44 Squadron Hampden I AE196 W/Cdr. Misselbrook
Operation: Gardening - 'Jellyfish' area
Date: 13th December 1941 (Saturday)
Unit: No. 44 Squadron
Type: Hampden I
Base: RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Location: Celtic Sea area, but lost without trace.
Pilot: W/Cdr. Sidney Trevor Misselbrook DSO. 34050 RAF Age 28. Missing
Obs: Fl/Sgt. Arthur Howard Gumbley NZ/402865 RNZAF Age 24. Missing
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leonard Dalton Leggett DFM. 989819 RAFVR Age ? Missing
F/O. Harry Jeffrey Jeffcoat 79240 RAFVR Age 32. Missing
REASON FOR LOSS:
Left RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire at 13:00 hrs on a gardening operation to Brest.
44 Squadron Hampden AE196 during service with 408 Squadron
10 Hampdens left for this operation, 6 to bomb targets at Brest which was abandoned, the remaining 4 to lay mines. Two aircraft were lost, the other, AE921 Hampden from 144 Squadron flown by 25 year old P/O. David McLaren, also missing with all his crew.
AE196 was lost without trace after being shot down by Lt. Harry Mayer (1) of 1./JG-2 in a Bf109F-4 at 18:03 hrs. The target area was 'Jellyfish'
which was the approaches to Brest Harbour.
(1) Lt. Harry Mayer was killed on the 20th June 1942 in a crash near St. Omer.
W/Cdr. Sidney Trevor Misselbrook DSO. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 28. Son of Sidney Godolphin Misselbrook and Ethel May Misselbrook, of West Malling, Kent, England.
Fl/Sgt. Arthur Howard Gumbley. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 63. Born on the 14th September 1916 at Tauranga, the son of Ernest Arthur and Caroline Gumbley (née Warren), of Avondale, Auckland, New Zealand. Prior to enlistment on the 01st September 1940 worked as a storeman for Guinness Brothers. A total of 305 flying hours logged and on his 8th operational sortie. Although a qualified pilot, he was flying as an observer on this operation with his commanding officer in the pilot seat.
Sgt. Leonard Dalton Leggett DFM. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 47. No further details available as yet, are you able to assist? DFM awarded for gallantry and devotion to duty - with effect from 12th December 1941.
F/O. Harry Jeffrey Jeffcoat. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 30. Son of Harry and Dora Minnie Jeffcoat, of Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire, Wales. Also remembered on the Droitwich Spa Memorial, as he also lived in Victoria Road, Droitwich with his mother and stepfather.
Researched for relatives of the crew with thanks for additional information to Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol. 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Tom Kracker for the enormous data base 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Commonwealth War Graves Commission.