08/09.10.1940 No. 58 Squadron Whitley V T4137 GE-K P/O. Ronald A. Hadley
Operation: Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Date: 08/09th October 1940 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: No. 58 Squadron (4 Group)
Type: Whitley V
Base: RAF Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, England
Location: North of Docking, Norfolk, England.
Pilot: P/O. Ronald Arnold Hadley 79511 RAFVR Age 20. Killed (1)
Pilot 2: Sgt. Charles Austin Wright 740280 RAFVR Age 27. Killed
Obs: P/O. Richard Arthur Phillips 79756 RAFVR Age 27. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Munro Ramsay 533261 RAF Age 21. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Edgar Hall 900575 RAFVR Age 26. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Linton-on-Ouse in Yorkshire at 18:25 hrs on an operation to attack the synthetic oil production works at Gelsenkirchen in Germany. During this night 108 aircraft were sent to bomb various targets in Germany and Holland including an operation by 17 Hampden aircraft to bomb the Tirpitz which was in dry dock at Wilhemshaven.
The operation that T4137 had been involved in has been described as successful although no reports are available to us. During the return flight the port engine caught fire at 00:23 hrs. Although the crew managed to put out the fire they had decided that an emergency landing was in order with the pilot deciding to land at the closest airfield at RAF Bircham Newton airfield in Norfolk.
During this procedure the aircraft crashed at 01:15 hrs to the north of the airfield at Docking - sadly the Whitley caught fire with the loss of all 5 crew members.
(1) The brother of P/O. Hadley was also serving with the same squadron. His aircraft also crashed he, with all the crew were made PoW. See Whitley V T4134 GE-T 10/11th September 1940 for full story.
Above Right: As described. Sgt. George Hall is shown here in the uniform of the Fleet Air Arm - his family explained that he had later transferred to the RAFVR.
P/O. Ronald Arnold Hadley. Great Bircham Churchyard (St. Mary) Plot 1. Row 1. Grave 10. Son of Arnold Harold and Lilian Kate Hadley (née Kjar), of 181 Mackay Street,Thames, Auckland, New Zealand. Flying time logged: 375 hours his 15th operation.
Sgt. Charles Austin Wright. Kettering Cemetery (London Road). Grave 4213. From Kettering Northamptonshire, England. No further details - are you able to assist?
P/O. Richard Arthur Phillips. South church Churchyard (Holy Trinity). South of Church. Son of Richard Arthur and Margaret Bain Phillips, Southend-on-Sea, husband of Ruth Phillips, of of 20 Manners Way, Southend-on-Sea, England.
Sgt. James Munro Ramsay. Nottingham Cemetery. Sec. D. Grave 434. Son of Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Ramsay, husband of Irene Ramsay, of Bedminster, Bristol, England.
Sgt. George Edgar Hall. Mortlake Cemetery. Plot 4. Sec. C. Grave 149. Only son of Mrs. Millicent Hall, of Shepherd's Bush, London, England.
With thanks to photographs of P/O. Trevor Harold Hadley sent to us and used with permission from Julia Hadley, New Zealand - August 2016. Thanks also to ColinA for grave photo of Sgt Wright. Scots Heat for grave photo of P/O. Phillips. Mark Hayes contacted us in 2018 with a photo and the Grave image of his relative, George Edgar Hall. For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.