25/26.06.1942 No. 14 O.T.U. Hampden I P5312 GL-J3 Fl/Lt. Tristan E. Salazar D.F.C.
Date: 25/26th June 1942 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit: 14 OTU
Type: Hampden I
Base: RAF Cottesmore, Rutland, England.
Location: Borkum, Holland.
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Count Tristan Edward Salazar DFC. 62277 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Thomas Stanislaus Gaffney AUS/405441 RAAF Age 33. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Richard John Horlock 637223 RAF Age ? Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Sydney Howard Cusden 922350 RAFVR Age 27. Injured (1)
REASON FOR LOSS:
The attack on Bremen was to be another 1000 bomber operation although only 960 aircraft were available in the end. Targets for the operation included the Focke Wulf factory, A.G. Weser shipyard, Deschimag Shipyard and others, including this Hampden, attack the town and dock areas.
The bomber force reported back that 696 aircraft managed to bomb their targets - 572 houses destroyed, 6,108 damaged, 85 people killed with 497 injured. 2,378 people were bombed out of their homes.
Bomber command suffered terrible losses with 48 aircraft failing to return!
Taking off from RAF Cottesmore, Rutland at 22:52 hrs with the very experienced Fl/Lt. Salazar DFC piloting. It is assumed that they were a victim of the intense anti-aircraft fire over the City where they crashed.
Sgt. Sydney Cusden survived the crash, but despite treatment he died in hospital on the 18th September 1942 (the day after his 28th birthday).
Above left: Fl/Lt. Count Tristan Edward Salazar DFC. Right: cockpit of the Hampden (courtesy Valerie Davies Arends)
Above as described (courtesy Andrew Wyatt - September 2016)
Photo above as sent in by Andrew Wyatt - he is very interested to know where and in what capacity she served. He understands that it could possibly have been with some mapping section. If you are able to assist please contact us. A badge enlarged from one of the chaps in the photo is shown left - if that helps?
(1) As described in the text, he died later on the 18th September 1942 (age then 28).
(2) London Gazette 13th February 1942. DFC awarded whilst with 44 Squadron.
Left: Sage War Cemetery (archives)
Crew initially buried at the Lutheran Cemetery, Borkum on the 30th June 1942 and then reinterred on the 30th May 1947 to Sage.
Fl/Lt. Count Tristan Edward Salazar DFC Sage War Cemetery. Grave 7.C.3. Son of Count and Countess Demetrio Salazar, of Malvern, Worcestershire, England.
Sgt. Thomas Stanislaus Gaffney. Sage War Cemetery. Grave 7.E.13. Son of James Peter and Grace Gaffney, husband of Josephine Patricia Gaffney, of Lilley Street. Hendra, Queensland, Australia. Born 30th April 1909 at Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. Enlisted in Brisbane, Australia.
Fl/Sgt. Richard John Horlock. Sage War Cemetery. Grave 7.C.1. Next of Kin details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?
Sgt. Sydney Howard Cusden. Sage War Cemetery. Grave 7.E.1. Born on the 17th September 1914 in Wandsworth, Surrey, England, the son of Jonathan Albert Cusden and Gertrude Maria Cusden, née Jarvis. Husband of Phyllis May Cusden, (née Lack) married on the 26th November 1940 in Uckfield, Middlesex. (no children) Phyllis died in 1991. Believed to have lived at 66, Avondale Road, South Croydon, Surrey, England - she never remarried!
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Valerie Davies Arends for photograph of the pilot, Dave Mayo for next of kin details on Sgt. Sydney Cusden (Great nephew - Sept 2015) Also with many thanks to Andrew Wyatt for photograph of Sydney and Phyllis Cusden - submitted to us in September 2016. Other sources as quoted.
Update: In March 2014 we were contacted by James M. Metcalf, the great nephew of Fl/Lt. Salazar DFC - we forwarded the photo that we hold to him. In September 2015 David Mayo, relative of Sgt. Cusden also contacted us providing further details. Andrew Wyatt, September 2016, for the great photo of Sgt. Cusden and his wife.