12.05.1940 No. 15 Squadron Blenheim IV P6912 LS-O P/O. Frankish
Operation: Maastricht - Bridges
Date: 12th May 1940 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 15 Squadron (2 Group)
Type: Blenheim MkIV
Base: RAF Alconbury, Huntingdonshire
Location: Kattevennen, Genk, Belgium
Pilot: P/O. Claude Randolph Frankish 40616 RAFVR Age 25. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Edwin George Roberts 563483 RAF Age 26. Killed
Air/Gnr: LAC. Ernest William Laurie Cooper 539921 RAF Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Alconbury in Huntingdonshire at 07:50 hrs to attack the bridges at Maastricht to slow down the rapidly advancing German army. Targets had to include housing in order to block roads, but the operation was a disaster for the Squadron losing some 6 aircraft.
Blenheim IV P6914 Flown by 27 year old, Sgt. Hubert Ronald Hall 564340 RAF from Suffolk, England - killed with all of his 2 other crew.
Blenheim IV P6911 Flown by 25 year old, F/O. Albert Edward Oakley 36132 RAF from NSW, Australia - killed with all of his 2 other crew.
Blenheim IV N6151 Flown by Sgt. F.R. Pepper 565103 RAF taken PoW with all of his 2 other crew.
Blenheim IV L8849 Flown by F/O. Peter Norman Douglass 39933 RAF - killed with his observer, air gunner taken PoW.
Blenheim IV L8847 Flown by 22 year old, F/O. Thomas George Bassett 40781 RAF from Auckland, New Zealand - killed with all of his 2 other crew.
Thought to have been shot down by Flak at about 09:15 hrs.
Crew initially buried near Diepenbek - reinterred later at Leopoldsburg.
P/O. Claude Randolph Frankish. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. Grave: VII.A.14. Son of Ernest Hay Frankish and Florence Mary Frankish, of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand and husband of Marjorie Frankish.
Sgt. Edwin George Roberts. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. Grave: VII.A.13. Son of Edwin Frank and Florence Roberts, of Christchurch, Hampshire and husband of Eva Ellen Roberts. Grave inscription reads: “Until We Meet, Rest In Peace, My Son”
LAC. Ernest William Laurie Cooper. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. Grave: VII.A.12. Son of William Laurie Cooper, and of Ethel May Cooper, of Bedminster Down, Bristol. Grave inscription reads: “The Sacrifice, May It Never Be Forgotten”.
Researched for Aircrew Remembered by Michel Beckers - October 2017. With thanks to Monique Krivitzki via Dirk Thielens for some of crash photos, Des Philippet for grave photos with remainder from the collection of Michel Beckers.