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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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410 Squadron Crest
16.03.1942 No. 410 Squadron Defiant I V1183 P/O. Ion B. Constant

Operation: Air test

Date: 16th March 1942

Unit: No. 410 Squadron (RCAF)

Type: Boulton Paul Defiant I

Serial: V1183

Base: RAF Drem

Location: Dissington Hall, Stamfordham, Northumberland

Pilot: P/O. Ion Brancovan Constant 115407 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. William John Lewis 115728 RAFVR Age ? Killed


Taking off on a night flight test flight when, during unauthorised low flying crashed after a high speed stall. Both the crew killed when the Defiant hit the grounds of Dissington Hall

Above: Area of accident with insert P/O. Ion Constant (courtesy Sherborne School archives)

Left: Sherborne School, Dorset - Any further information that you are able to assist them with fallen former pupils from all wars, we would be pleased to pass onto them. 

Burial details:

P/O. Ion Brancovan Constant. Esther Cemetery (Cobham). Class C. Grave 1729. Further information (courtesy Sherborne School Archives): Born in 1920. Son of Marin B. Constant, M.C, and Cicely Brancovan Constant, of Fontridge, Broad Highway, Cobham, Surrey. Attended Sherborne School (Harper House) 1933-1938; 6th form. Peterhouse, Cambridge, B.A. Obituary in 'The Shirburnian', December 1944: 'I.B. Constant was the younger of two brothers in Harper House. On leaving he went to St. John's College, Cambridge, but when war broke out, he joined the RAF. After a period as a sergeant-pilot, he was given a commission and joined a night-fighter squadron in the North of England. He was killed in action in March 1942. At School he was often in some sort of a scrape, and without doubt it was this love of adventure that took him into night-fighters in the early days of the blitzes.'

P/O. William John Lewis. Aberdeen Cemetery (Springbank) Sec T. Grave 192. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew. With thanks to Sherborne School Archives for additional information. Other sources as 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: 25 February 2015, 01:40

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