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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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Our only wish is to honour and respect sacrifices made and to record historical facts: but if in so doing any of our content is inadvertently inappropriate, please contact us via Helpdesk and we will correct the matter.

No. 58 Squadron Crest
24.09.1940 No. 58 Squadron Whitley V N1470 GE-J Sgt. Herbert Cornish

Operation: Berlin

Date: 24 September 1940 (Tuesday)

Unit: 58 Squadron - Motto: "Alis nocturnis" ("On the wings of the night").

Badge: On a branch an owl. By the authority of King George VI, September 1937.

Type: Whitley V

Serial: N1470

Code: GE-J

Base: RAF Linton-on-Ouse, North Riding of Yorkshire

Location: Youlton, Hambleton, North Riding of Yorkshire.

Pilot: Sgt. Herbert Cornish 580050 RAF Age 20 - Killed

2nd Pilot: P/O. Arnold Irwin Watterson RAF (Canada) 41638 RAF Age 23 - Killed

Obs: Sgt. Leslie Hambleton Taylor 581192 RAF Age 19 - Killed

W/Op: Sgt. Fowlie - Injured

Air/Gnr: Sgt.John William Chamberlain 651713 RAF - Injured


Took off at 20:59 on a mission to bomb Berlin. The aircraft failed to become properly airborne and crashed just beyond the airfield's northern boundary at Youlton just before 21:00 hours. A fire broke out and this led to the bomb load exploding.

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(1) Sgt. Herbert Cornish - Nothing further know, if you can help please contact the helpdesk

(2) F/O. Arnold Irwin Watterson was born 7 February 1917 the son of Mr and Mrs E J Watterson of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He enlisted in the RAF 21 October 1938.

Acting Pilot Officer on probation graded as Pilot Officer on probation with effect from 3 September 1939 (London Gazette 10 October 1939). He was confirmed in this appointment with effect from 21 October 1939 with seniority of 31 October 1939 (London Gazette 14 November 1939) and promoted to Flying Officer with effect from 3 September 1940 (London Gazette 12 November 1940

The above newspaper photograph and editorials from the Ottawa Citizen - Courtesy David Archer -Operation Picture Me

(3) Sgt. Leslie Hambleton Taylor was born 24 April 1921 son of Harold Arthur and Phillis Taylor, of Whatton-in-the-Vale. His father was a Curtain Manufacturer and the family lived at 113 Selby Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham.

Leslie Taylor was admitted to Nottingham High School on 20 January 1936 aged 14 and left on 15 November 1937. He was a member of the Officer Training Corps and passed the OTC Certificate A in 1937. (Courtesy Nottingham High School Archives)

He is commemorated on the Nottingham High School War Memorial and on the War Memorial at the Parish Church of Saint John of Beverley, Whatton-in-the-Vale, Nottinghamshire.

(4) Sgt. Fowlie. This may have been Sgt. R.D. Fowlie (possibly 568834). An AC1 R.D. Fowlie was an air gunner in the crew of Whitley III K8965 of 58 Sqn Piloted by Sgt. A.G.E. Dixon other crew members were F/O B.W. Currie- 2nd Pilot,Sgt J.S. Cameron - Navigator, AC1 J. Thomas - Gunner. Crashed on take off from

Reims-Champagne aerodrome (Marne) France at 0055 hrs on a leaflet dropping operation. Somewhat coincidentally the aircraft burst into flames but in this case all the crew escaped with only minor abrasions.

On 12th October Sgt R Fowlie was posted to 19 OTU at Kinloss.

If you have any other information about this RAF member please contact our helpdesk.

(5) Sgt.John William Chamberlain was the son of Caroline Chamberlain, of Croydon, Surrey.

He was killed on 23 December 1940 whilst a crew member of Whitley V T4159 when the aircraft crashed into the sea of Torbay. His bodywas not recovered and he is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial Panel 12. To read our Archive Report of this loss see


Sgt. Herbert Cornish was buried at St. Wilfrid's Churchyard, Standish, Wigan, Lancashire. New Ground. Grave 177

P/O. Arnold Irwin Watterson was cremated at Harrogate Crematorium, North Riding of Yorkshire

Sgt. Leslie Hambleton Taylor was buried at Nottingham (Southern) Cemetery - Section H.17. Grave 66

Left: Commemorative plaque at Harrogate Crematorium showing the name of F/O. A.I. Watterson

Researched by Aircrew Remembered researcher Roy Wilcock for Nottingham High School and all the relatives and friends of the members of this crew - June 2016

With thanks to the sources quoted below.

RW 14.06.2016

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, 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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Last Modified: 03 July 2016, 16:33

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