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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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404 Squadron Crest
26.05.1942 No. 404 Squadron Blenheim IV Z6245 EE-L Sq/Ldr. Philip H. Foster

Operation: North Stand Patrol (1)

Date: 26th May 1942 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 404 Squadron (RCAF - Coastal Command)

Type: Blenheim IV

Serial: Z6245 (Flin Flon Floosie - Flin Flon being where he lived prior to enlisting)

Code: EE-L

Base: RAF Dyce, Scotland

Location: Near Stavanger, Norway

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Philip Herbert Foster 87408 RAFVR Age 30. Killed (2)

Obs: P/O. Alfred Neil Briggs J/15116 RCAF Age 23. PoW No. 544 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria (L3) (4)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. John Murray Jamieson R/58352 RCAF Age 23. Killed (2)


After returning back from leave the day before, Sq/Ldr. Foster flew out of RAF Dyce in Scotland on a North Stand Patrol. They never returned and despite searches by five other aircraft no trace of the Blenheim or crew were found. (bodies dscovered later)

Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria (courtesy Bill Anderson) For notes on each - see end of page)

Rear Row: Don Macdonald (1), H.F. Purvis (2), G.W.H. Venables (3), Robert A. Anderson (4), J.S. Acheson (5), J.T. Glover (6), D.M. King (7), J. Plant (8), D. Witcher (9), K.A. Banks (10), H.P. Clark (11), E. Eggerton (12), A.B. Drummond-Hay (13), T.R. Kipp (14), J.W. Murphy (15). Centre Row: G.W.H. Groves (16), R.J. Teillet (17), G.J. Richardson (18), W. Hunter (19), L. Stevens (20), G.R. Large (21). Front Row: G.L. Sinclair (22), E.M. Sangster (23), A.N. Briggs (24), S.G. King (25), D.P. Thompson (26), T.E. Jackson (27), J.R. Beggs (28).

The following notes will perhaps explain why cuttings/photographs sent into us, create so much more further information for relatives - perhaps not even connected to the page of remembrance, but important for others searching for additional information on their lost ones:

(1) An operational patrol from Stavanger to Aandalsness

(2) Foster Rapids in the Dafoe Rapids was named after Sq/Ldr. Philip Herbert Foster in 1996.

(3) Jamieson Bay in Kitchie Lake was named after Fl/Sgt. John Murray Jamieson on 31st March 1995.

(4) P/O. (later F/O) Alfred Neil Briggs of 2 McMillan Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Born 22nd April 1916 - died 2nd September 2000.

(5) McPherson Point on Kasher Lake named after 25 year old, Sgt. John Roderick McPherson R/101638 RCAF in 1995. Serving with 113 Squadron when he was lost without trace on the 1st June 1942 during an anti-submarine patrol. Son of Mr and Mrs. Peter McPherson, husband of Maeve McPherson (née Renehan) of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Left: Sq/Ldr. Philip Herbert Foster with Flin Flon Floosie (courtesy Miraim Fenster)

(6) Scarth Lake south of Big Sand Lake was named after 21 year old, Sgt Arthur Scarth R/106002 RCAF in 1994. Attached to Ferry Command - lost some two hours after leaving Newfoundland to cross the Atlantic on 29th May 1942. Son of Bert and Minnie Scarth of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

(7) Community Of Charles railway point, north of Sherridon, Manitoba, Canada was named after 22 year old Fl/Sgt. John Hamilton Charles R/59571 RCAF in 1954. His father, Major John Leslie Charles DSO was the CNR Chief Engineer, the CNR proposed naming this railway point to his sons name. Serving with 61 Squadron when he was killed (with all crew - over 50 aircraft lost on this single operation from Bomber Command!) flying as rear gunner on Lancaster I R5561 during an operation to Cologne on the 31st May 1942. 

