20/21.07.1940 61 Squadron Hampden I P4344 P/O. Kenneth Jones DFC.
Operation: Wilhelmshaven, Germany
Date: 20/21st July 1940 (Saturday/Sunday)
Unit: No. 61 squadron
Type: Hampden MkI
Code: QR-Q (?)
Base: RAF Hemswell
Location: Irmenhof near Jever Aerodrome Germany
Pilot: P/O. Kenneth Jones DFC 40714 RAF PoW No: 124 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria (1)
Obs: Sgt. George Anthony Wright DFM 580504 RAF Injured PoW No: 314 Stalag Kopernikus (2)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. R. Bonson DFM 635808 RAF PoW No: 169 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. D.D. Cain DFM RAF Injured - PoW (2)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Thought to have been on an operation to attack the Admiral Scheer at Wilhelmshaven when it was hit by flak and crashed near Jever airfield. The pilot pulled the crew from the wreckage before being taken to the Officers mess at the airfield where he immediately tried to escape through a toilet window. All the crew were sent to PoW camps.
The squadron lost two other aircraft on the same operation:
Hampden I P4343 - Flown by P/O. D.H. Davis 43146 RAF, taken PoW, the other 3 crew killed after being hit by flak and crashing into the Grosser Haven at Wilhelshaven.
Hampden I P4358 - Flown by P/O. A.H. Gould 40692 RAF, taken PoW with all his crew.
(1) On the 14th October 1939 P/O. Jones had landed Hampden I P1170 at RAF Doncaster. Unbeknown to him he parked it on a bed of cinders which were still very much alight beneath the surface. Later the aircraft caught fire and was destroyed. (information courtesy of Jim Sheffield and Bill Chorley)
(2) Sgt. Cain was admitted with Sgt. Wright to the German Navy hospital in Wilhelmshaven with both remaining there being treated for some 6 months. Sgt. Cain was repatriated in 1944.
None - all survived. The pilot, P/O. Kenneth Jones DFC. MiD. retired from the RAF in January1958 as Sq/Ldr.
Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered in October 2015, with photographs from his own collection.