Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England. Husband of Anne Baldock.

Sgt. Peter Roy Kimber. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 155. Son of Ernest Henry Kimber, a compositor, and Janet Howie (née Adams) Kimber of 75 Ondine Road, Peckham, London.

F/O. Hugh Terence Etienne. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 124. Further information: Son of Auguste and Rosetta Etienne, of Castries, St. Lucia, West Indies. Commissioned 1st September 1942 - previous to service, a civil servant in St. Lucia, joining the RAF in 1940.

Sgt. William Taylor. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 166. No further details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. William Hedley Trotter. Texel Cemetery (Den Burg) Plot K. Row 2. Grave 40. Further information: Son of William and Dorothy Ann Trotter, of South Shields, Co. Durham, England. Prior to service worked with South Shields Council within the health department. A talented musician who played the violin and organ. Provided concerts for charity.

Sgt. Ernest Albert Wright. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 170. No further details - are you able to assist?

Fl/Sgt. Alphe Baptiste Amirault. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 181. Son of Louis N. and Lucy E. Amirault, of Pubnico, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Researched for the wife of Tiff Jacobs who’s Uncle Sgt. Roy Kimber was lost on this operation. Sources for information shown below. We also strongly recommend readers who would like further information to visit the fine 214 Squadron website run by John and Carol Edwards. Thanks also to Michel Beckers.

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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