06.02.1942 No. 455 Squadron Hampden I AE308 UB-L Sgt. Brown
Date: 6th February 1942
Unit: No. 455 Squadron (RAAF)
Type: Hampden I
Base: RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire
Location: North Sea, 70 kilometres West of Terschelling
Pilot: Sgt. Bernard Edward Brown 1281447 RAFVR Age ? Missing
Obs: Sgt. Robert Anthony Bilington 1169761 RAFVR Age 20. Missing
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. David Michael Pickersgill 1356057 RAFVR Age ? Missing
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Eric Bland 1051834 RAFVR Age 19. Missing
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 12:05 hrs from Swinderby to lay mines off the Frisian Islands in broad daylight! 46 aircraft took part in this operation made up with 33 Hampdens and 13 Manchesters.
455 Squadron Hampden
The only aircraft lost on this raid was 455 Squadron Hampden AE308. Under his own initiative Hptm. Helmut Lent (Already an ace with 30 kills at this time) took off from Terschelling Island and under radar guidance closed in with three other Bf110's. The flight spotted the minelaying operation and Hptm Lent of Stab II./NJG2 attacked AE308 over the North Sea, 70 kilometres West of Terschelling and shot him down at 15:10 hrs. All crew were lost and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
Left: Oberst. Helmut Lent
Oberst (Posth) Helmut Lent went on to claim 102 night fighter kills and a further 8 kills before on the 7th October 1944 he died after suffering injuries sustained during a crash landing on the 5th October 1944 during a crash landing in his Ju 88 G-6 at Paderborn Airfield following engine failure and subsequent collision with a high tension cable.
His crew were rescued - injured from the crash. Walter Kubisch (radio operator) and Hermann Klöss (2nd radio operator) died the same day, Werner Kark (War correspondent and Air/Gnr) died the next morning.
Sgt. Bernard Edward Brown. Runnymede Memorial Panel 79. Next of kin details currently unavailable - are you able to assist?
Sgt. Robert Anthony Bilington. Runnymede Memorial Panel 78. Son of Robert and Dorothy Theresa Billington, of Beckenham, Kent, England.
Sgt. David Michael Pickersgill. Runnymede Memorial Panel 91. Next of kin details currently unavailable - are you able to assist?
Sgt. Eric Bland. Runnymede Memorial Panel 78. Son of John and Annie Evelyn Bland, of Halifax, Yorkshire, England.
Researched for Graham Turner relative of Sgt. Eric Bland