09.09.1940 No. 235 Squadron Blenheim IV N3520 LA-S P/O. James C. Kirkpatrick
Operation: Hach Patrol (anti-invasion/reconnaissance)
Date: 09th October 1940 (Monday)
Unit: 235 Squadron (Coastal Command)
Type: Blenheim IV
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
REASON FOR LOSS:
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
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. Grave inscription reads: "Killed In Action".
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'.