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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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107 Squadron Crest
12.05.1940. No. 107 Squadron Blenheim IV P4914 P/O. Keedwell

Operation: Maastricht

Date: 12th May 1940 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 107 Squadron

Type: Blenheim IV

Serial: P4914

Code: OM-?

Base: RAF Wattisham, Suffolk

Location: Near Voroux-Goreux, Belgium

Pilot: P/O. Osborne Harvey Keedwell 41427 RAF Age 26. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Leonard John Merritt 563345 RAF Age 27. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: AC.2. Leslie Askham Berridge 627034 RAF Age 22. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

On 12 May 1940 at 08:10 hrs, 12 Blenheims from the Squadron took off from RAF Wattisham for a raid on the Maastricht bridges, as the Wehrmacht advanced to cross the Meuse into Belgium.

On the 02nd November 1939 whilst with 101 Squadron, P/O. Osborne Keedwell escaped uninjured during a crash landing of Blenheim IV L4899 at West Raynham in Norfolk.

Understood to have crashed at 09:25 hrs near Voroux-Goreux either a victim of anti-aircraft fire or Bf109’s from 1./JGI and 2./JG27.

107 Squadron suffered heavily during this operation, the others lost:

Blenheim IV L8733 Flown by 24 year old P/O. Stanley George Thornton 41497 RAF from New South Wales, Australia - killed with all other crew.
Blenheim IV L8746 Flown by F/O. R.C. Rotherham evaded capture along with his observer, his air gunner taken PoW.
Blenheim IV P4905 Flown by 24 year old, F/O. William Henry Edwards DFC 40045 RAF taken PoW along with his observer, his air gunner was killed.

Burial details:

P/O. Osborne Harvey Keedwell. Voroux-Goreux Communal Cemetery. Collective grave. Son of Clarence Stanley and Elizabeth May Keedwell, of Levin, Wellington, New Zealand.

Sgt. Leonard John Merritt. Voroux-Goreux Communal Cemetery. Collective grave. Son of Leonard Cecil and Gladys Kate Merritt and husband of Gwendoline Mary Merritt of Warwicksire, England.

AC.2. Leslie Askham Berridge. Voroux-Goreux Communal Cemetery. Collective grave. Son of Charles Edward and Margery Elisabeth Berridge, of Cranford, Northamptonshire, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Bill Chorley and his updated Volume 1 of the BCL. Auckland Cenotaph and the Weekly News of New Zealand. Also to sources indicated below.

KTY - 22.08.2017

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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Last Modified: 22 August 2017, 15:32

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