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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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22 Squadron crest
02.12.1941 No. 22 Squadron Beaufort I AW216 OA-P Fl/Lt. John R. Noble

Operation: Nantes

Date: 2nd December 1941 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 22 Squadron (Coastal Command)

Type: Bristol Beaufort I

Serial: AW216

Code: OA-P

Base: RAF St. Eval, Cornwall

Location: Quiberon Bay, France

Pilot: Fl/Lt. John Reginald Noble 40843 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Obs: P/O. Arthur John Dearden 63433 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Robert Furzey 993605 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Francis McGee 952969 RAFVR Age 22. Missing


Taking of from RAF St. Eval, Cornwall at 15.35 hrs - together with another 22 squadron Beaufort AW221 flown by W/Cdr. John C. Mayhew to attack a timber factory in the Nantes area. 

The attack was timed at 18.25 hrs. At the time two He115’s were in the vicinity and it is possible they were both shot down. AW216 was intercepted over Quiberon Bay. Three of the crew were known to bale out of the aircraft but sadly they were all killed with their bodies washed up on the beach at Beg Rohu.

The other Beaufort AW221 OA-V. Flown by 26 year old W/Cdr. John C. Mayhew 33271 RAF from Felixstowe, Suffolk was also lost with all 4 crew.

7 houses were destroyed in the target area during the operation with a further 10 damaged.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. John Reginald Noble. Quiberon Communal Cemetery. Grave 1. Son of James Morton Noble and Margarita May Osith Noble, husband of Yvonne Margaret Somerville Noble, of Oxford, England.

P/O. Arthur John Dearden. Quiberon Communal Cemetery. Grave 2. Son of James William and Ellen Gertrude Dearden, husband of Angela Dearden, of Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

Right: Memorial at St. Eval to crews that lost their lives.

Sgt. William Robert Furzey. Quiberon Communal Cemetery. Grave 3. Son of William and Annie Elizabeth Furzey, of Scarborough, Yorkshire, England.

Sgt. John Francis McGee. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 47. Son of Joseph and Helen McGee, husband of Mary Margaret McGee, of Crumpsall, Manchester, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Ross Mcneill - 'Coastal Command Losses’, Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Aircrew Remembered own Archives.

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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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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