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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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138 Squadron Crest
26/27.02.1945 No. 138 Squadron Stirling IV LK272 NF-P Fl/Lt. Peter B. Cornwallis

Operation: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Date: 26/27th February 1945

Unit: No. 138 Squadron

Type: Stirling IV

Serial: LK272 (1)

Code: NF-P

Base: RAF Tempsford

Location: North Sea off Norway

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Peter Brownell Cornwallis 158704 RAFVR Age 24. Missing

Fl/Eng: F/O. Leonard John Gornall DFC 52164 RAFVR Age 23. Missing (2)

Nav: P/O. Stanley Arthur Pepworth DFM 184794 RAFVR Age ? Missing

Air/Bmr: F/O. 'Jack' John Edward Stanton AUS/422617 RAAF Age 28. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. Brian Douglas Tovey AUS/29856 RAAF Age 25. Missing

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Stuart Samuel Hagerty R/211936 RCAF Age 21. Missing

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Edwin Cory 1538889 RAFVR Age 23. Missing


4 Stirlings from 138 Squadron taking off from RAF Kempsford at 19:39 hrs on operation Crupper 37. The crew of LK272 carrying four agents that were to be dropped in Norway.

No details as to their identity or if they had been dropped prior to the Stirling being hit and brought down by anti-aircraft fire. This was the only loss of the operation. The others witnessed the aircraft coming down in the North Sea off Norway. No trace of the aircraft, crew or agents found. It is thought that they were hit prior to dropping the agents as the squadron operation books state that their operation was not completed.

However, according to the Australian Archives they were detailed to drop “container” in Norway, 3 km. north of Fliniseter and 23 km. south east of Torp.

(1) The aircraft had been manufactured by Short and Harland between September 1944 - October 1944. Delivered to 138 Squadron on the 02nd October 1944.

(2) F/O. Gornall had survived an earlier crash on 11th April 1942. Whilst with 15 Squadron on Stirling N3703 LS-Q which crashed on return from an operation to Essen. 2 of the crew ere killed, 6 others survived ( 3 of these survivors were sadly later killed on operations later during the war)

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Peter Brownell Cornwallis. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 265. Son of Sir Kinahan Cornwallis, GCMG. CBE. DSO., and Gertrude Cornwallis (née Bowen), of North Warnborough, Hampshire, husband of Babette Johanna Cornwallis, of Chelsea, London, England.

Photograph left shows his father. Details - The Coronation of Emir (Prince) Faisal I as King of Iraq on 23 of August 1921. Emir Faisal has already served as King of Syria from March to July. The event was conducted, at 06.00 hrs in the court-yard of the Ottoman built Serai, his temporary headquarters upon arriving in Baghdad. behind the King to the left is Sir Percy Cox, British High Commissioner, Sir Kinahan Cornwallis, Tahsin Qadri, the King’s ADC, King Faisal, Sir Aylmer Haldane, British commanding officer.

F/O. Leonard John Gornall DFC. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 267. Son of Charles and Sarah Elizabeth Gornall, of Birkenhead, Cheshire, England.

P/O. Stanley Arthur Pepworth. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 268. No further information, are you able to assist?

F/O. 'Jack' John Edward Stanton. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 283. Son of Mr. Percy Ambrose and Mrs. Edith Marie Stanton (nee Williams, formerly from Wales), of 2 Sunshine Flats, 225 Pittwater Road, Manly, New South Wales, Australia. Born on the 15th January 1917 in North Sydney New South Wales, Australia. Prior to enlisting on the 23rd December 1941 he worked as a salesman for Woolworths, The Corso, Manly, Australia. He was a member of the Freshwater SLSC (Surf Life Laving Club)

W/O. Brian Douglas Tovey. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 284. Son of Joseph John Tovey, and of Gertrude Tovey, of 23 Guildford Road, Bayswater, Western Australia. Date of birth 29th August 1919. Enlisted on 10th February 1941 as a trainee fitter after initially being turned down to join the RAAF in June 1940 - no vacancies. Transferred to aircrew February 1942. Prior to enlisting was working as a boiler attendant at the Spencers Gold Mine, Meekatharra, Australia and also the Westernern Australia Meat Export Company.

Fl/Sgt. Stuart Samuel Hagerty. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 282. Son of James W. and Margaret J. Hagerty, of Claresholm, Alberta, Canada.

Sgt. John Edwin Cory. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 274. Son of Percy William and Elizabeth Margaret Cory, of Herne Bay, Kent, England.

Researched for Lisa Lipman from Australia, currently living in Norway - F/O. Stanton was a relative living in Manly, New South Wales, Australia. Page is dedicated to the relatives of this crew.

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), 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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 28 April 2015, 22:25

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