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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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01.08.1940 No 236 Squadron Blenheim IV R2274 P/O. McDonough crew loss

Operation: Escort

Date: 01st August 1940 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 236 Squadron (Coastal Command)

Type: Blenheim IV

Serial: R2274

Code: FA-N

Base: R.A.F. Thorney Island, West Sussex, England

Location: Querqueville, France.

Pilot: P/O. Bryan Martin McDonough 42137 R.A.F. Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick Arthur Percy Head 902546 R.A.F.V.R. Age ? Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off at 15.05 hrs on escort duty to 59 Squadron on a raid to Cherbourg.

At around 11.45 hrs 236 Squadron ground crews were loading up the Blenheims with the required loads.

From 15.00 hrs Blenheims from 236 Squadron started taking off to rendezvous with 59 Squadron prior to the French coast and to commence strafing Cherbourg airfield. Conditions had been forecast as fine with good visibility, but that proved to be totally inaccurate with low cloud cover and some of the aircraft missing the area.

15.40 hrs. the first of the 59 Squadron Blenheims near the coast - a brief break in the clouds enable them to identify the target and they commenced their bombing run. Two Blenheims from 236 Squadron approached very low at below 100 ft and commenced strafing the airfield and the anti aircraft batteries.

A number of the Bf109's from III/JG27 managed to take off and intercept the allied aircraft. It is reported that R2274 may have been shot down by Oblt. Ernst Düllberg, (1) other reports state the aircraft was hit by flak.

The Blenheim is understood to have crashed at around 17.15 hrs.

Another Blenheim from 236 Squadron was also lost at around the same time.

Blenheim IV N3601 FA-K. Flown by Sq/Ldr. Peter E. Drew killed with his Air/Gunner F/O. Ben Nokes-Cooper.

A 59 Squadron Blenheim IV also failed to return, L8792 TR-A. Flown by W/Cmdr Reg Morgan-Weld-Smith, his observer P/O. Dave Davis and their air gunner Peter Pryde were all killed.

(1) Oblt. Ernst Düllberg went on to claim a massive 45 victories.

He survived the war and died in Essen, Germany on the 27th July 1984 age 71.


Burial details:

P/O. Bryan Martin McDonough. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 9.

Son of John Martin McDonough and Nellie McDonough. From Ulverstone, Tasmania. Moving later to Victoria, Australia. Joining the R.A.F. and left Australia in 1939 on a short service commission.

Sgt. Frederick Arthur Percy Head. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 15.

No further details as yet, but we are in contact with who, we understand, is a relative.

Awaiting further information.

Researched for Brian Nourse and relatives of the crew. With thanks for additional information supplied by: Graham Warner - "The Bristol Blenheim", Ross Mcneill - "Coastal Command Losses", Winston G. Ramsey - "Battle of Britain Then and Now", Commonwealth Graves Commission.


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: 06 February 2017, 22:15