07.07.1944 No. 29 Squadron Mosquito NF.XII HK413 Fl/Lt. Ronald R. Densham
Operation: Defensive Patrol
Date: 7th June 1944 (Wednesday)
Unit: 29 Squadron (motto: Impiger et Acer - 'Energetic and keen)
Type: Mosquito NF.XII
Base: RAF West Malling, Kent
Location: La Bigne, France
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Ronald Richard Densham 121088 RAFVR Age 25. Killed
Nav: F/O. Henry William Ellis DFM. 126080 RAFVR Age 28. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Missing from patrol over Normandy.
London Gazette: 911932 Flight Sergeant Henry William Ellis to be P/O. (126080) with effect from 10th June 1942. Promoted Flying Officer with effect from 10th December 1942.
When he was credited with his first kill, a Do217 on 14 January 42, he was flying with 29 Squadron's C/O, Wg/Cdr Edward Colbeck-Welch in Beaufighter R2260. Believed that he was also flying with the C/O for his second kill, a Do217 probably destroyed on 6/7 June 1942.
"During the past 12 months, Fl/Sgt. Ellis has carried out many operational sorties. He has displayed a high degree of skill and initiative. In January 1942 he assisted in the destruction of a hostile aircraft after a long pursuit. Some time later, in extremely unfavourable flying weather his skill and accurate directions enabled his pilot to overcome a difficult situation and make a safe landing. During a sortie in June 1942 he performed excellent work in an engagement with an enemy aircraft which was probably destroyed. This airman has always maintained a very high standard of efficiency, while his devotion to duty has set a very fine example".
From BBC "People at War:
"My father fought in the last war and died on the night of 6-7th June 1944. I have very few memories of him as I was four years old when he died, but the stories I have would have been told to me by my mother, grandmother and uncle Cyril, who was his brother. Cyril was also in the RAF and survived the war.
I know my father won the DFM. for a sortie in which 6 aircraft went out and only the one that my father was on, as a navigator, returned. My father was in the 29th squadron stationed at West Malling when he died.
On the way to his squadron that day his car, a red MG sports car, broke down and he had to leave it at the garage and make his way to West Malling. He was in a mosquito with Fl/Lt. Densham as the pilot and he was the navigator. They were in a long dog fight and his plane caught fire and came to ground on a farmers field in La Bigne Nr Caen in France".
"It was discovered afterwards that my father had not taken my baby shoe that he always took with him to good luck.
My grandfather who had also been in the First and Second world wars, being invalided out after Dunkirk with shell shock, had to go and collect my fathers car from the garage and I believe that the garage did not charge due to the circumstances. A story told to me was that my father had to hit someone on one flight, because he was panicking and managed to save his life.
After the war I understand the father of this airman, who had a shop (possibly in Islington) use to give us children (myself and my two sisters) sweets etc.
The death of my father left my mother who was 25 with three daughters all under 5 years. My sister Rosalind was 2 and my other sister Vivienne who was 1. My mother was told that my father was missing but the actual circumstances and where his body was she did not find out until the war ended and the farmer who had buried the plane and bodies, to hide them from the Germans, reported it to the authorities".
Crew grave at Bayeux War Cemetery (courtesy Woose at Find A Grave)
Fl/Lt. Ronald Richard Densham. Bayeux War Cemetery. Grave: Joint Grave XXV1.B.15. Son of William Richard and Edith Maria, husband of Beatrice Elizabeth of Whitfield, Kent, England. Grave inscription: "God Grant Him Rest Eternal".
F/O. Henry William Ellis. DFM. Bayeux War Cemetery. Grave: Joint Grave XXV1.B.15. Son of Henry Frederick and Laura Emily, husband of Joan Lillian of Hornchurch, Essex, England. Grave inscription: "Nil Desper Andum". (Do Not Dispair)
Page submitted to Aircrew Remembered from a ‘frIend’ of the squadron.