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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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18.07.1940 No. 236 Squadron Blenheim I-F L6779 F/O. Thomas

Operation: Recce

Date: 18th July 1940 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 236 Squadron (Coastal Command)

Type: Blenheim I-F

Serial: L6779

Base: RAF Thorney Island, West Sussex.

Location: Cap de la Hague, France.

Pilot: F/O. Charles Raymond Delauney Thomas 40031 RAF Age 22. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Harry Donald Buchanan Elsdon 743044 RAFVR Age 28. Missing

REASON FOR LOSS:

During a recce/photo operation at 11.20 hrs on the 18th July 1940 in the Le Havre area of France. Understood to have been shot down by Hptm. Wolfgang Schellmann (1) of II./JG2 at about 12.15 hrs over Cap-de-la-Hague. The body of F/O. Thomas was recovered but that of Sgt Elsdon was missing.




(1) Hptm. Wolfgang Schellmann (pictured left) was later killed on the 22nd June 1941 after being rammed by a Russian pilot. At the time of his loss he was credited with 25 abschüsse. (courtesy Tom Kracker)

Please check out 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives' for further information


Above and left: Quiberville Churchyard, France (courtesy Kate Tame, taken during her visit in 2012) Any relative who would like a higher resolution of either the grave or church please dont hesitate to contact us.


Burial details:

F/O. Charles Raymond Delauney Thomas. Quiberville Churchyard, France. Grave 2. Son of Charles Llewelyn and Constance May Thomas; husband of Vera Patricia Thomas, of St. Gennys, Cornwall, England.

Sgt. Harry Donald Buchanan Elsdon. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 14. Son of Mrs. A. B. Elsdon, of Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England.

Researched for relatives of these crews with thanks for additional information to Kate Tame for grave and church photographs, Graham Warner - 'The Bristol Blenheim', Ross Mcneill - 'Coastal Command Losses', Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives', Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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: 30 June 2016, 16:37