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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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404 squadron badge
21.02.1942 No. 404 Squadron Blenheim IV V5433 EE-F Fl/Sgt. Brown

Operation: Recce

Date: 21st February 1942 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 404 Squadron (Coastal Command)

Type: Blenheim IV

Serial: V5433 (Believed to be the incorrect number written on the station ORB's - but we are unable to confirm the correct code)

Code: EE-F

Base: RAF Sumburgh, Shetland Islands, Scotland.

Location: Grunay Island, Outer Skerries, Shetlands, Scotland

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Charles Douglas Grant Brown R/67587 RCAF Age 24. Killed

Obs: Fl/Sgt. James Henry Oliver R/64236 RCAF Age 26. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas William Coy 992775 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


Returning from an operation to norway where the aircraft had been attacked and suffered some damage the crew sent an SOS Message at 08:30 hrs informing Sumburgh that their radio equipment was faulty but that were heading back. The pilot tried to land on the Island of Grunay on a small flat area but burst into flames on landing. Further inspection of the aircraft revealed that although the front half had been totally burnt out the rear fuselage was intact and showed a number of bullet holes.

We understand that a memorial exists on the Island of Grunay, erected by Jay Chrishison, nephew of F/Sgt Oliver but have been unable to locate further details.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Charles Douglas Grant Brown. Lerwick New Cemetery. Terrace 7B. grave 2. Son of Charles Dickens Brown and Mary Rosalie Brown, husband of Kathleen Marie Brown, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "He Gave His All For Freedom's Cause".

Fl/Sgt. James Henry Oliver. Lerwick New Cemetery. Terrace 7B. grave 4. Son of Walter and Edna Oliver, of Brantford, Ontario, Canada, husband of Edna Pearl Oliver, of Brantford, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "He Died For King And Country".

Sgt. Thomas William Coy. Neston Cemetery. Plot 5. Div B. Grave 19. Son of Thomas William and Elizabeth Coy, of Neston, Chester, England. Grave inscription reads: "Hearts That Loved You Never Forget, In Memory, Dear, You Are With Us Yet".

Researched for relatives of these crews with thanks for additional information to, Graham Warner - 'The Bristol Blenheim', Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
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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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), 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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