11.05.1940 No. 18 Squadron Blenheim IV L8861 F/O. Charlie Bellis
Date: 11th May 1940 (Saturday)
Unit: No. 18 Squadron
Type: Blenheim IV
Base: RAF Méharicourt, France
Location: Kanne, Belgium
Pilot: F/O. Charlie Bellis 39847 RAF Age ? Killed
Obs: Sgt. Horace David Welch 565950 RAF Age ? Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: LAC Kenneth Parry 550953 RAF Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 20:30 hrs from the French Landing Ground, Méharicourt to make low level reconnaissance over the Albert Canal. Failed to return, crashing near Kanne at 21:15 hrs.
18 Squadron lost two other Blenheims on this day, the others:
Blenheim IV L9255 Flown by Sgt. E. Le Voi. Two of the crew taken PoW with the W/Op Air/Gnr being killed.
Blenheim IV R3590 Flown by P/O. M. Holmes - Hit by flak, the crew managing to force land the aircraft, all safe.
A further Blenheim L9192 Flown by P/O. J.R. Whelan, with his crew managed to belly land the aircraft after being hit by Belgian anti-aircraft fire, all safe, with aircraft repaired.
It was reported that nearly half of all the Blenheims lost by the Allied Air Forces in France were lost on this day. Shortly afterwards, on the 17th May they were withdrawn to continue the fight from bases in England.
The graves have the date of death marked as 12th May 1940 - this is probably because aircraft that failed to return late in the day were not recorded until the following day.
F/O. Charlie Bellis. Cement House Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Grave XXI.A.16-17. Son of Charles and Elizabeth E. Bellis, of Holt, Denbighshire, Wales.
Sgt. Horace David Welch. Cement House Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Grave XXI.A.16-17. No further details - are you able to assist?
LAC Kenneth Parry. Cement House Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Grave XXI.A.16-17. Son of Rowland Edward and Elizabeth Ann Parry, of Llandudno, Caernarvonshire, Wales.
With thanks to Franky Mahieu who visited the crew graves in May 2016 and sent the photograph to us. Any relative who would like a higher resolution - please contact us. Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources indicated below