(8) Merle Atkinson Island in Neultin Lake, Manitoba, Canada was named after 20 year old, F/O. Merle William Atkinson J/8359 RCAF in 1995. Son of John Benjamin and Elizabeth Janet Atkinson of Hartney, Manitoba, Canada. Pilot with 76 Squadron, killed on the 01st October 1942 flying Halifax W7812 MP-B on an operation to Flensburg (all crew lost)

(9) Roddy Lake west of Tadpole Lake, Manitoba, Canada was named after 22 year old, Fl/Sgt. William George Roddy R/95149 RCAF in 1975. Son of George Jennings and Harriet Irene Roddy of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Observer with 156 Squadron, killed on the 07th July 1942. Flying on Wellington III X3345 during a ‘Gardening’ operation when they were shot down off Lorient France. (All crew lost)

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. Philip Herbert Foster (Fenster). Egersund Churchyard. Grave A.6.2. Further information: Son of Kadish and Rasha Fenster, of 294 Alfred Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (shown left). Originally from Brooksby, Saskatchewan, Canada. Whilst a student he also worked as an apprentice plumber, as a student he was not permitted to join the Union where others received five times as much. So, he disguised himself, grew as moustache, wore dark glassed and the joined as ‘Phil Foster’! When war broke out he applied to join the RCAF but entry was refused because of his age. He had private flying lessons in Trenton Ontario we understand and then paid his own fare to Britain and managed to convince the RAF to accept him. Understood to be the first chap from Manitoba to be accepted into the RCAF as a pilot under the Empire Training Plan.

Fl/Sgt. John Murray Jamieson. Egersund Churchyard. Grave A.6.3. Further information: Son of John James and Olive Jamieson (née Beek), of Gladstone, Manitoba, Canada. Husband of Hazel Jamieson (née Hudson) of Salmon Arm British Columbia, Canada. Then of Victoria, Canada. Born in Sceptre, Saskatchewan, moving to Ogilvie, Manitoba in 1920. Moved in 1937 to live with his Grandparents Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Beck of Salmon Arm, British Columbia for other work. During the 1930’s he worked assisting farmers that required extra help during harvest time. Joined the RCAF in the Spring of 1940 and married Hazel in 1941 prior to being posted overseas.

For further details our thanks to Miriam Fenster - niece of the pilot who contacted us in August 2015. Also some of the following sources shown below.

Notes on Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria photograph.

(1) P/O. Don MacDonald - sole survivor of 21 Squadron, Blenheim IV L9746. Shot down at St-Aubin-sur-Scie, France 11th June 1940. Story featured on our website. 

(2) P/O. H.F. Purvis - one of five taken PoW with the two rear gunners killed of 427 Squadron, Halifax III  LV968 ZL-L. Suffered severe icing with all loss of control crew forced to bale out. East of Saarbrucken 24/25th April 1944.

(3) F/O. G.W.H. Venables - one of three taken PoW, with four crew killed of 467 Squadron, Lancaster III DV240 PO-D. Shot down at Westum, 30/31st March 1944.

(4) P/O. Robert Anderson - one of two survivors taken PoW, with three missing, 2 killed of 420 Squadron, Halifax III LW692 PT-V. Hit by A/A fire, crashing at Scie River, Pourville, Dieppe, France 20/21st April 1944. Story featured on our website. 

(5) P/O. J.S. Acheson J/13840 - sole survivor, six crew killed of 408 Squadron, Halifax II HR654 EQ-R. Shot down at Grossolt, 29/30th March 1943. PoW number: 965.

(6) P/O. J.T. Glover - one of five survivors taken PoW of 102 Squadron Whitley V N1376 DY-O. Hit by A/A fire and abandoned over Holland on 19/20th May 1940.

(7) F/O. D.M. King - one of three survivors taken PoW, with four others killed of 431 Squadron, Halifax III LK842 SE-N. Shot down over Belgium, 27/28th April 1944.

(8) P/O. J. Plant - one of five survivors taken PoW of 58 Squadron Whitley V N1442 GE-N. Aircraft lost on operation to Essen 20/21st June 1940.

