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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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No 431 (Iroquois) Squadron
21/22.06.1943 No. 431 (Iroquois) Squadron Wellington X HF518 SE-J W/C. John Coverdale MiD

Operation: Krefeld, Germany

Date: 21/22 June 1943 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No 431 (Iroquois) Squadron

Type: Wellington X

Serial: HF518

Code: SE-J

Base: RAF Burn, North Yorkshire

Location: Lost without trace

Pilot: W/C. John Coverdale MiD 27048 RAF Age 37 Killed (1)

Nav: P/O George Charles William Parslow DFM 146687 RAFVR Age 21 Killed (2)

Air/Bmr: F/O John Brian Godfrey Bailey DFC 48551 RAF Age 22 Killed (3)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O2 Herman Stanley Fawns R/93489 RCAF Age 25 Killed (4)

Air/Gnr: F/O Bruce Samuel Fudge J/17663 RCAF Age 21 Killed (5)

REASON FOR LOSS:

Wellington HF518 took off at 23.33hrs from RAF Burn for an operation on Krefeld. One of 705 aircraft that took part in this operation. The visibility was extremely good that evening and the city was very heavily bombed. Much damaged was caused and many live lost with almost half of the city being burned out. Over 70,000 lost their homes. 44 aircraft were lost on this operation. Wellington HF518 may have been hit by flak or shot down by an enemy night fighter and was lost without trace

Wellington X aircraft and bomb damage to the city of Vernon

Burial details:

W/C. John Coverdale MiD. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 118. Son of John and Muriel Coverdale. Husband of Margaret Ailsa Coverdale (nee Crawford) of St. Andrews, Fife.

RAF Usworth, County Down

(1) John Coverdale's movements and promotions while serving with the Royal Air Force. 1928 - 25 May. RAF Depot, Uxbridge on appointment to short service commission. 1929 - 31 May No 36 Squadron, Bircham Newton, Norfolk. 1930 - 14 January Promoted to Flying Officer. 1932 - No 4 Flying Training School, Abu Sueir, Egypt. 1933 - Granted permanent commission in the rank of Flying Officer. 1934 - 21 May No 14 (B) Squadron, Amman, Palestine. 1934 - 11 August Promoted to Flight Lieutenant. 1936 - 20 January Air Observers School, North Coates Fitties, Lincolnshire. 1937 - 21 August Headquarters, No. 1 (Bomber) Group, Abington, Oxfordshire. 1938 - 1 August Promoted to Squadron Leader. 1938 - 8 August No 103 Squadron, RAF Usworth, County Down. 1938 - 22 August Assumed command of No. 103 Squadron, RAF Usworth, County Down. 1939 - 6 August Flying accident - Safe. No. 103 Squadron, RAF Benson, Oxfordshire. 1939 - 2 September No. 103 Squadron moved to Challerange, France. 1939 - 17 September Squadron Leader Coverdale led the first reconnaissance of the Franco-German frontier. 1940 - 1 December Promoted to Wing Commander. 1941 - Mentioned in Despatches. 1942 - 1 December Assumed command of No. 431 Squadron, RAF Burn. John Coverdale had been involved in a flying accident 6 August 1939 flying in Fairey Battle K9263. For further details click (here)

Naval Air Station, Grosse Ile, Michigan

P/O George Charles William Parslow DFM. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 132. Son of William James Parslow and Winifred Ada Parslow of Homefield Road, Wembley, Middlesex (2) George was born in London 1922 and commissioned as Pilot Officer 28 May 1943 George had completed part of his training in 1941 at the Naval Air Station, Grosse Ile, Michigan which was one of the largest flight training stations during WW II. At the time of his death his address was Endways Chess Close, Loudwater, near Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. George Charles William Parslow was awarded the DFM (Distinguished Flying Medal) for his gallantry displayed in flying operation against the enemy on the night 23/24 May 1943 as per London Gazette Tuesday 8 June 1943

Left: The citation for awards of Distinguished Flying Cross John Brian Godfrey Bailey and Distinguished Flying Medal George Charles William Parslow as per London Gazette 8 June 1943. Middle: Bruce Samuel Fudge Right: Runnymede Memorial, Surrey

F/O John Brian Godfrey Bailey DFC. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 123. Son of Brian Grierson Bailey and Gwendoline Bailey. Husband of Evelyn Bailey, of Grimsby, Lincolnshire (3) John Brian Godfrey Bailey was awarded the DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) for his gallantry displayed in flying operation against the enemy on the night 23/24 May 1943 as per London Gazette Tuesday 8 June 1943

Air Force Casualties: Herman Stanley Fawns and Bruce Samuel Fudge missing on active service (courtesy Globe and Mail July 31, 1943 - Canadian War Museum)

RCAF Station Fingal, Ontario

W/O2 Herman Stanley Fawns. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 180. Son of George Thomas Fawns and Una Beatrice Fawns of Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada. (4) Herman was born 30 October 1918 in Ontario and had completed part of his training at No 2 Air Navigation School, Pennfield Ridge, New Brunswick and gained his "Wing" at RCAF Station Fingal, Ontario on April 12, 1942 presented by Wing Commander A. J. Kennedy, commanding officer of the school

F/O Bruce Samuel Fudge. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 173. Son of Samuel and Lydia Fudge. Husband of Anne Marie Antoinette Fudge of Maida Vale, London (5) Bruce enlisted in the RCAF June 1940 and had completed part of his training in Canada, departing for the UK in June 1941. Posted to No 23 OTU (Operational Training Unit and joined No 431 Squadron 2 June 1943. Fudge Lake south of Nueltin Lake, Manitoba was named after Bruce in 1975

Researched by: Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew. National Archives AIR 27/1857/5 and 6

KT. Page added 20.12.2015

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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