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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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15/16.04.1942 No. 101 Squadron Wellington III X3694 SR-U Sgt. Nesbitt and crew loss

Operation: Dortmund

Date: 15/16th April 1942 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 101 Squadron

Type: Wellington III

Serial: X3694

Code: SR-U

Base: R.A.F. Bourn, Cambridgeshire

Location: Lutrebois (Luxembourg)

Pilot: Sgt. James Festubert Nesbitt 1064494 R.A.F.V.R. Age 25. Killed

Pilot 2: Sgt John Howard Hunt 1191011 R.A.F.V.R. Age 21. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Thomas Hubert Beament 1166172 R.A.F.V.R. Age 30. Killed 

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Arthur Richard Langston 1283289 R.A.F.V.R. Age 31. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Basil Norman Burnett 1259335 R.A.F.V.R. Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt Arthur William Holman 1317897 R.A.F.V.R. Age 21. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off at 23.55 hrs from R.A.F. Bourn in Cambridgeshire to join 151 aircraft to bomb Dortmund. Thick cloud and icing were encountered by the Bomber stream. 

A total of 88 of these aircraft put in claims to have bombed the city. The reports state that 1 house was destroyed and a further 12 seriously damage with 2 people on the ground killed and 6 injured. The amount of bombs dropped on the city turned out to be the equivalent of 8 aircraft loads.

During this raid 3 Wellington's and a Stirling were lost. 

All 26 aircrew were killed. It is thought probable that flak shot down two Wellington's and the Stirling. 

The other Wellington from 214 Squadron Z8951 was claimed by Uffz. Walter Schienbein of 2./NJG1 at 03.30 hrs.







Charleroi Communal Cemetery

(courtesy C.W.G.C.)









Burial details:

Sgt. James Festubert Nesbitt. Charleroi Communal Cemetery Row U. Grave 6.

Son of William James Nesbitt and Mary Nesbitt, South Shields, County Durham, England.

Sgt John Howard Hunt. Charleroi Communal Cemetery Row U. Grave ID.

Son of Frederick Sydney and Jessie Hunt, of Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England.

Sgt. Thomas Hubert Beament. Charleroi Communal Cemetery Row U. Grave I8.

Son of William Hollingshead Beament and Harriet Ann Beament; husband of Gwendoline Janette Beament, of Cowley, Oxford, England.

Sgt. Arthur Richard Langston. Charleroi Communal Cemetery Row U. Grave IC.

Son of Thomas Edward and Annie Langston; husband of Ida Louise Langston, of South Chingford, Essex, England.

Sgt. Basil Norman Burnett. Charleroi Communal Cemetery Row U. Grave IE.

Son of Norman and Mavis Burnett, of Hampstead, London, England.

Sgt Arthur William Holman. Charleroi Communal Cemetery Row U. Grave IF.

Son of John Holman, and of Effie Susan Holman, of Cross Park, Saltash, Cornwall, England.

Researched for the nephew (Mike Nesbitt) of the pilot Sgt. Nesbitt

Acknowledgments: With thanks to the following: Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses", Theo Boiten - "German Nightfighter War Diaries", Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt "Bomber Command War Diaries", the C.W.G.C.

We would like to hear from any reader regarding further information on this crew / aircraft.


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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