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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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514 Squadron crest
15/16.06.1944 No. 514 Squadron Lancaster II LL690 JI-J P/O. Ernest A. Kingham

Operation: Valenciennes

Date: 15/16th June 1944 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 514 Squadron 

Type: Lancaster II

Serial: LL690  

Code: JI-J  

Base: RAF Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire.

Location: Iwuy, 7 miles North East Cambrai, France

Pilot: P/O. Ernest Arthur Kingham 174119 RAFVR Age 23. Killed (1)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Joseph Black 1531244 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Raymond Harold Hutt 1575248 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Frank Richard Spencer 1433953 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Benjamin Bloom 1414792 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick Neale Ansell 1895351 RAFVR Age 34. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Daniel George Davis J/92608 RCAF Age 27. Killed


Lancaster II LL690 JI-J left Waterbeach at 23.14 on 15/16th June 1944 to bomb the railway yards at Valenciennes. 

Crew of Lancaster LL690: Rear: Sgt. F.N. Ansell, Sgt. B. Bloom, Sgt. D.G. Davies, Sgt. J. Black. Front: Fl/Sgt. R. Hutt, P/O. E.A. Kingham and Fl/Sgt. F.R. Spencer (courtesy Barbara Thacker via Linda Ibrom)

184 aircraft taking part bombing both Lens and Valenciennes in clear visibility, with both targets accurately hit.

It is believed that they were shot down by a night-fighter (2) and came down between the villages of Iwuy and Rieux-en-Cambresis North East of Cambrai. (see map) 

An eye witness to the crash Mons. Marliers a schoolteacher was living at the time in Iwuy and heard cannon fire with the Lancaster crashing shortly afterwards. He later visited the crash site and recovered some pieces, despite a German guard being posted at the scene. The local French people decorated the graves with a huge wreath and took photographs which they later handed over to the RAF authorities.

514 Squadron Lancasters over France 1944 (courtesy IWM)

Another 514 Squadron Lancaster was also lost during this operation:

Lancaster II DS816 JI-O piloted by 177531 P/O. Ted Prowles killed with 6 other crew members. The navigator, F/O. Morrison evaded capture and returned to the UK on the 9th September 1944 with the assistance from the Bordeaux-Loupiac line.
(1) An excellent website, dedicated to P/O. Ernest Arthur Kingham has recently been built.
(2) It is reported that Oblt. Peter Ehrhardt of 9./NJG5 ‘probably’ shot L690 down at 00.52 hrs. Combat taking place at 2000 m. Oblt. Ehrhardt, with a total of 21 claims credited to him, survived the war, died in Düsseldorf on the 5th May 1983, we have no further details.


Above left: Fl/Sgt. Frank Richard Spencer, Right: Sgt. Daniel George Davis (courtesy Veterans Affairs of Canada)

Burial details:

One of the crew, Fl/Sgt. Raymond Harold Hutt was initially buried at Iwuy.

P/O. Ernest Arthur Kingham. Rieux Communal Cemetery. Grave 3. Son of Henry Joseph and Florence May Kingham and brother of John and Hephzibah Kingham of Luton, Bedfordshire, England.

Sgt. Joseph Black. Rieux Communal Cemetery. Joint grave 1. Son of Joseph and Mary Elizabeth Black of Newcastle on Tyne. England.

Fl/Sgt. Raymond Harold Hutt. Iwuy Communal Cemetery. Row C. Grave 36. Born on 27th February 1921, Son of Edwin Arthur and Eveline Elizabeth Hutt (née Wilmott) Husband of Joyce Winifred Hutt of Leicester, England, father to Roger.

Fl/Sgt. Frank Richard Spencer. Rieux Communal Cemetery. Joint grave 1. Son of Frank and Elizabeth Rose Spencer and brother of George and Freda. Further information: Frank lived with his parents who ran the village bakery in Sandon Road, Hilderstone where he attended Stone Grammar School before leaving to work as a trainee engineer at the Post Office. He married Kathleen Mary Spencer of Blackley, Manchester. Some of his earlier flying training took place at Oudthoorn, South Africa before he was posted to 514 Squadron. He is also commemorated on his parent’s grave in the Christchurch Cemetery at Hilderstone, England. 

Sgt. Benjamin Bloom. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 235. Husband of Olivia Bell, father of Clive and Paul of Wanstead, London, England. 

Sgt. Frederick Neale Ansell. Rieux Communal Cemetery. Grave 2. Son of William Reuben and Gertrude Leonard Ansell of Tottenham, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. Daniel George Davis. Rieux Communal Cemetery. Grave 4. Son of Norman and Bella Davis of Gilford, Ontario, Canada.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. With thanks to Barbara Thacker (niece) of Sergeant Spencer. Also to Roger Hutt, who contacted us in June 2015. The Hilderstone Miscellany website. Veterans Affairs of Canada for permission to use the photograph of Sergeant Davis RCAF. Also thanks to Oliver Clutton-Brock 'RAF Evaders’, Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries (Updated 2014 version), Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and  2',  Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. With additional details from Aircrew Remembered own archives. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. 

KTY/LI Details added for Fl/Sgt. Hutt. 30.06.2015

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, 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', 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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