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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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272 Squadron Crest
11.05.1944 No. 272 Squadron Beaufighter TF.X LX882 Fl/Sgt. Raymond Rowell

Operation: Trapper Patrol

Date: 11th May 1944 (Thursday)

Unit: 272 Squadron (Motto: On, On!)

Type: Beaufighter TF.X

Serial: LX882

Code: ?-A

Base: LG. Réghaïa, Algeria (LG - Landing Ground)

Location: Mediterranean Sea off Menorca

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Raymond Rowell 1390468 RAFVR Age 24. Missing

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Roy Satchell 1322968 RAFVR Age 21. Missing

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 18:05 hrs on a 'Trapper Patrol' with 3 other Beaufighters from the squadron. Fl/Sgt. Raymond Rowell and his navigator became separated from the formation and went missing. The remaining Beaufighters returned at 22:40 hrs, landing at Alghero.

The aircraft took off at 1805 hrs and was shot down off Veghaio, east Minorca. Flt.Sgt.Rowell and Flt.Sgt. Satchell posted as missing in action (MiA) (A History of the Mediterranean Air War 1940-1945 Vol 4)

At 0629 hrs the next day, on the 12th May, the Sqn sent a Beaufighter on an air sea rescue (ASR) mission to locate the missing LX882.

Flt.Sgt. Allan Powell was the pilot on the ASR mission and the entry in his logbook for the 12th May 1944 reported "Beau X ASR No sightings". (Courtesy Eryl Powell)

Following this, on the 13th May, 272 squadron sent a further six Beaufighters to make a search for Fl/Sgt Rowell and Fl/Sgt. Satchell - taking off at 09.10 hrs - nothing was found, but during the search a submarine was sighted - giving no reply to a challenge, they attacked. The submarine submerged - no claims made for hits. Returned at 14.30 hrs.

The above photo has been included not only as it shows the pilot during training but also, as we have typed out the names, other relatives may, during internet searches, come across a name they recognise?

Available at a higher resolution. (courtesy Geoffrey Rowell)

No. 19 Beaufighter Course:
Rear: Hinde, Dibb, Pattison, Campbell, Kyrke-Smith, Stevens, Lennon, Fleming, Munday, Buchanan, Mason. 4th row: Crow, Skipper, Truscott, McAughtry, Atkinson, Parsons, Johnson, Boffin, Dibbs, Parker, Peggram, Brooks. 3rd row: Pennie, Taylor, Cooney, Caesar-Gordon, Hutchins, Howard, Rowell (pilot - this page), Collins, Harrison, Hibbert, Jackson, Brown, Everett, Johnson, Dick. 2nd row: Storey, P/O. Summerville, P/O. Euler, P/O. Owen, P/O. Siddall, P/O. Gieselman, P/O. Macklam, P/O. Stewart, P/O. Taylor, P/O. Hume, P/O. Pearse, Hall. Front row: Greenwood, Smith D.H, Hawson, Outhwaite, Lumley, Bolton, Hall, Potter, Ridgeway, Harbidge, Williamson, Fairfield.

272 Squadron Beaufighters on patrol (courtesy IWM)

Technical notes: Beaufighter: Length: 41 ft 4 in (12.6 m), Wingspan: 57 ft 10 in (17.65 m), Powerplant: 2 x Bristol Hercules radial engines, Maz speed: 320 mph, range 1,750 miles, 4 × 20 mm Hispano Mk III cannon in nose, 1 x manually operated Vickers GO or .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning for observer, 1 x 18 in (450 mm) torpedo.

Above: photo taken by Fl/Sgt. Raymond Rowell - anyone recognise the chap?

Available at a higher resolution. (courtesy Geoffrey Rowell)

Above and below - The Malta Memorial

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Raymond Rowell. ‘Missing’. Malta Memorial. Panel 14, Column 2. Son of Leslie and Ethel Rowell. Husband of S. Rowell, of Kingsbury, Middlesex, England. Understood to have enlisted at Euston, London. When sent for training he held the rank of W/O. stepping down to Fl/Sgt. on flight training.

Fl/Sgt. Roy Satchell. ‘Missing’. Malta Memorial. Panel 14, Column 2. Son of Mr. and Mrs. H.J.R. Satchell, of Southsea, Hampshire, England. Husband of N. Satchell. Understood to have enlisted at Oxford, Oxfordshire.

Researched for Geoffrey Rowell, son of the pilot and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to National Archives, Kew. Thanks also to Patricia Satchell (maiden name) who contacted us in November 2016. Thanks to Eryl Powell, the daughter of Flt.Sgt. Powell for the information from his logbook.

RS 18.11.2019 - Update to loss and ASR information

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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), 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', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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