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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.


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12 Squadron Crest
No. 12 Squadron Wellington II W5414 P/O. John P. Muirhead DFC

Operation: Gardening

Date: 19/20th July 1942 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 12 Squadron

Type: Wellington II

Serial: W5414

Code: PH-?

Base: RAF Binbrook

Location: Target area - Bay of Biscay

Pilot: P/O. John Patrick Muirhead DFC 100092 RAFVR Age 20. Killed (1)

Obs: Fl/Sgt. Eric Waple NZ/402000 RNZAF Age 29. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Cyril Waldron 1360573 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Charles Henry Durrant 1263757 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Joseph Brazier 975641 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 22:01 from RAF Binbrook on a Gardening operation (mine laying) in the Beech area. Thought to have been hit by flak within the target area off the west coast of France.

The bodies were recovered along various parts of the coastline between St. Nazaire and La Rochelle.

(1) DFC Awarded with effect from 24th June 1942.

Sgt. Brazier shown middle row, 1st on the left (courtesy David Brazier) Are you able to identify any of the others?

Burial details:

P/O. John Patrick Muirhead DFC. Ars-En-Re Communal Cemetery, Ile De Re. Row 1. Grave 1. Son of Brigadier John Spencer Muirhead. DSO, MC, TD, and of Geraldine Moore Muirhead (née Hedderwick).

Right: Sgt. William Joseph Brazier (courtesy David Brazier)

Fl/Sgt. Eric Waple. Ars-En-Re Communal Cemetery, Ile De Re. Row 5. Grave 1. Son of James Waple and of May Waple (née Briggs), of New Barnet, Hertfordshire, husband of Celia Margaret Waple, of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand. 377 flying hours logged over 19 operations.

Sgt. Cyril Waldron. Pornic War Cemetery. Grave 2.H.11. Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Waldron, of Hull, husband of W.M. Waldron, of Garden Village, Hull, England.

Sgt. Charles Henry Durrant. Les Sables-D'olonne (La Foire-Aux Chats) New Communal Cemetery. Plot 9. Row 2. Grave 4. No further details, are you able to assist?

Sgt. William Joseph Brazier. Ars-En-Re Communal Cemetery, Ile De Re. Row 4. Grave 1. Son of William Charles and Mary Brazier, husband of Ethel Brazier, of Brighton, Sussex, England. Father of David Russell Brazier (now of Australia) of Stirling, Scotland.

With thanks to Rex Barron for bringing this loss to our attention. Also to David Brazier, son of Sgt. Brazier for information and photographs supplied - May 2016. For further details our thanks to the following sources.

KTY 17.05.2016 Further photographs added.

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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