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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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137 Squadron Crest
23.01.19143 No 137 Squadron Whirlwind P7095 SF-H F/O. A.E. Brown

Operation: Rhubarb

Date: 23rd January 1943 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 137 Squadron

Type: Westland Whirlwind MkI

Serial: P7095

Code: SF-H

Base: RAF Manston, Kent

Location: near Doullen, France

Pilot: F/O. Alfred Edward (Ted) Brown 141474 RAF Age 27. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

P/O. Ted Brown took off from RAF Manston at 10:55 hrs on a Rhubarb operation, together with 21 year old, Lt. Neville Austin Freeman 19862 SAAF (2). After attacking a goods train north of Doullens, Brown reported that he thought he had been hit in the port engine. This was the last to be heard of him.

Brown was never made PoW and nothing was ever heard of him until his body was found buried in Ennetieres after the war.

At Ennetieres in 1945 a RAF search team found a grave cross marked Sgt. Manston on checking Browns grave was found, had he was in full RAF uniform with pullover and with escape money of 200 francs and a gold ring as well as a small quantity of english money with it.

Note: Ennetieres - a distance of some 85 km. from the area of reported loss - perhaps there is more to his loss than has been discovered. The Whirlwind crash photographs certainly looks survivable?

(2) Lt. Neville Austin Freeman also lost his life the following month on the 19th February, sadly we have no details on this loss.

Burial details:

Buried alongside the crew of three from Blenheim IF L8616 YP-M of 23 Squadron (3). Lost on the 09/10th April 1941. Shot down by flak whilst on an intruder sortie, coming down at the edge of Lille-Vendeville airfield.

Alfred Edward Brown. Avelin Communal Cemetery (Ennetieres). Grave 1. Son of Alfred and Elizabeth Brown, of Dagenham, Essex, England and husband of Audrey Brown. Grave inscription reads: "Sweet Are The Memories, Silently Kept, Of One We Loved And Will Never Forget".

(2) Lt. Neville Austin Freeman. Margate Cemetery. Son of Cyril E. Freeman and Charlotte B. Freeman, of Cape Town, South Africa. Grave inscription reads: "Be Thou Faithful Unto Death, And I Will Give Thee A Crown Of Life".

(3) P/O. George Arthur Simpson. Avelin Communal Cemetery (Ennetieres). Grave 4. Age 23. Son of Frank Simpson, and of Elsie Amelia Simpson, of Brighton, Sussex, England. Grave inscription reads: "Taken From Me But Ever In My Thoughts. Mother".

Sgt. Horace Charles Jack Brewer. Avelin Communal Cemetery (Ennetieres). Grave 3. No further details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Thomas George Frank Nicholls. Avelin Communal Cemetery (Ennetieres). Grave 2. Aged 26 born on 15th January 1915, the son of Thomas and Lilian Nicholls, of Thornton Heath, Surrey and husband of Pearl Rosa Nicholls, of Upper Tooting, London, England. Grave inscription reads: "In Loving Memory Of My Dear Husband".

Researched for Aircrew Remembered by Michel Beckers. Photo of grave courtesy Johan Powels, pilot courtesy M.J. Butcher, remainder Michel Beckers collection.

MB/KTY 14.05.2018

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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), 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', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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