27/28.04.1942 76 Squadron Halifax II W1017 MP:T Sgt. Peter C. Morris
Date: 27th/28th April 1942 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: 76 Squadron
Type: Halifax II
Base: RAF Middleton St. George
Location: Target area - Dunkirk
Pilot: Sgt. Peter Cant Morris 1058833 RAFVR Age 27. Killed
2nd Pilot: Sgt. Gerald Anthony Simpson 655086 RAF Age 23. Killed
Flt Eng: Sgt. Joseph William Brown (Rhodesia) 777718 RAF PoW No: 224 *
Nav/Bomb Aimer: Plt Off. William Alexander Trickett 400071 RAAF Age 25. PoW No: 213 **
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. John Potts 1054128 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air Gnr (Mid Upp): Fg Off. William Arnot Shiells 109038 RAF PoW No: 210 **
Air Gnr (Rear): Flt Sgt. George Sanderson 627929 RAF Age 21. Killed
* Stalag 357 (Stalag 11b), Fallingbostel, Lower Saxony, Germany.
** Stalag Luft 3, Sagan-Silesia, Germany, now Żagań in Poland. (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser, Bavaria).
We would appreciate any contact from any of the relatives - in particular - Peter, son of the pilot.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took-off at 22:05 hrs from Middleton St. George. Engaged by heavy flak over the target area.
At 14,000 ft, shortly after the ‘Bombs Gone’ signal the nose of the aircraft lifted towards a stalling position, the 2nd pilot asked if Sgt. Morris had control - he replied ‘I have nothing... the controls seem to have gone for a Burton’. He then quickly said ‘sorry boys but get to hell out of it’.
Above left with his father taken at Harraton Hall, at Birtley in County Durham. Right with his wife Audrey. (Audrey later remarried - no further information at time of writing, we would very much like further contact from the family to contact us to pass on to relatives)
All the crew heard this over the intercom. Plt Off. Trickett turned around from his position as Bomb Aimer to see the Wireless Op. struggling to jettison the escape hatch. As he left, Plt Off. Trickett followed, as he left he noticed Sgt. Simpson standing over the exit. It is thought that the rear gunner had been killed by the anti-aircraft fire. The survivors saw the aircraft go into a spin being followed by the German searchlight batteries.
The Germans informed survivors that they had found 3 bodies inside the aircraft. Although it seems that according to statements, Sgt. Potts also baled out - no further information on this.
Plt Off. William Alexander Trickett and Fg Off. Shiells were released by the Russians on the 21st April 1945.
Above as described (courtesy Alliierten Verluste über Deutschland and Victoria Zawadzki)
Sgt. Peter Cant Morris. Dunkirk Town Cemetery. Plot 2. Row 3. Joint grave 6. Son of Alexander and Louisa Darley Morris, husband of Audrey Gibson Morris - father to Peter aged 1 at date of loss, of Seaburn, Sunderland, Co. Durham, England.
Sgt. Gerald Anthony Simpson. Dunkirk Town Cemetery. Plot 2. Row 3. Joint grave 7. Son of Thomas Hessel Simpson and Alice Mary Simpson of Osgodby, Selby, Yorkshire, England.
Sgt. John Potts. Dunkirk Town Cemetery. Plot 2. Row 3. Joint grave 7. Son of John and Elizabeth Ann Potts of Seaham, Co. Durham, England.
Flt Sgt. George Sanderson. Dunkirk Town Cemetery. Plot 2. Row 3. Joint grave 6. Son of William Edward and Eliza Annie Sanderson, of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England.
Researched for relatives of the crew with thanks to Alex Morris (nephew of pilot), also to Peter Wallinson for information. Also to Victoria Zawadzki, relative of Flt Sgt. Sanderson who contacted us in July 2017. Update to crew positions and names by Aircrew Remembered (Sep 2021). Other sources as quoted below.