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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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44 squadron badge
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

Serial: P1340

Code: KM-?

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

Burial details:

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.

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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Last Modified: 28 May 2014, 22:45

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