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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.
Further data available at Allied Losses & Incidents database

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138crest
8/9.11.1944 No.138 Squadron Stirling IV LK198 NF-H P/O Louis Ouellette

Operation: Puffin 2 Special Operations Executive (SOE)

Date: 08/09th November 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No.138 Squadron

Type: Short Stirling IV

Serial: LK198

Code: NF-H

Base: RAF Tempsford, Bedfordshire

Location: Unknown, probably North Sea

Pilot: P/O. Louis Alexander Ouellette J/92633 RCAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Arthur John Jeffery 1835953 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

Navigator: P/O. Lloyd William Nelson J/95449 RCAF Age 22 Missing - believed killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Sidney Harry Sharpe 153234 RAFVR Age 23 Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Alexander Frederick Birdseye 1395146 RAFVR Age 20 Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt: Robert Augusta Best R/221087 RCAF Age 19 Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Peter Barnicke J/92693 RCAF Age 19. Missing - believed killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Captain Ouellette and crew took off from Tempsford sometime between 23:00 and 00:30 hours on the night of Wednesday, 8 November 1944 together with 16 other Stirling aircraft from 138 Squadron.

Left: Louis Alexander Ouellette holding my dad, in Windsor, before he was shipped off for training at camp Borden (courtesy Troy Ouellette)

Under various code names, the aircraft were dispatched to drop supplies/agents to members of the Norwegian resistance.

Ouellette’s mission was code named “Puffin 2” with the object of dropping 12 containers and 6 packages at a pre-determined rendezvous point somewhere in Norway.


Although the local weather at take off was far from ideal with cold winds and rain, it was forecasted to improve enroute. However, out over the North Sea, it deteriorated further forcing the crews to abandon the operation and return to base.

All but two of the aircraft returned safely to Tempsford.

Ouellette’s H for Harry and M for Mike, flown by Fl/Lt. Frederick Ford, were not heard from again. Both aircraft and the 14 crew members all lost without trace. Also lost from Ford’s aircraft were two Norwegian agents, Peter Deinboll and Arne Gjestland.




Above L-R: P/O.Ouellette, Fl/Sgt. Best and P/O.Barnicke

Upon their return to Tempsford, the crew of U for Uncle reported that their Stirling had been struck by lightning. Such was the intensity of the flash it temporarily blinded the pilot, Sq/Ldr. Brogan, requiring the Bomb Aimer to take over the controls.

Burial Details:

P/O Louis Alexander Ouellette. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom. Panel 252. Son of Philias Peter and Charlotte Amanda (née Maheux) Ouellette of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Arthur John Jeffery. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom. Panel 232. Home town and next of kin unknown.

P/O Lloyd William Nelson. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom. Panel 252. Son of Scott and Cassie (nee Graham) Nelson of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

F/O. Sidney Harry Sharpe. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom. Panel 209. Son of Harry Ernest and Eva Ellen (née Lane) Sharpe of Sydenham, London, England.

Fl/Sgt. Alexander Frederick Birdseye. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom. Panel 215. Son of Priscilla Birdseye of Maldon, Essex, England.

Fl/Sgt: Robert Augusta Best. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom. Panel 254. Son of Edward and Dorothy (née Bullard) Best of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

P/O. Peter Barnicke. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom. Panel 249, Son of Harry and Lucy Barnicke of Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

Barnicke Island in Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, Ontario was named after P/O Barnicke in 1960


Researched and written by Colin Bamford for Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the families of the crew of Stirling LK198.

CHB 04.01.2020 Commemorative feature link 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, 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', 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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