29.09.1939 No. 144 Squadron Hampden I L4121 F/O. Sadler
Date: 29th September 1939 (Friday)
Unit: No. 144 Squadron
Type: Hampden I
Base: Hemswell, Lincolnshire
Location: Sea - Between Heligoland and Wangerooge
Pilot: F/O. John Tulloch Burrill Sadler 40061 RAF Age 24. Killed
Obs: Sgt. R.L. Galloway 580200 RAF PoW No: 5760 Stalag Luft Heydekrug (L6)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: A.C.1. James White Cummings 523342 RAF Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Henry Stephens 580680 RAF Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 06:40 hrs. Hemswell, Lincolnshire to bomb German warships in the Heligoland area. 11 Hampdens were sent in two formations - the first 6 attacked 2 destroyers but missed the target, the second wave of 5 were intercepted and every one was shot down by Luftwaffe Me. 109's that were now in place and waiting. 16 aircrew were lost and another 4 made Prisoners of War.
Oblt. Gunther Specht of 1./ZG26 is thought to have shot down this Hampden and also L4126.
A disastrous day for 144 Squadron. Others lost on this raid:
144 Squadron Hampden L4126 Flown by: F/O. Baughan (3 killed 1 P.O.W.) - 144 Squadron Hampden L4127 Flown by: F/O. Beck (All 4 crew killed) - 144 Squadron Hampden L4132 Flown by: P/O. Coste (3 killed 1 PoW) - 144 Squadron Hampden L4134 Flown by: W/Cmdr. Cunningham (3 killed, 1 PoW)
Above left: Runnymede Memorial (courtesy Geoff Swallow Right: Oblt. Gunther Specht and crew (courtesy Bundesarchives)
F/O. John Tulloch Burrill Sadler. Runnymede Memorial Panel 1. Son of Bertie Tulloch Sadler and Emily Sadler, of East Devonport, Tasmania, Australia.
A.C.1. James White Cummings. Runnymede Memorial Panel 2. Son of James White Cumming and Lily Cumming, of Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
Sgt. William Henry Stephens. Runnymede Memorial Panel 2. Son of William Henry and Ellen Stephens.
Researched by Geoff Swallow / Bob Wilton / Kelvin T. Youngs for relatives of the crew. With thanks to the following: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses', the CWGC