06.05.1941 No 110 Squadron Blenheim IV R3600 Fl/Lt. Edward N. Steel
Date: 06th May 1941 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 110 Squadron
Type: Blenheim IV
Serial: R3600 (1)
Base: RAF Wattisham, Suffolk, England
Location: North Sea off Dutch coast
Pilot: Fl/Lt. ’Teddy’ Edward Nation Steel 40955 RAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed
Obs: Fl/Sgt. Ronald Albert Freestone 759027 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Joseph Dennis Bramhall 747958 RAFVR Age ? Injured (2) (3)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 11:15 hrs from RAF Wattisham in Suffolk on an anti-shipping operations.
They located a convoy, which included 3 destroyers and during the attack came under intense anti aircraft fire from as far out as 3 miles. During that attack which proved unsuccessful R3600 was hit and fell into the North Sea although it was not actually seen to come down (110 Squadron casualty report dated 08th April 1941). Relative advised Aircrew Remembered that they had transmitted a message stating that they were on their return journey - then they were lost!
Sadly no trace could be found of the pilot and Observer but the body of Sgt. Bramhall was later washed up on the German coast.
R3600 being armed with 250 lb HE bombs and SBCs (small bomb containers) of 416 incendiaries at Wattisham in June 1940. Probably a posed shot as the Squadron mascot can be seen on top of the Blenheim.
(1) This aircraft had flown at least 48 operations - a huge amount for this type of aircraft.
(2) His cousin Sgt. Ronald Bramhall 1053576 RAFVR was also lost on the 16th November 1941. Flying with 149 Squadron Wellington Ic R1627. (Archive report on that can be read here)
(3) According to the great New Zealand researcher Errol Martyn - he has found evidence that the International Red Cross reported that Sgt. Bramhall died later in the Marine Hospital, Wilhelmshaven. Quoted the source a letter from RNZAF HQ, London, dated 23rd July 1948. Since confirmed by a relative!
Fl/Lt. ’Teddy’ Edward Nation Steel. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 29. Born on the 28th December 1916 in Wellington City, the son of John William (1880 - 1961) and Maud Muriel Steel (née Nation 1884 - 1965), of Wellington, New Zealand. A New Zealander who came over to Great Britain to join the RAF prior to outbreak of war. A very experienced pilot with 608 flying hours logged. Thought to be on his 14th operation.
Fl/Sgt. Ronald Albert Freestone. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 36. No further details - are you able to assist?
Sgt. Joseph Dennis Bramhall. Sage War Cemetery. Grave 8.A.2. No further details - are you able to assist?
Researched for Barbara Martin - cousin on Sgt. Bramhall and dedicated to the relatives of this crew. Many thanks to Errol Martyn, researcher and author of ‘For Your Tomorrow’. Thanks also to the RAF Commands Forum. Other sources indicated below.