03.08.1940 139 Squadron Blenheim IV L9239 XD:N Fg.Off. Arthur R.B. Tedder
Operation: Cherbourg Airfield
Date: 3rd August 1940 (Saturday)
Unit: 139 Squadron
Type: Blenheim IV
Base: RAF Horsham St Faiths, Norwich, Norfolk.
Location: Macqueville, France.
Pilot: Fg.Off. Arthur Richard Brian Tedder 70666 RAF Age 24. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Douglas Frederick Spencer 580627 RAF Age 21. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Owen Prys Evans 967877 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
On the 3rd August 1940 L9239 took off from RAF Horsham St. Faith at 06:07 along with 5 other Blenheims from the Sqn to bomb the airfields at Cherbourg. In total Bomber Command detailed 16 aircraft for this mission and L9239 was the only aircraft that failed to return. Some of the returning aircraft crashed in various locations and for other resaons whilst on the homebound flight.
The nephew of Fg.Off. Tedder informed us that during a visit to France he spoke with the then caretaker of a Chateau near Nacqueville who, at around 09:00 hrs on the day in question, saw a Blenheim on fire coming in low as a result of anti aircraft fire. It struck a wood on the side of a hill and exploded. The remains of the three crew members were buried in a local common grave. In February 1948 the remains were reinterred at the Bayeaux War cemetery.
The graves concentration report records that the crew were buried in a communal grave in the churchyard at Nacqueville, France.
Some publications record this aircraft as having been lost in the English Channel, however, this has now proven to be incorrect.
Thanks to an Aircrew Remembered volunteer researcher who visited France in 2010 the location of the crew graves were identified.
Crew graves recently photographed in 2010 (Courtesy Jane Chilvers from Norwich)
- Full resolution photograph of the graves are available free of charge to relatives if they wish to contact us.
Fg.Off. Arthur Richard Brian Tedder. Bayeux War Cemetery. Collective grave XVI. C.23. Born on the 21st July 1916 in London. Son of 1st Baron Tedder, Air Vice Marshall Arthur William and Wilhelmine Rosalinde (née Maclardy) Tedder of Yorkshire, West Riding, England.
Sgt. Douglas Frederick Spencer. Bayeux War Cemetery. Collective grave XVI. C.23. Son of Victor Ernest and Charlotte Lavinia Spencer, of Winton, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.
Sgt. Owen Prys Evans. Bayeux War Cemetery. Collective grave XVI. C.23. Son of William Griffith Evans and Annie Evans, of Llandudno, Caernarvonshire, Wales.
Researched for relatives of the crew. With thanks to the following: Jane Chilvers Aircrew Remembered volunteer. Thanks to Robin Tedder, the nephew of Fg.Off. Tedder, for the eye witness information. (Oct 2020). Review and update by Aircrew Remembered (Oct 2020).