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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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247 crest
08th August 1944 247 Squadron Typhoon Ib JP792 P/O. Hemmings MiD

Operation: Tank attack

Date: 08th August 1944 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 247 Squadron (motto: 'Rise from the East')124 Wing. 83 Group. 2nd Tactical Air Force

Type: Typhoon Ib

Serial: JP792

Code: ZY- O

Base: B6. Coulombs, France

Location: Soumont-St-Quentin

Pilot: P/O. Robert Blakeman Hemmings MiD. NZ/421712 RNZAF Age 22. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off with 7 others at 15:45 hrs on a rocket projectile strike against a tank convoy on a road between Caen and Falaise.

On firing his rockets P/O. Hemmings was caught by a burst of flak. JP792 broke away to port, rolled over and exploded when it hit the ground.

Burial and personal details:

Initially buried at crash scene - reinterred after ending of hostilities.

P/O. Robert Blakeman Hemmings MiD. Ranville War Cemetery. Grave V.F.1. Born on the 12th November 1922 at Invercargill . Prior to service worked as a garage store man for A. Russell and Company. Enlisted on the 08th March 1942. Awarded pilots badge and promoted to sergeant on the 19th December 1942. Commissioned on the 11th July 1944. Son of Leonard William Hemmings and of Mabel Agnes Hemmings (née Wright), of Invercargill, New Zealand. A total of 509 flying hours logged.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 05-03-2021

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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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 29 April 2021, 15:46

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