16.07.1941 No. 18 Squadron Blenheim IV V6267 WV-M W/Cdr. Thomas N. Partridge
Operation: Rotterdam, Holland
Date: 16th July 1941
Unit: No. 18 Squadron
Type: Blenheim MkIV
Base: RAF Horsham St. Faith, Norfolk
Location: Noordsingel, Rotterdam Holland
Pilot: W/Cdr. Thomas Noel Partridge DFC. 37574 RAF Age ? Killed
Obs: Sgt. George Arthur Dvorjetz 905235 RAFVR Age 25. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. John Oscar Smith 550971 RAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from RAF Horsham St Faith at 15:17 hrs. Purpose of operation low level attack on shipping at Rotterdam: Baloeran, Strassburg, Hermod, Oranjefontein and Frauenfels. The attack was carried out in two waves, 1st Wave (lead by W/Cdr P.F. Webster): 12 aircraft from 21 Squadron, 7 aircraft from 105 Squadron. 2nd Wave (lead by W/Cdr. Thomas Partridge): 8 aircraft from 18 Squadron, 4 aircraft from 139 Squadron, 6 aircraft from 226 Squadron.
First wave attacked the Strassburg which suffered little damage - various building in the target area were also damaged. Then, minutes later the 2nd wave came in and the German anti-aircraft units were ready and engaged the aircraft to full effect. 2 aircraft were lost from 18 Squadron, another from 139 during this attack.
18 Squadron Blenheim IV Z7496 WV-W Flown by 20 year old, Sgt. Ronald James Brownee Rost AUS/4012170 RAAF from NSW, Australia killed with all his crew.
139 Squadron Blenheim IV Z7362 XD-V Flown by Sq/Ldr. Eric Sydney-Smith DFC. 88237 RAFVR - taken PoW with all his crew.
Hit by flak and crashed at 17:00 hrs in the Noordsingel at Rotterdam. All are buried in the local Crooswijk General Cemetery. It is understood that a local school have adopted a memorial to the crew who it is thought they crashed into the Noordsingel to avoid civilian casualties.
One other Blenheim was hit and crashed from the 1st wave:
21 Squadron Blenheim IV V6240 YH-B Flown by Sgt. James Eric Singleton Bevan 1164941 RAFVR killed with all his crew.
W/Cdr. Thomas Noel Partridge DFC. Crooswijk Roman Catholic Cemetery, Rotterdam. Plot LL. Row 2. Grave 6. No further details - are you able to assist?
Sgt. George Arthur Dvorjetz. Crooswijk Roman Catholic Cemetery, Rotterdam. Plot LL. Row 2. Grave 7. Son of Jacob and Rachel Dvorjetz, of Claygate, Surrey, England. Grave inscription reads: “Beloved Son And Brother To Live In Hearts We Leave Behind Is Not To Die.”
Fl/Sgt. John Oscar Smith DFM. Crooswijk Roman Catholic Cemetery, Rotterdam. Plot LL. Row 1. Grave 7. Son of John and Maud Mary Anna Smith, of Lower Gornal, Staffordshire, England. Grave inscription reads “At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Will Remember Them”
Researcher - Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered August 2016. With thanks to Frans Ververs for crash site photograph, Darude for grave photographs, Rusty Russell for photo of Sgt. Dvorjetz, remainder from the Michel Beckers collection.