(9) Charles Witcher R/59027 854th Street, Brandon, Manitoba. Born 11th August 1918 Bethany, Manitoba Died January 18th 2008, in Vancouver.  No further details found.

(10) P/O. K.A. Banks J/22091 - one of three survivors taken PoW, four others killed of 15 Squadron, Stirling III EF427 LS-A. Hit by A/A fire and crashing at Mannheim, 30/31st July 1943.

(11) H.P. Clark (Bert) - No further details found.

(12) P/O. E. Eggertson J/10894 - one of six survivors taken PoW, one other killed of 405 Squadron, Halifax II W7763 LQ-C. Shot down and crashing at Prattenburg, Holland on 6/7th October 1942.

(13) P/O. A.B. Drummond-Hay J/21465 - one of two survivors taken PoW, three others killed of 429 Squadron Wellington X HF457. Shot down and crashing at Houthalen, Belgium on 22/23rd June 1943.

(14) Fl/Lt. Theodor Ross Kipp J/3514 - one of six survivors taken PoW of 405 Squadron Wellington II W5483 LQ-J. Lost on an operation to Berlin 02/03rd August 1941. Of 2 Roselyn Place, Winnipeg

(15) F/O. J.W. Murphy - one of five survivors taken PoW, three others killed of 10 Squadron, Halifax II W1058 ZA-S. Crashing at Duisdorf on 15/16th October 1942.

(16) W/O. G.W.H. Groves (Possibly) - one of four survivors taken PoW, two others killed of 12 Squadron Wellington Z8370 PH-Y. Shot down over Terschelling, Holland on 19/20th January 1942.

(17) P/O. Roger J. Teillet - one of five survivors taken PoW, two others killed of 35 Squadron, Halifax II W7765 TL-T. Shot down and crashing at St-Hilaire-au-Temple on 24/25th August 1942. Understood to have later served with Canadian government.

(18) F/O. W.G. Jim Richardson - one of three survivors taken PoW of 408 Squadron, Halifax II DT749 EQ-O. Shot down and crashing at Neumunster on 27/28th July 1943.

(19) W. Hunter - No details found.

(20) F/O. L. Stevens - one of two survivors taken PoW, five others killed of 97 Squadron, Lancaster III ND478 OF-Q. Shot down and crashing at Faborg on 15/16th February 1944.

(21) F/O. G.R. Large J/9688 - one of five survivors taken PoW, two others killed of 408 Squadron, Halifax II JB790 EQ-V. Shot down and crashing at Sellen on 12/13th June 1943. Featured on our website.

(22) F/O. George Leslie Sinclair D.F.C. - pilot 3 Squadron Typhoon Ib JP755, Shot down by A/A fire at Overflakkee, Netherlands, 4th October 1943

(23) P/O. D.S.M. Sangster - one of six survivors taken PoW, two others killed of 419 Squadron, Lancaster X KB711 VR-C. Shot down and crashing at Gent-Rabot on 01/02nd May 1944.

(24) P/O. A.N. Briggs J/15116 Born 22nd Apr 1916, Died 2nd September 2000. Observer Coastal Command - Only survivor from 404 Squadron Blenheim IV Z6245 EE-L. Featured in this page.

(25) P/O. S. Gordon King - one of two survivors taken PoW, three others killed of 11 O.T.U. Wellington Ic R1078 TX-Q. Shot down and crashed near Rheine on 25/26th June 1942.

(26) D.P. Thompson - No details found.

(27) T.E. Jackson J/16939 - one of seven survivors taken PoW, one being killed of 419 Squadron Halifax II JB912 VR-B, shot down crashed south west of Stettin on 20/21st April 1943.

(28) Sq/Ldr. J.R. Beggs J/4422 - one of six survivors taken PoW, one other killed of 428 Squadron Halifax V LK969 NA-G. Shot down and crashing over Frankfurt on 25/26th November 1943.

KTY 15.08.2015

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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