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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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138 Squadron Crest
23/24.02.1945 No. 138 Squadron Stirling IV LK149 NF-D Fl/Sgt. Sinkinson

Operation: Op - Table Jam 181 (Drop zone Marie near Hobro)

Date: 23/24th February 1945 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No: 138 Squadron (SOE 1)

Type: Stirling IV

Serial: LK149

Code: NF-D

Base: RAF Tempsford

Location: North Sea off Denmark

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Eric William Sinkinson 1438945 RAFVR Age 24. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. George Albert Letts 910656 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Francis William Webster 1685818 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Bertie Ronald Hasler 1464401 RAFVR Age 23. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Cole 2202552 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Henry Thomas Batten 544413 RAFVR Age 28. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Arthur Sharman 189071 RAFVR Age 33. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Take off from RAF Tempsford on Operation Tablejam 181 and headed for Denmark with a supply of weapons to a drop zone Marie near Hobro, on the West Coast of Jylland. It was presumed lost while over the North Sea.

Sergeant Letts and P/O. Sharman were both found washed ashore near Thorsmide. Sgt. Letts was laid to rest in Sonder Nissum cemetery on 25th February 1945 and on the 1st of March 1945, P/O. Sharman was laid to rest in the same cemetery. On the 28th of June 1945 Chief Executive Officer Otto Sorenson reported that a grave with an allied soldier had been found in Beach area 2 of Sogaard Forstrand near Bjerregaard. The Wehrmacht had buried the body in the winter of 1944-45 and Sorensen now wanted it moved to Haurvig cemetery. The body was placed in a coffin and on the 1st of July 1945 laid to rest in a common grave with two more bodies that had been found buried on the beach.

The soldier from the Beach Area 2 was later identified as the Navigator, Sgt. Francis Webster while the other two were Fl/Sgt. Colin Blyth of 405 Squadron RCAF killed on the 29th July 1944 as an Air/Gnr on Lancaster III JB707 LQ-M (all 7 crew lost) together with Sgt. Arthur Robson of 582 squadron RAF who was killed on the 16th September 1944 as W/Op/Air/Gnr on Lancaster III PB378 60-T (all 7 crew lost)

(1) SOE: Special Operations Executive.

Burial details:

Sgt. Letts and P/O. Sharman are buried in Sondre Nissum Cemetery, while Sgt. Webster lies in Haurvig Cemetery, both burial places being on Denmark’s western coast. The other members of crew have no known graves and are remembered on the Runnymede memorial.

Fl/Sgt. Eric William Sinkinson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 272. Son of John Hudson and Sarah Jane (Swindlehurst) Sinkinson of Dalton-in-Furness, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. George Albert Letts. Sondre Nissum Cemetery. Mil Plot. Row A. Grave 6. Son of Mr Albert Edward and Cissy Maude (née Tulley) Letts and brother of Doris who was born in 1916 at Beckenham, Kent, England. George was known to be a keen cyclist and was working as a bench fitter on aircraft before enlisting in the RAF on 9th January 1940 and commencing his training to be a Flight Engineer. He married Jean Lucy Hone, one of eight sisters, at Anerley, Kent on May 27th 1944. They had one daughter, Margaret who was born on 3rd October 1945 in Penge, Kent almost eight months after George was killed.

Sgt. Francis William Webster. Nordic Havrvig Churchyard. Son of Thomas and Mary Elizabeth Webster of Lathom, Lancashire. Sgt. Webster has his name inscribed on the war memorial at Lathom, England.

Fl/Sgt. Bertie Ronald Hasler. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 271. Son of Bertie Frederick and May Hasler of Romford, Essex, England.

Sgt. George Cole. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 270. Son of Richard and Kate Cole of Easington Colliery, Co. Durham, England.

Sgt. Henry Thomas Batten. Remembered on the Runnymede Memorial. Panel 270. Son of Thomas Edward and Mary Frances Batten of Callington, Cornwall. Sgt. Batten has his name inscribed on the war memorial at Callington, England.

P/O. Arthur Sharman. Sondre Nissum Cemetery. Mil Plot. Row A. Grave 6. Son of Arthur and Amelia Sharman and husband of Ethel Hilda Sharman of Selsey, Sussex, England.

Researched by Linda Ibrom for Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to all the relatives of the crew.

Thanks to Søren Flensted (Airwar over Denmark) for information and cemetery photographs. Photos of Sgt. Letts to his grand daughter Sarah Vernon and the Letts family and to Steve Beazley (Callington war memorial). Deborah Cole Duffy for photo of Sgt. Cole. Other sources as quoted.

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), 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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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