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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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21 squadron crest
28.08.1941 No. 21 Squadron Blenheim IV Z7447 YH-A Sq/Ldr. Shuttleworth

Operation: Rotterdam

Date: 28th August 1941

Unit: No. 21 Squadron

Type: Blenheim IV

Serial: Z7447

Code: YH-A

Base: RAF Watton, Norfolk

Location: Off the coast of Holland

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Richard Ashton Shuttleworth 33548 RAF Age 21. Killed (1)

Obs: Fl/Sgt. Dennis John Mackan 550208 RAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. George Brittain 552121 RAF Age 20. Killed


This aircraft took off at 14:46 from Watton airfield Norfolk to carry out a low level attack on Rotterdam docks.

Blenheim Z7447 crashed into the sea off the Dutch coast. The cause of the crash has never been established but thought probable by flak.

Two large cargo ships were hit and other damage was caused to the docks. Three other aircraft from No. 21 Squadron were also lost on this raid. V5825 YH-R, Z7435 YH-S and V6436 YH-L.

(1) Sq/Ldr. Shuttleworth was still alive when a rescue boat arrived at the location. He was taken to Wilhelmina Hospital in Amsterdam, but died shortly after being admitted.

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. Richard Ashton Shuttleworth. Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery. Plot 85. Row D. Grave 1. Son of Ashton Ashton and Dorothy Ann Shuttleworth, husband of Honor Muriel Shuttleworth (née Ramsay)

Fl/Sgt. Dennis John Mackan. Hook of Holland General Cemetery. Row F. Grave 34. Son of John and Daisy May Mackan of Fishponds, Bristol, England.

Fl/Sgt. George Brittain. Hook of Holland General Cemetery. Row F. Grave 31. Son of Graham and M.H. Brittain of Carmichael, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Kate Tame for relatives of this crew. With thanks to the sources shown below:

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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), 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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Last Modified: 13 March 2021, 11:39

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