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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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61 Squadron Crest
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

Serial: P4344

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.

Burial details:

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.

MB 03.10.2015

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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