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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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21 Squadron Crest
28.08.1941. No. 21 Squadron. Blenheim IV V6436 YH-L P/O. Orme

Operation: Rotterdam

Date: 28th August 1941 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 21 Squadron (motto: Viribus vincimus 'By strength we conquer'). 2 Group

Type: Bristol Blenheim IV

Serial: V6436

Code: YH-L

Location: Maassluis (Zuid Holland)

Pilot: P/O. Frank Kerr Orme J/3739 RCAF Age 25. Killed (1)

Observer: P/O. Stanley Frederick Maude Gunnis 63809 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

W/Op/A/Gnr: F/O. Albert Henry Collins 82972 RAFVR Age 34. Killed


Update 05th December 2021 - A memorial to the crew is currently being prepared for the crew - planning permission obtained and build costs covered - would relatives please contact us in order to be placed in contact with our Dutch friends.


REASON FOR LOSS:

This aircraft took off from Watton at 14:47 hrs. Hit by flak and crashed at Maassluis, Zuid Holland, 14 km west south-west of Rotterdam.

V6436 was one of 8 Blenheims lost on this raid, 3 others from 21 Squadron, the others:


V5825 YH-R - Flown by P/O. W.L. Macdonald 63451 RAFVR (1 killed, 2 PoW)
Z7435 YH-S - Flown by 20 year old, Sgt. Kenneth Hayes 1254653 RAFVR from South Norwood, Surrey (all 3 killed)
Z7447 YH-A - Flown by 21 year old, Sq/Ldr. Richard Ashton Shuttleworth 33548 RAFVR from Sheffield, England (all 3 killed).

Other Squadrons participating were 88 and 226 Squadron.

88 lost Blenheim IV L9379, flown by 27 yearly, P/O. Tudor Gwynn Edwards 44819 RAF from Rhydymwyn, Flintshire (all 3 killed), and Blenheim IV Z7445, flown by 23 year old, Fl/Lt. James Okeden Alexander 44267 RAF of British Columbia, Canada (all 3 killed). While 226 Sqd lost Hampden IV Z7289 flown by P/O. 19 year old, Fitzroy Montague Veitch Johnstone 64265 RAF (all 3 PoW), Hampden IV Z7299 flown by Sgt. R.J O'Connell RCAF which crashed on take-off, crew safe.

The crew, left to right: F/O. Collins, P/O. Gunnis and P/O. Orme (Courtesy of Mrs J.M. Kelly - daughter of F/O. Collins)

Above: shows P/O. Orme and his crew back at Watton after a successful attack on shipping off the Dutch coast, 18th August 1941, just 10 days before they were lost in this same aircraft V6436 YH-L. P/O. Orme can be seen climbing from the cockpit, behind him are two members of his ground crew, next to them wearing his Officers cap is P/O. Gunnis, and, far-right on top of the fuselage is F/O. Collins.

Above: photo also taken on 18th August 1941, P/O. Orme is far-right, P/O. Gunnis 3rd from right, as F/O. Collins climbs from his hatch, having given his parachute harness to a member of the ground staff.

(1) Orme Lake in Ontario is named after P/O. Orme


Burial Details:

P/O. Frank Kerr Orme. Hook of Holland General Cemetery. Row F. Collective grave 35. Born on the 12th March 1916 in Ottawa, the son of Frank Laurence Orme (died 06th December 1940, age 52) and Mildred Fanny Orme (née Kerr later Frisby, died in 1973, age 79), of 27 Powell Avenue, Rockcliffe, Ontario, Canada. A Badminton Champion of Ottawa was awarded a Gold medal in Chartered Accountant's Course. The grave inscription reads: 'For Ever A Little Bit Of Canada'.

P/O. Stanley Frederick Maude Gunnis. Hook of Holland General Cemetery. Row F. Collective grave 35. Also remembered on the Tillicoultry's war memorials. Son of Matthew Gunnis (died 01st February 1965), and of Elizabeth Dorman Gunnis (died 03rd September 1966), of Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland. The grave inscription reads: 'He Flew Past Hardship To The Stars. Ever Remembered'.

F/O. Albert Henry Collins. Hook of Holland General Cemetery. Row F. Collective grave 35. Born on the 29th April 1907, in New Tredegar, Monmouthshire, Wales. Son of Albert and Rose Rosina Collins (née Baker - died 1926, age 40) and husband of Winifred Emma Collins (née Walker - died in 2008, age 96), of Shepherds' Bush, London, England. The grave inscription reads: 'In Memory Of A Beloved Husband And Father, Who Is For Ever In Our Thoughts'.

Researched for Mrs J.M. Kelly - daughter of F/O. Collins and all the relatives of the crew. With thanks to the following sources.

See Archive Report for Richard Shuttleworth

KTY Map added 31.12.2018

KTY Updated crew details 05-12-2021

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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, 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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