07/08.11.1941 No 51 Squadron Whitley V Z9130 MH-F Sq/Ldr. Dickenson
Operation: Berlin, Germany
Date: 7/8th November 1941
Unit: No. 51 Squadron
Type: Whitley V
Location: North Sea
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Peter George Scott Dickenson 33238 RAF Age 25. Killed
Pilot No 2: Sgt. Brian S. Walley 1062112 RAF Age 18. PoW No: 80. Camp: Stalag Hohenfels Bavaria (383)
Nav: P/O. David Albert Simpson J/5309 RCAF Age 24. Killed
W/O: Sgt. Arthur Vincent Carpenter 984207 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Martin Chambers R/61802 RCAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 21.21hrs. from Dishforth, Yorkshire as part of a 169 strong force to attack Berlin. The weather was extremely bad with strong winds and icing conditions over the North Sea routes. Only 73 aircraft managed to reach the German capital and caused fairly minor damage on the city. Great losses to this force on the raid with 37 aircraft missing - 8 shot down by the German night fighters, the remainder by flak and the poor weather.
Z9130 was hit by flak before reaching the target area and set the port engine of fire although the fire extinguishers worked the aircraft was hitting the 80 knot + winds and the icy conditions prevented the pilot making it back to England.
They jettisoned the bomb load over Kiel and then started to throw out as much equipment as they could to assist with the return trip. All the crew were, at this stage alive and uninjured.
Sgt. Arthur Carpenter sent out a final fix on their position to assist in a rescue and they then hit the water and miraculously all except Sgt Walley were uninjured and all made it to the dingy. Sgt. Walley suffered a broken knee cap and cuts to both thighs. The sea was merciless with huge waves and very quickly the crew suffered from severe sea sickness.
During these storms Sgt. William Chambers and Sgt. Arthur Carpenter were washed over board and the remainder of the crew never even saw them go, such was the power of the waves. P/O David Simpson died during his sleep on the 2nd night in the dingy and the skipper Sq/Ldr. Peter Dickenson died the following afternoon.
Then a Heinkel 59 seaplane saw the dingy and landed - picking up Sgt. Walley and the bodies of the navigator and the skipper.
Sgt. Wally spent the remainder of the war in PoW camps after receiving excellent medical treatment, the two crew members who's bodies were recovered were given a full military funeral at a local cemetery.
During service with 19 OTU Sgt. Brian Walley from Denbigh, North Wales, qualified for membership of the Goldfish club whilst based in Kinloss, Scotland. Flying a Whitley it lost an engine on take off and the aircraft came down in Spey Bay at 02:35 hrs on the 27th July 1941. The pilot Fl/Sgt. Samson and all the crew of Whitley IV K9033 were rescued unharmed by RAF Air-Sea rescue launch after the crew took to the dingy, some 2 miles off the Moray coast.
Sgt. Brian S. Walley shown reading on the top bunk during his "stay" at Stalag VIIA, Mooseberg, Bavaria (Sage Publications)
(1) Chambers Lake in Saskatchewan is named after Sgt. Chambers
Left: Photo of grave for Sq/Ldr. Dickenson. Kindly taken for Aircrew Remembered by Bart Baeyens. We are happy on behalf of Bart, to send any relative a copy of the grave photograph - just drop us an email and we will be pleased to email a high resolution copy free of charge.
Sq/Ldr. Peter George Scott Dickenson. Sage War Cemetery. Grave 3.F.7. Son of George Edward and Iris Mary, husband of Cynthia Claire, of Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England. Grave inscription: 'In Proud Memory Of A Beloved Son, Husband And Father. Safe In God's Keeping'.
P/O. David Albert Simpson. Sage War Cemetery. Grave 3.F.6. Son of William Edward and Ethel Lillian, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Sgt. Arthur Vincent Carpenter. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Panel 40. Son of Arthur Herbert and Mabel Theresa, of Manchester, England.
Sgt. William Martin Chambers. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Panel 61. Son of William and Grace, of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
With thanks to RAF Ex prisoners Association (Australian division) and Sage Publishing for some of the information used. We are happy to provide viewers with details of how to obtain a copy of "Silk and Barbed Wire" publication.