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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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7 squadron crest
25/26.08.1944 No. 7 Squadron Lancaster III NE123 MG-J Sq/Ldr. Ralph C. Chopping

Operation: Brest

Date: 25/26th August 1944 ((Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 7 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: NE123

Code: MG-J

Base: RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire

Location: Exact location unknown, English Channel/Celtic Sea

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Ralph Campbell Chopping DFC 70126 RAFVR Age 29. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Arthur John Cherry 1852728 RAFVR Age 19. Missing - believed killed

Nav: F/O. William Thomas Bolt 155377 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Roy Hensman Munsey 153903 RAFVR Age 24. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. William Ross 1354012 RAFVR Age 24. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Hugh Stenhouse AUS/430067 RAAF Age 31. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: F/O. Chester Joseph Francis Marchand 158046 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed


Page republished on the 25th August 2016 at the request of relatives - this being the 72nd anniversary of the loss of this crew.


REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire at 22:24 hrs to illuminate 2 of 8 coastal battery positions at Brest assisting an attack by American bombers. It is understood that they succeeded in their tasks.

334 aircraft (4 from 7 Squadron) taking part with most of the bombing reported to be very accurate.

Two aircraft were lost on this operation the other, Halifax III MZ658 SE-E from 431 Squadron flown by F/O. Harrison of the RCAF ran out of fuel and abandoned in Northumberland on return. All the crew survived baling out.

Lancaster III NE123 was lost without trace over the English Channel/Celtic Sea, no nightfighter claims for this aircraft so it could be assumed that it was lost due to anti-aircraft fire from the ground..

Note: NE123 was delivered to 7 Squadron on the 7th May 1944.


Right: Sq/Ldr. Chopping DFC (courtesy John Chopping)

Above: Runnymede Memorial panels (archives)

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. Ralph Campbell Chopping. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 200. Son of Wasey and Amy Mina Chopping, of Colchester, Essex, England.

Sgt. Arthur John Cherry. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 227. Son of William Arthur and Edith Caroline Cherry, of Crediton, Devon, England.

F/O. William Thomas Bolt. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 204. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

F/O. Roy Hensman Munsey. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 208. Son of Ernest Hensman Munsey and Amy Louisa Munsey, of New Barnet, Hertfordshire, husband of Margaret Sonneva M. Munsey.

Fl/Sgt. William Ross. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 222. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Fl/Sgt. Hugh Stenhouse. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 261. Son of Alexander Fisher Stenhouse and Lucy Stenhouse, husband of Christina McInnes Stenhouse, of Camberwell, Victoria, Australia.

F/O. Chester Joseph Francis Marchand. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 207. From British Honduras. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Left: F/O. Marchand (courtesy Carribean Aircrew)


Researched and dedicated to John Chopping and the relatives of this crew, with thanks to Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Caribbean Aircrew of WW2, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Aircrew Remembered own Archives.


Left: Some sources used to compile information - Bomber Command Losses and Nightfighter War Diaries - available from Amazon and all good book sellers.

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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