21.06.1940 42 Squadron Beaufort I L9810 AW-M F/O. Barrie-Smith
Date: 21st June 1940 (Friday)
Unit: No. 42 Squadron (Coastal Command)
Type: Beaufort I
Base: RAF Wick, Scotland
Location: North sea - off Bergen Norway.
Pilot: F/O. William Barrie-Smith 39178 RAF Age ? Killed
Navigator: P/O. Murray Anderson Butler 42103 RAF Age 27. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. William John Bates 567448 RAF Age 21. Killed
W/Radar/Op: Sgt. Frederick Dale 508348 RAF Age 30. Killed
The family of Sgt Dale would be very interested in hearing from other relatives with any further information.
Please contact us and we will be pleased to forward this on to them.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Left: F/O. William Barrie-Smith
Part of Coastal Command and using Bristol Beaufort equipped with torpedoes. They moved to Wick to take part in the attacks on the German Navy. Took off at 14.25 hrs with eight other Beauforts to attack the Scharnhorst which was based at the time at Trondhjem. The aircraft were armed for this raid with armour piercing bombs and dive bombed the huge battle-cruiser. The raid, although not a total success, did hit the ship with 3 bombs and had to return for repairs to Kiel - taking her out of action for about 6 months.
The Squadron were attacked by Bf109s from IIJG77 and three Beauforts were shot down with all 12 crew members losing their lives.
L9810 was lost after being attacked by two 109s and then managed to catch up with the formation when the starboard undercarriage suddenly dropped and the engine burst into flames - the aircraft then crashed into the sea. Some two months later (23.08.40 )the body of P/O. Butler was washed ashore on Madsbol beach.
The police arrived and under the control of Ass/Chief Constable Poulsen of Thisted Police arrived to take charge of the situation. This proving difficult as two mines were also washed up at the same time! The body was removed without incident, identified and laid to rest in Hjaardemaal Klit Churchyard four days later.
Also Lost on this raid:
L4486 AW-C, flown by F/O. Herbert John Seagrim, all 4 crew killed.
L4501 AW-A, flown by P/O. Alan George Rigg, all 4 crew killed.
Scharnhorst (courtesy Bundesarchive)
F/O. William Barrie-Smith. Runnymede Memorial Panel 5. No further details as yet.
P/O. Murray Anderson Butler. Hjaardemaal Klit Churchyard. Grave 16. Son of Floyd Allison Butler and Isabelle Mignonette Butler, of Newcastle, Ontario, Canada.
Sgt. William John Bates (Cpl. at date of loss). Haugesund (Rossebo) Var Frelsers Cemetery. British Plot. J.13. Son of John and Hilda Alice Bates, of Portchester, Fareham, Hampshire, England. William's brother Raymond Leonard Bates also served in the RAF and lost his life in 1944 in Halifax LK705 (click here)
Sgt. Frederick Dale (Cpl. at date of loss). Runnymede Memorial Panel 13. Son of George and Alice Dale, husband of Elsie May Dale, of Docking, Norfolk, England.
For Barry Dale, son of Sgt. Dale and relatives of the other crew members. With thanks to the following: Ross McNeill - 'Coastal Command Losses', the CWGC