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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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235 Squadron crest
09.09.1940 No. 235 Squadron Blenheim IV N3520 LA-S P/O. James C. Kirkpatrick

Operation: Hach Patrol (anti-invasion/reconnaissance)

Date: 09.10.1940 (Monday)

Unit: 235 Squadron (Coastal Command)

Type: Blenheim IV

Serial: N3530

Code: LA-S

Base: RAF Thorney Island, West Sussex.

Location: South of Thorney Island, English Channel.

Pilot: P/O. James Charles Kirkpatrick 81630 RAFVR  Age ? Missing

Obs: P/O. Richard Ceredig Thomas 82731  RAFVR Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Ernest Keel 751079  RAFVR Age 20. Killed


Taking off at 16.30 hrs with 2 other Blenheims from the squadron, they were thought to have been attacked by Hptm. Otto Bertram of Stab III/JG2 and were last seen at 3,000 ft descending into cloud. The time of the loss is placed at 17.30 hrs.


Searches were made looking for a dingy or wreckage but sadly nothing was found.

The body of Sgt. Keel was washed up at Selsey Bill on the 21st October, then buried with a guard of honour from his squadron. P/O. Thomas’s body was recovered from the sea.


Above L-R: Pilot- P/O. Kirkpatrick, Air Gunner- Sgt. Keel

Burial details:

P/O. James Charles Kirkpatrick. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 9. Son of Robert Closeburn and Yvonne Kirkpatrick (nee Liebreclits) of Brussles, Belgium. Despite his name he originated from Belgium.

P/O. Richard Ceredig Thomas. Cardiff (Cathays) Cemetery. Sec. P. Grave 1094. Next of Kin details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Sgt. George Ernest Keel. Portsmouth (Highland Road) Cemetery. Sec. M. Row 2. Grave 4. Son of Allen George and Gertrude Agnes Keel, of Southsea, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Josette Bens, Mr. Alain Rosseels, Johny Recour from Belgium for further information and photographs. Kirkpatrick family archives, Battle of Britain London Monument, Ross Mcneill - 'Coastal Command Losses’, Graham Warner - 'The Bristol Blenheim’, Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Further reading ‘Coastal Dawn’ written by Andrew D. Bird. Winston G. Ramsey - 'Battle of Britain Then and Now'.

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 (both 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', 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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Last Modified: 23 April 2015, 12:17

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