23/24.12.1940 No. 58 Squadron Whitley V T4159 GE-J Sgt. Smith
Date: 23/24th December 1940 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 58 Squadron
Type: Whitley V
Base: RAF Linton-On-Ouse
Location: English Channel
Pilot: Sgt. Stronach Vivian Smith NZ/39942 RNZAF Age 24. Missing
Pilot 2: Sgt. Keith Leonard Watson 754082 RAFVR Age 24. Missing
Obs: Sgt. Alistair Gowing-Scopes 755642 RAFVR Age 30. Missing
W/Op/A/Gnr: Sgt. James Rowlands 936289 RAFVR Age ? Missing
W/Op/A/Gnr: Sgt. John William Chamberlain 651713 RAF Age 20. Missing
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 17.10 hrs for combined raids on Ludwigshaven, Mannheim and to various ports. 43 aircraft took part made up with Wellingtons, Blenheims and Whitleys.
T4159 was the only aircraft lost on these raids and crashed into the sea off Torbay, Devon. No bodies were recovered.
Some of the crew: Sgt. Keith Leonard Watson (courtesy Mathew Fletcher) Fl/Sgt. Sgt. Stronach Vivian Smith (courtesy Auckland Museum Cenotaph) Sgt. James Rowlands (courtesy David Rowlands)
Panels of remembrance at Runnymede Memorial (courtesy Rebekah Stuart-Wilson)
Sgt. Stronach Vivian Smith. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 28. Son of Vivian and Muriel Elizabeth Smith, of Taihape, Wellington, New Zealand.
Sgt. Keith Leonard Watson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 20. Son of William James Watson and Lily Emma Watson of Barrow, Suffolk, England.
Sgt. Alistair Gowing-Scopes. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 14. Son of Edward and May Evelyn Gowing-Scopes, of Crofton, Kent, England.
Sgt. James Rowlands. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 19. N.o.K. details not currently available.
Sgt. John William Chamberlain. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 12. Son of Caroline Chamberlain, of Croydon, Surrey, England.
Researched for David Rowlands nephew of Sgt. James Rowlands and for relatives of all the crew. Thanks to Mathew Fletcher for photo of his relative, Fl/Sgt. Watson.