21/22.03.1941 No. 105 Squadron Blenheim IV T1892 GB-Q P/O. Shirlaw
Operation: Lorient, France
Date: 21/22nd March 1941 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 105 Squadron
Type: Blenheim IV
Base: RAF Swanton Morley, Norfolk
Location: Nr. Cofton Hackett, Worcestershire
Pilot: P/O. Ian Murray Shirlaw 81054 RAFVR Age 25. Killed
Obs: P/O. Cyril Peter Dugdale 84034 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. John Olaf Mair 78277 RAFVR Age 33. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 20:34 hrs from RAF Swanton Morley in Norfolk to bomb the U-Boat base at Lorient. 66 aircraft taking part in the operation which, due to poor visibility caused poor bombing results.
On return, suffering it has been thought by battle image the aircraft collided with a barrage balloon near Cofton Hall, one of several protecting the Austin Longbridge plant.
The pilot managed to control the aircraft and crash landed the Blenheim but sadly hit banks by the river Arrow killing all the crew.
After the war the family of P/O. Shirlaw erected gates at the Kinver Cemetery in memory of their son who shared a joint grave with P/O. Dugdale. F/O. Mair was cremated at the Woking Crematorium.
P/O. Ian Murray Shirlaw. Kinver Churchyard Ext. (St. Peter). Row 3. Joint grave 11. Son of Alan and Eva Margaret Shirlaw, of West Hagley, Worcestershire, England.
Obs: P/O. Cyril Peter Dugdale. Kinver Churchyard Ext. (St. Peter). Row 3. Joint grave 11. Son of Lt.-Col. Walter Geoffrey Dugdale, M.C., and Rosamond Shirley Dugdale, of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England.
W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. John Olaf Mair. Woking Crematorium (St. John’s). Panel 3. Of Woking, Surrey, England. Next of kin details not currently available, are you able to assist?
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Halfpenny for Woking panel photo, Peter Polker for crew photos and details - April 2017. Other sources indicated below.