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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
03.05.1940 No. 53 Squadron Blenheim IV L9329 TE-L P/O. John L.G. Butterworth

Operation: Reconnaissance

Date: 03rd May 1940 (Friday)

Unit: No. 53 Squadron

Type: Blenheim IV

Serial: L9329

Code: TE-L

Base: Metz Airfield, France

Location: Hornisgrinde, Germany

Pilot: P/O. John Leslie Gilbert Butterworth 40798 RAF Age 21. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Maurice George Arthur Pearce 565936 RAF Age 24. Killed (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: AC2. Robert Arthur Wood 624992 RAF Age ? Killed


Took off from airfield at Metz at 20.30 hrs on a reconnaissance sortie over the Ruhr.

The Blenheim failed to return and is understood to have been shot down near Hornisgrinde, Germany at around 21:00 hrs killing all three crew.

We understand that German locals have erected a memorial to this crew in 2006 in the village of Seebach, where they were originally buried and also at the crash site on the hill at Hornisgrinde .

(1) The family of Sgt. Maurice Pearce lost another son, 22 year old Cpl. Ronald William Pearce 575901 RAF. Whilst with 461 Squadron Sunderland V PP116 During take off from Milford Haven aircraft started to swing and in the swell started to Porpoise and nosed into the sea. Only casualty.

Researched for the Wimbledon College Roll Of Honour - Aircrew Remembered have offered to provide basic information for the school records. P/O. John Butterworth had been a former pupil.

Burial details:

Originally buried in Seebach - reinterred after war end.

P/O. John Leslie Gilbert Butterworth. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.20. Son of Joseph Leonard and Cicely Ellen Butterworth, of Ewell, Surrey.

Sgt. Maurice George Arthur Pearce. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.21. Son of Arthur and Florence Ellen Pearce, of Botesdale, Suffolk, husband of Kathleen Marjorie Blackwell Pearce.

AC2. Robert Arthur Wood. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.19. No further details, are you able to assist?


Cpl. Ronald William Pearce. Redgrave Churchyard (St. Mary) Husband of Cavell Lorraine Pearce, of Black's Harbour, Charlotte Co., New Brunswick, Canada. Parents as shown above.

Researched for the Wimbledon College Roll Of Honour. For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.

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: 14 June 2015, 16:07

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