15/16.03.1944 No. 77 Squadron Halifax V LK667 KN-A Fl/Lt. Peter Edwards
15/16th March 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No. 77 Squadron
Type: Halifax V.
Base: RAF Elvington, Yorkshire
Location: Longueau (Somme)
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Peter Charles Edwards J/10600 RCAF Age 22. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Robert John Service 1044703 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Nav: F/O Archibald Edgar Guthrie J/24010 RCAF Age 26. Killed
Air/Bmr: F/O. John Duncan J/26545 RCAF Age 19. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Douglas William James Smith 1323374 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Gnr: P/O. John Norgaard J/89120 RCAF Age 35. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Eustace Henry Orchard 926349 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from RAF Elvington at 18:12 hrs, tasked to bomb the railway yards at Amiens. Part of a force of 140 aircraft, made up from 94 Halifaxes, 38 Stirlings and 8 Mosquitos.
The Halifax fell foul of Flak over the target and crashed into a marsh, 500 metres North of the railway station at Longueau (Somme) and 15 km South East of Amiens, France. LK667 was initially issued to 76 Squadron Holme-on-Spalding Moor, Yorkshire.
One of two 77 Squadron Halifaxes lost on this operation, the other LL229 KN-Z was also thought to have been hit by flak. The pilot, Fl/Lt. Ronald George Spicer together with 5 crew members were killed, Sgt. McAllister taken as a PoW.
Bomber command claimed much damage to the railway yards but no further details available - 18 French civilians were killed during the bombing.
Fl/Lt Edwards joined 77 Squadron (RAF) in February 1944. He started flying training in Tiger Moth aircraft at Boundary Bay near Vancouver, B.C., in September 1941. Trained to Wings Standards in Anson aircraft at Fort MacLeod, Alberta. After graduating he trained as a flying instructor. Then instructed in Cessna Crane aircraft at Yorkton, Saskatchewan, from May 1942 to May 1943. Posted overseas he ferried a B-25 aircraft to Britain from Dorval, Quebec, in June 1943 via Goose Bay, Greenland, Iceland and Scotland. After a number of brief operational training postings he converted to Halifax bombers.
Fl/Lt. Edwards RCAF 1942 (Front Right). (courtesy of Garth C Gordon - Nephew)
Above left; Longueau British Cemetery Right: St. Pierre Cemetery, Amiens
Fl/Lt. Peter Charles Edwards. Longueau British Cemetery. Grave 5.A.1. From Ta Ta Creek, British Columbia, Canada. No further information, are you able to assist?
F/O. John Duncan. St Pierre Cemetery, Amiens Plot 3. Row D. Grave 13. Son of Robert John ana Mary Anne Duncan, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
F/O. Archibald Gordon Guthrie. St Pierre Cemetery, Amiens Plot 7. Row A. Grave 12. Cemetery. Son of Archibald Gordon Guthrie, and of Ellen Guthrie (nee Thompson), of Goderich, Ontario, Canada.
Sgt. Robert John Service. St Pierre Cemetery, Amiens Plot 3. Row E. Grave 13. No further information, are you able to assist?
Sgt. Douglas William James Smith. St Pierre Cemetery, Amiens. Plot 3. Row E. Grave 11. Son of Frederick James Smith and Ethel May Smith, of South Lambeth, London; husband of Alice Margaret Smith, of South Lambeth, London, England.
P/O. John Norgaard. St Pierre Cemetery, Amiens. Plot 7. Row A. Grave 11. Son of Hans and Helga Norgaard, of Orsted, Jutland, Denmark.
Sgt. Eustace Henry Orchard. St Pierre Cemetery, Amiens Plot 3. Row D. Grave 11. Son of Thomas Cory Orchard and Ethelwyn Dayman Orchard, of Week St. Mary, Cornwall, husband of Doris Mary Orchard, of Week St. Mary, Cornwall, England.
Researched by Mike Harrison for Aircrew Remembered with information supplied by Garth C. Gordon. with sources as quoted below.