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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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102 Squadron Crest
23/24.09.1942 No. 102 Squadron Halifax II W1055 DY-F P/O. Richard C.E. Bassom

Operation: Flensburg

Date: 23/24th September 1942 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 102 Squadron

Type: Halifax II

Serial: W1055

Code: DY-F

Base: RAF Pocklington, Yorkshire

Location: Baltic Sea of Flensburg

Pilot: P/O. Richard Charles Edgar Bassom 132605 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. John Bennett 573729 RAF Age 20. Missing

Nav: Sgt. Sydney Cooper 1186699 RAFVR Age 26. Missing

Air/Bmr: Robert John Gould NZ/405483 RNZAF Age 24. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. William Douglas Reynolds R/62684 RCAF Age 26. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Arthur Graham Sherrard-Smith 924232 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Charles Stainton 954283 RAFVR Age 22. Killed


Taking off from RAF Pocklington in Yorkshire at 00:16hrs to bomb Flensburg with 28 other Halifaxes from 4 group. 

Just 16 managed to find and bomb the target due to poor weather conditions. No nightghter claims for this Halifax and is thought to have been hit by ant-aircraft fire, crashing into the Baltic off the target area.

Left: Pilot, P/O. Richard Charles Edgar Bassom (courtesy John Bassom)

Five bodies  were recovered, the remaining two are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey.

102 Squadron lost another aircraft on this operation:

Halifax II DT517 DY-G Flown by 26 year old F/O. George Mee NZ/402559 RNZAF from Wellington City, New Zealand.  Killed with all the other 7 crew members.

Burial details:

Initially buried at Friedenshugel Cemetery in Flensburg, reinterred after war end.

P/O. Richard Charles Edgar Bassom. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 4.A.8. Brother to Enid, now residing in the Bay Court Nursing Home, Budleigh, Salterton, Devon, England. Born at Billericay, Essex, England 23rd December 1913.

Sgt. John Bennett. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 78. Son of Thomas Harold and Violet Mary Bennett, of Long Compton, Warwickshire, England.

Sgt. Sydney Cooper. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 80. Son of Christopher and Beatrice Cooper, husband of Florence Elizabeth Cooper, of Sheldon, Warwickshire, England.

Robert John Gould. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.10. Son of Hubert John and Mary Gould, of Pleasant Point, Canterbury, New Zealand. This was his 7th operaration. although he had a total of 209 hrs flying time.

Fl/Sgt. William Douglas Reynolds. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.11. From Granby, Quebec, Canada. Next of kin details not available, are you able to assist?

Sgt. Arthur Graham Sherrard-Smith. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 4.A.9. Next of kin details not available, are you able to assist?

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Charles Stainton. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.12. Son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Stainton, of Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, England.

Page placed for Graham Price, second cousin to Sgt. John Bennett. Thanks also for details on the pilot to John Bassom, his nephew. For further details our thanks to the sources as quoted below.

KTY 08.06.2015 Details / photograph for pilot entered.

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: 08 June 2015, 21:15