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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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9 squadron crest
09/10.03.1942 No. 9 Squadron Wellington III X3643 Sgt. Cartwright

Operation: Essen

Date: 9/10th March 1942 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 9 Squadron

Type: Wellington III

Serial: X3643

Code: WS-?

Base: RAF Honington, Norfolk

Location: Harleston, Norfolk

Pilot: Sgt. James Cartwright 1110531 RAFVR Age 26. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. John Andrew Rogers 1365260 RAFVR Age 26. Killed (1)

Obs: W/O. Terence De Valera Dignan 581147 RAF Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Hunter Errington 1063724 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Albert Edward Singerton 647330 RAF 647330 Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. David Stanley Nicholas 534052 RAF 534052 Age 27. Killed


Took off at 20:08 hrs from RAF Honington, Norfolk to join 186 aircraft to bomb Essen for the second consecutive night of bombing by the RAF. 

Bomber Command also attacked the city again the following night. 

The raid itself was not classed as a major success with unexpected cloud obscuring the target. 62 crews reported to have bombed the target and 35 crews bombing alternative targets. Reports from Essen reveal that only 2 bombs fell on an industrial target (the Krupps factory) and 1 house was destroyed and another badly damaged during the raid. 

5 Germans were killed on the groins and 10 others injured, a Polish worker was also killed on the ground.


W/O. Terence De Valera Dignan (courtesy Martin Dignan)

The RAF however lost 6 aircraft on this raid, with the loss of life amounting to 27 aircrew, 2 injured and a further 3 being made Prisoners of War.

The crew of Wellington X3643 started to experience severe engine problems and decided to return to Honington. 

On route back to the base control was lost of the aircraft and it crashed at 21.22 hrs. at Harleston, south of Norwich - the aircraft burst into flames and all crew members were killed.

(1) Sgt. John Andrew Rogers lost his brother on the 31st March 1941. Flying Blenheim IV R3900 with 21 Squadron P/O. Denis Rogers was shot down by Flak off Texel during an anti-shipping patrol together with another Blenheim R3884 from the same Squadron flown by Sgt. Peter Adams.


Honington Church above with grave of W/O. Terence De Valera Dignan below

Burial details:

Sgt. James Cartwright. Stockport Crematorium Panel 3. Son of James William and Annie Cartwright, of Stockport, Cheshire, England.

Sgt. John Andrew Rogers. Chopwell (St. John) Churchyard. South of Chancel. Son of George Austin Septimus Rogers and Beatrice Rogers, of Chopwell, County Durham, England.

W/O. Terence De Valera Dignan. Honington (All Saints) Churchyard, Suffolk. Row D. Grave 11. Son of Patrick James Dignan and Rose Dignan, of West Derby, Liverpool, Merseyside, England.

Sgt. Thomas Hunter Errington. South Shields (Harton) Cemetery Sec T. Grave 9274A. Son of Ralph Pattison Errington, and Elizabeth Errington, of South Shields, County Durham, England.

Sgt. Albert Edward Singerton. Barking (Rippleside) Cemetery. Sec E. Grave 668. Son of Harold George and Edith Singerton: husband of Gladys Ruby Singerton, of Barking, Essex, England.

Sgt. David Stanley Nicholas. Rhondda )Trealaw Cemetery Plot X. Cons. Grave 20. Son of Henry and Elizabeth Nicholas, of Trealaw, Wales.

Researched for Martin Dignan, nephew of W/O. Terence De Valera Dignan and for all relatives of the other crew members. With thanks to the following: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Nol 3', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt 'Bomber Command War Diaries', the C.W.G.C

KTY 06.11.2015 - Serial number of R3900 corrected - courtesy Jack Brook

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 (both 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', 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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