21/22.12.1940 9 Squadron Vickers Wellington 1C L7799 WS-D Sgt. Harrison
Operation: Porto Marghera, Venice, Italy
Date: 21/22nd December 1940 (Saturday/Sunday)
Unit: 9 Squadron
Type: Vickers Wellington 1C
Base: RAF. Honington, Suffolk
Location: Lullington Court, near Alfriston, Sussex
Pilot: Sgt. Robert Norman Harrison. 741615. RAFVR Age ? Killed (1)
2nd Pilot: Sgt. James Frederick (Jimmy) Gapp. 745876. RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Nav/Obs: Sgt. Leslie William Nichols. 902486. RAFVR Age 32. Killed (2)
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Maurice Holker. 968318. RAFVR Age 19. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. William Riley. 966315. RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air Gnr: Sgt. John Docker. 938826. RAFVR Age 30. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Wellington L7799 took off from RAF Honington at 20.15hrs for an operation on the industrial area of Porto Marghera, Venice.
The aircraft was returning to its base at RAF Honington when it crashed at Lullington Court, SE of Alfreston, Sussex.
The cause of this accident is not known. The aircraft may have run out of fuel, been hit by flak or attacked by an enemy night fighter
(Above) Photograph of L7799 with a Code of WS-Y prior to it being change to WS-D.
(Courtesy of Mike Bull whose late grandfather was ground crew with 9 Squadron for a period of time. The image was amongst his possessions as a negative)
Vickers Wellington 1c
Sgt. R N Harrison (courtesy Iain MacFarlaine) Sgt. J Docker, Carlisle (Upperby) Cememtery (courtesy CWGC)
Sgt. J F Gapp and Sgt. L W Nichols (courtesy Geoffrey Gillon) Sgt. M Holker. Sgt. W Riley (courtesy Beverly Lewis)
Left: Sgt. Jimmy Gapp. Right: Sgt. Jimmy Gapp far right. Are you able to identify the other two airmen? (both courtesy of David Gapp)
Sgt. Robert Norman Harrison. Hendon Cemetery and Crematorium, London. Grave Ref: Sec. 1.9 Grave 50868. Son of Herbert Norman Harrison and Bertha Augusta Alice Harrison. (1) Born in 1917 Robert Norman Harrison was on his 21st flying operation with No. 9 Squadron when he lost his life. At the time of his death Robert's address was 5 Spencer Drive, Finchley, Middlesex
Sgt. James Frederick (Jimmy) Gapp. St. Mary Cray Cemetery, Kent. Grave Ref: Plot E. Div. 3. Grave 124. Son of George Percy and Mary Gapp of Le Havre, France
Sgt. Leslie William Nichols. Willesborough Cemetery, Kent. Grave Ref: Sec. T. Grave 2330. Son of John James William and Ellen Emma Nichols. Husband of Marjorie Nichols of Ashford, Kent. (2) At the time of his death Leslie's address was 319 Hythe Road, Ashford, Kent
Sgt. Maurice Holker Deane (St. Mary) Churchyard, Lancashire. Grave Ref: Sec. K. Grave 6X. Son of Edwin William and Elizabeth Holker of Bolton
Sgt. William Riley. Oystermouth Cemetery, Glamorgnshire. Grave Ref: Sec. M. Grave 188. Inscription: “To the memory of my brave son William till we meet again, Mother”. Son of William Riley and of Gertrude Mary Riley of Newton, Mumbles, Wales. Dedicated page at Mumbles War Memorials.
Sgt. John Docker's headstone (courtesy of Barry Docker)
Sgt. John Docker. Carlisle (Upperby) Cemetery, Cumberland. Grave Ref: Ward 5. Sec. A. Grave 17. Son of Frederick and Maggie Docker of Carlisle. Husband of Anne Docker of Aspatria
Researched by: Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew
Acknowledgements: With special thanks to Commonwealth War Graves Commission, National Archives Air 27/131 and Air 27/125, W. R. Chorley - Bomber Command Losses 1939-1940 including Prewar Losses July 1939-September 1939, Imperial War Museum, Beverly Lewis, Peter Lucas, Iain MacFarlaine and Barry Docker. Also to David Gapp, the nephew of Jimmy Gapp who contacted us in December 2016. Thanks to John Powell for the link to the Mumbles War Memorial for Sgt. W Riley.