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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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37
20/21st February 1942 37 Squadron Wellington IC HF847 Fl/Sgt. Jenner

Operation: Palerno, Sicily

Date: 20/21st February 1942 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 37 Squadron. 231 Wing, 205 Group (motto: 'Wise without eyes')

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: HF847

Code: LF-?

Base: Gardabia East, Libya

Location: Bancacio, Sicily

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Albert John Jenner NZ/41334 RNZAF Age 26. Missing - believed killed

Pilot: Sgt. Thomas Edmund Thompson 656636 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Obs: Fl/Sgt. Warwick Hilson Beaver 1027038 RAFVR Age 28. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Philip Duffy 1359994 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. Norman Smith Forrester Aus/405011 RAAF Age 33. Killed

Air/Gnr: W/O 2. Edward Francis Fournier R/98467 RCAF Age 23. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 20:30 hrs with 45 others from various squadrons to bomb shipping in Palermo harbour. Almost immediately a recall message was transmitted due to bad weather conditions. HF847 never received it and continued to the target.

When over the target they were hit by flak and crashed at Brancacio. The Wellington exploded so violently only the two air gunners bodies were recovered.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Albert John Jenner. Alamein Memorial. Column 278. Born on the 05th May 1916 at Auckland. Worked as a steel metal worker for Hardy's Ltd at Newmarket prior to service. Enlisted at Levin on the 19th January 1941. Son of Frank Louis and Cora Jenner (née Gemming) and husband of Alma Joyce Jenner (née Clark later Harper), of Ellerslie, Auckland, New Zealand.

Sgt. Thomas Edmund Thompson. Alamein Memorial. Column 272. Son of Daniel R. and Jessie Thompson, of Keswick, Cumberland. Brother of 20 year old, Kenneth Thompson 14322744 killed 23rd July 1944, whilst with Royal Corps of Signals, 6th Airborne Division in Normandy, France.

Fl/Sgt. Warwick Hilson Beaver. Alamein Memorial. Column 269. Son of John Harry and Gwendolen Beaver (nee Hayward) and husband of Eileen Stella Susan Beaver, (nee Wratten) of Polperro, Cornwall. England.

Sgt. John Philip Duffy. Alamein Memorial. Column 270. Son of John and Teresa Mary Duffy, of Harborne, Birmingham, England.

W/O. Norman Smith Forrester. Catania War Cemetery, Sicily. Grave I.K.34. Born on the 01st July 1909 at Singleton, New South Wales. A Chartered Accountant. Son of Andrew Cooper Forrester and Ada Alice Forrester, of Manly, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription: 'The Supreme Sacrifice',

W/O 2. Edward Francis Fournier. Catania War Cemetery, Sicily. Grave I.K.33. Born on the 02nd June 1920 at Detroit, Michigan. Enlisted at Windsor, Ontario on the 07th June 1941. Son of Francis Joseph and Felicia M. Fournier, of 3315 Clark Street, Wayne, Michigan, USA. Grave inscription: 'May His Brave Soul Rest In Peace'.

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

KTY 16-11-2021

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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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