03/04.06.1940 No. 44 Squadron Hampden I P1340 Sgt. Spencer
Operation: Emmerich am Rhein, Germany.
Date: 3/4th June 1940
Unit: No.44 Squadron
Type: Handley Page Hampden I
Base: R.A.F. Waddingron, Lincolnshire.
Location: North side of Orwell Estuary, near Harwich.
Pilot: Sgt. E. J. Spencer Age. ?Safe
Obs: P/O. Reginald William Roots 36202 R.A.F. Age. 20. Missing
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Albert Gross Kendrew 624417 R.A.F.V.R. Age. 20. Missing
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Samuel Patrick Connell 580913 R.A.F. Age.? Missing
REASON FOR LOSS:
This aircraft was tasked for a bombing sortie to Emmerich. En-route to target the aircraft collided with a Barrage Balloon near Harwich.
It is believed that the pilot, Sgt Spencer abandoned the stricken machine, he owes his life to Petty Officer B. Driver R.N. who heard his cries for help and dived into the river and found Sgt Spencer clinging to a buoy.
The Hampden struck the balloon in the Harwich area with the aircraft swinging violently to port. The pilot reported that he was unable to control the aircraft and baled out at approx. 1000 ft.
The bodies of his three crew were never recovered from the water or from the wreckage that was trawled up from the docks in the 1980’s.
Memorial commissioned by the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Co dedicated to the three missing airmen at the Felixstowe Dock
P/O. Reginald William Roots. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 10. Son of Claudius William and Florence Irene Roots, of Wellington, Auckland, New Zealand.
Sgt.Albert Gross Kendrew. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 16. Son of Arthur Kendrew, and of Bertha Kendrew, of Blackpool, Lancashire, England.
Sgt. Samuel Patrick Connell. Runnymede Memorial. Son of John F. and Mary Connell, of Drumcondra, Co. Dublin, Republic of Ireland.