18/19.09.1940 No. 149 Squadron Wellington IC R3160 OJ-E P/O. Pay
Operation: Le Havre
Date: 18/19th September 1940 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No. 149 Squadron
Type: Wellington IC
Base: Mildenhall, Suffolk
Location: English Channel
Pilot : P/O. John Sydney Pay 42877 RAF Age 19. Missing
Fl/Eng: P/O. Donald Ralph Tuppen 81339 RAFVR Age 22.Missing
Air/Bmr: P/O. David Spencer Cox 80848 RAFVR Age 19. Missing
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Roy Pope 966654 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Henry Herbert Harrison 538889 RAF Age 23. Missing
Air/Gnr: P/O. George Reginald Michael Ford 79236 RAFVR Age 30. Missing
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from Mildenhall, Suffolk at 19:25 hrs. To join 174 aircraft for the majority to bomb the Channel ports - the remainder to attack German railway targets. No details are available on this loss except that it is thought to have come down in the English Channel. No night fighter claims have been made for this so it is thought that it was probably hit by flak.
Above 149 Squadron Wellington, with insert P/O. David Cox (courtesy Sherborne School Archives)
A costly night for Bomber Command with the loss of 9 aircraft and all the crews being killed/missing:
58 Squadron Whitley V P5008 GE-M Shot down by German night fighter - Sgt Albert A. E. Crossland and 4 other crew members killed.
77 Squadron Whitley V N1425 KN-E Shot down by German night fighter - P/O. Peter E. Eldridge and 4 other crew members killed.
77 Squadron Whitley V P4992 KN-T Crashed into the sea off Belgian coast - P/O. Ronald P.Brayne and 4 other crew members killed.
83 Squadron Hampden I P1183 OL-E Shot down by Flak - P/O. James A. Pitcairn Hill D.S.O. D.F.C. and 3 other crew members killed.
99 Squadron Wellington IC P9242 LN-B Shot down by Flak - P/O. Michael C. A. Linden and 5 other crew members killed.
105 Squadron Blenheim IV L9339 GB-? Lost without trace - P/O. Sgt. Cyril Bowles and 2 other crew members killed.
106 Squadron Hampden I P1259 ZN-? Shot down by Flak - F/O. Eric T. Watkin and 3 other crew members killed.
107 Squadron Blenheim IV T1852 OM-? Lost without trace - F/O. Cyril Preston and 2 other crew members killed.
149 Squadron Wellington IC R3160 OJ-E Lost over channel - P/O. John S. Pay and 2 other crew members killed.
Above: Houlgate (Beuzeval) Communal Cemetery. The grave of Sgt. Pope is on the extreme left of the row. (courtesy Barbara and Stuart Lewis via Roy Pope)
P/O. John Sydney Pay. Runnymede Memorial Panel 9. Son of the Revd. Sydney S. Pay, and of Edith R. Pay, of Cambridge, England.
P/O. Donald Ralph Tuppen. Runnymede Memorial Panel 10. Son of Edward Browne Tuppen and Helena Augusta Tuppen, of Rugby, Warwickshire, England.
Left: Sherborne School, Dorset - Any further information that you are able to assist them with fallen former pupils from all wars, we would be pleased to pass onto them.
P/O. David Spencer Cox. Runnymede Memorial Panel 7. Further information (courtesy Sherborne School Archives) Born 15 March 1921, son of Spencer Cox and Grace Leslie Cox of Earl's Court, London (formerly of Grey Garth, Budleigh Salterton). Attended Bigshotte School, Wokingham, Berkshire. Attended Sherborne School (Abbeylands) September 1934-July 1937; scholar; 6th form. Chartered accountancy.
Above: Sgt. William Roy Pope (courtesy Roy Pope - relative)
Sgt. William Roy Pope. Houlgate (Beuzeval) Communal Cemetery. Spec Mem. Plot 10. Grave 13. Eldest son of William Aaron and Olive Blanche Pope of Pontrhydyfen, Glamorgan, South Wales.
Sgt. Henry Herbert Harrison. Runnymede Memorial Panel 15. Son of Henry and Annie Harrison, of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
P/O. George Reginald Michael Ford. Runnymede Memorial Panel 8. Son of Charles Bell Eustace and Mary Emily Ford.
Researched for Bill Dolan (Nephew of Sgt. Harrison) and relatives of the other crew members. With thanks to Roy Pope - the nearest surviving relative of Sgt. William Roy Pope who contacted us in November 2015. Also to Barbara and Stuart Lewis for visiting Houlgate Cemetery and taking the photographs for us.
With thanks to Sherborne School Archives for additional information as well as other sources used as shown below.