27.03.1940 School of General Reconnaissance Anson I K6249 F/O. Lilburn
Operation: Navigation exercise
Date: 27th March 1940 (Wednesday)
Unit: School of General Reconnaissance (17 Group-Coastal Command)
Type: Anson I
Code: Not known
Base: RAF Thorney Island
Location: English Channel
Pilot: F/O. Ewen Campbell Lilburn 37885 RAF Age 29. Missing - believed killed
Obs: F/O. James Peter Henry Balston 90567 RAF (Aux) Age 27. Missing - believed killed
Pilot: P/O. John Eric George Fennell 42492 RAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed
W/Op: AC.1. John Visger Halliday 620442 RAF Age 30. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During at Navigation and reconnaissance exercise and interception of a launch Anson K6249 spun in after a stall turn at 700 ft whilst circling High Speed Launch 117.
It is thought 'possible' that the Anson had been caught in the slipstream of the aircraft in front and at that altitude the crew had no opportunity to recover or bail out.
The aircraft hit the water at 15:50 hrs and disappeared - the two others on the exercise circled the area but no trace could be found.
F/O. Ewen Campbell Lilburn. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 6. Son of Robert and Rosamond Louisa Lilburn, of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand. 1,310 flying hours logged.
F/O. James Peter Henry Balston. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 5. Son of Francis William and Ellen Catherine Balston, of Maidstone, Kent and husband of Penelope Balston. B.A. (Cantab.), Hons. Tripos, Mechanical Science (Cantab.).
P/O. John Eric George Fennell. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 8. Son of John F. and Elsie L. Fennell, of Worcester, England.
AC.1. John Visger Halliday. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 25. Son of Frederick Charles and Mary Isobel Halliday and husband of Margery Hersee Halliday, of Polbathic, Cornwall, England.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, Mark Rogers for Fennell photo, other sources as quoted below: