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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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53 Squadron Crest
27.10.1940 53 Squadron Blenheim IV L8789 PZ-E P/O. Ronald L. Buckley

Operation: Emvee, Shipping Strike

Date: 27th October 1940 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 53 Squadron (Coastal Command)

Type: Blenheim IV

Serial: L8789

Code: PZ-E

Base: RAF Detling, Kent

Location: English Channel, off Folkestone

Pilot: P/O. Ronald Leach Buckley 84916 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed

Obs: Sgt. Cecil Henderson 755515 RAFVR Age 26. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Percival Eric James Neale 749451 RAFVR Age 19. Missing - believed killed


Weather for the country was described as cloudy all day, with a few bright intervals late in the morning.

During the day, enemy aircraft activity was centred over London, Kent, and Sussex and Portsmouth was attacked in the late afternoon. Our fighters destroyed 8 enemy aircraft, plus 7 probable and 9 damaged, our losses were 9 aircraft and 5 pilots.

Taking off at 11:40 hrs on an anti shipping strike in the English channel when they were intercepted by Me109’s and shot down.

A Royal Air Force High Speed Launch was sent to recover any survivors, but sadly all they found was a parachute and a flying jacket.

Burial details:

P/O. Ronald Leach Buckley. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England. Panel 7. Son of Vincent Milnes Buckley and Elsie Buckley, of Levenshulme, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. Cecil Henderson. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England. Panel 15. Son of Joseph Edward and Mary Ellen Henderson (née Proudfoot), of Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. Born on Thursday, the 06th November 1913.

Sgt. Percival Eric James Neale. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England. Panel 17. Son of William James Neale and Alice Neale, of Horfield, Gloucestershire, England.

Researched for Joan Jones niece of Cecil Henderson also to Alan Burchett for his assistance and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources quoted below.

KTY - 03.02.2016

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: 03 February 2016, 22:00