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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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500 Squadron Crest
31.10.1941 No 500 Squadron Blenheim IV V5537 MK-M Sq/Ldr. Francis C. Phipps

Operation: Shipping Sweep

Date: 31st October 1941 (Friday)

Unit: No. 500 Squadron (Coastal Command)

Type: Blenheim IV

Serial: V5537

Code: MK-M

Base: RAF Bircham Newton, Norfolk

Location: Ijsselmeer, Holland

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Francis Constantine Phipps 36093 RAF Age 27. Missing

Obs: Sgt. Terence Patrick Mowan 921870 RAFVR Age 21. Missing (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Allan Arthur Miles 912232 RAFVR Age 21. Missing


Taking off on a shipping strike from RAF Bircham Newton in Norfolk at 22:00 hrs. After an attack on a convoy off the Fresians they crashed into the Ijsselmeer some 4 miles west of Lemmer at 23:50hrs. Neither the crew or aircraft were recovered.

Above area of loss with insert, Sq/Ldr. Phipps (courtesy Sherborne School, Dorset - see credits)

(1) The family of Sgt. Terence Patrick Mowan also lost their other son, 23 year old Fl/Sgt. Bernard Vincent Mowan 1324290 RAFVR on the 27th August 1944. Flying as a navigator with 297 Squadron. 

After returning from a supply drop to resistance fighters in France the runway was blocked during their landing of Albemarle V1782 the pilot aborted and overshot. However, the aircraft then suddenly lost height and crashed at Mill Farm, Busbridge, killing all 5 crew members. A memorial is in place at the crash site today. Shown above.

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. 

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. Francis Constantine Phipps. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 28. Further information: Born 10 October 1914, son of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Ramsey Phipps, DSO, RA, and Lorna Phipps of Bratton Lodge, Wincanton, Somerset; husband of Eleanor Mary Howard Phipps, of Sutton, Surrey. Attended The Wick preparatory school, Hove, Sussex. Attended Sherborne School (School House) January 1929-July 1933; 6th form. Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, B.A.

Sgt. Terence Patrick Mowan. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 49. Son of Patrick and Gwendoline Mowan, of Peverell, Plymouth, England. 

Sgt. Allan Arthur Miles. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 48. Only son of Arthur and Christina Miles, of Penang, Malaya.

(1) Fl/Sgt. Bernard Vincent Mowan. Plymouth Cemetery (Ford Park) Grave Gen.Sec.L. Row 25. Grave 23. - next of kin details as above.

With thanks to Sherborne School Archives for additional information. For further details our thanks to the following sources shown below.

Left: Runnymede Memorial Panels.

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: 08 March 2015, 09:38

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