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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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248 squadron badge
10.06.1944 248 Squadron Mosquito FBVI HR117 Flt.Lt. Jeffreys DFC Loss of crew

Operation: U-Boat Patrol

Date: 10th June 1944 (Saturday)

Unit: 248 Squadron (Coastal Command)

Type: Mosquito FBVI

Serial: HR117

Base: RAF Portreath

Location: Ushant, Island off France.

Pilot: Flt.Lt. Edmund Henry Jeffreys DFC 116717 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

Navigator: Fg.Off. Dudley Albert Burden 144193 RAFVR Age 25. Missing - believed killed

We are pleased that the family of Fg.Off. Burden have made contact with us in December 2013. The family donated a selection of items to the Norfolk and Suffolk Museum, Flixton (see links) We hope to have further information to add to this remembrance page.


During attacks on U-821 by 4 mosquitoes these aircraft used so much force off Ushant that the crew abandoned ship! The U-Boat was then sank by a Liberator V from 206 Sqn at 11:45 hrs.

Later on that afternoon a follow up strike was called in, the motor launch that picked up the survivors of the U-821 crew fired on Mosquito HR117, shooting it down. The launch was then quickly sank by the mollins canons from the other Mosquitoes. 50 people were killed with a single person surviving.

Jacques Huitric has made a first dive on the wreck of U-821 which lies at a depth of 110 metres to the west of Usant island. Photographs of the wreck can be seen here.

Left: Memorial near the crash site (courtesy Roland Grard)

Right: Michel Guillot, a local eye witness to the Mosquito crash, who, then aged 16, lived in the area.

After the war Michael had to leave the Island returning to the mainland for work. When he retired in 2002 he returned to his home. He has never forgotten this event on that Saturday and decided to honour this crew with this memorial. He approached the Ministry of Defence for permission and approval, after this was granted, he commissioned the memorial shown. Since 2006 this has been placed in the cemetery of Ouessant. (Courtesy Jean-Claude Langevin)

Above: Navigator Fg.Off. Dudley Burden and right, presentation made at the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum (courtesy Allan Beesley)

LAC Burden 1st left, during initial training in 1941 (courtesy Allan Beesley)

View of the crash site (courtesy Jean-Claude Langevin

LR347 flown by Flt.Lt S.G. Nunn on this attack, seen here a few weeks later returning from another strike on 16th July 1944 with port engine feathered and tail hit by flak, the aircraft crash landed back at Portreath.

Strafing against a "U" Boat and right the commander, Oblt. Ulrich Knackfuss U-821

Memorial to Flt.Lt. Edmund Henry Jeffreys DFC and others from his family (courtesy of Geoffrey R. Gillon) This family memorial stands in the parish Church of the Beheading of St John the Baptist at Doddington, Kent.

Flt.Lt. Jeffreys' DFC gazetted on the 16th February 1943. Citation reads:

Fg.Off Edmund Henry JEFFREYS (116717), RAFVR and Fg.Off. Robert Augustine IRVING (119447), RAFVR of 236 Sqn.
In January, 1943, Flying Officers Jeffreys and Irving were pilot and navigator respectively of an aircraft engaged on a shipping reconnaissance over enemy waters. In spite of adverse weather, success was achieved and valuable information obtained. Throughout the flight both these officers displayed great skill and determination. On a further 2 sorties later in the month they displayed great fortitude and devotion to duty.

Burial Details.

Flt.Lt. Edmund Henry Jeffreys DFC Runnymede War Memorial. Panel 202. Son of Captain Robin Edmund Jeffreys, Royal Navy DSC, and Marjorie Ellenwood Jeffreys, of Great Chesterford, Essex. Brother, Lt. John Darwell Jeffreys also served. Killed 16th August 1943 (although family memorial states 1942?) whilst serving with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers/No. 2. Commando Unit age just 23. Buried at the Catania War Cemetery in Sicily. (Grave I.D.21)

Fg.Off. Dudley Albert Burden. Runnymede War Memorial. Panel 202. Son of Elsie Burden, of 37 Bethell Avenue, Canning Town, London, E16, moving later to 54 Waterhall Ave. London E4, England. (Home of her sister)

With many thanks to Roland Grard for photographs of the memorial near the crash site. Thanks to Allan Beesley for information and photographs of the navigator, Fg.Off. Burden was his Uncle. With further information and location photographs from Jean-Claude Langevin and Michel Guillot. Thanks also to Geoffrey R. Gillon for the use of the family memorial photographs taken at St John the Baptist Church, Doddington, Kent. Also, well with the visit, the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum.

RS 02.03.2020 - Editorial update and link to wreck of U-821 wreck photographs

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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: 27 March 2021, 11:32

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