10/11.09.1040 No. 58 Squadron Whitley V T4134 GE-T P/O. James E. Thompson
Operation: Bremen Germany
Date: 10/11th September 1940 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: No. 58 Squadron (4 Group)
Type: Whitley MkV
Base: RAF Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, England
Location: Schönhagen beach, Germany
Pilot: P/O. (Fl/Lt. on release) James Edwin Thompson 78536 RAF PoW Camp: Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang (1)
Pilot: P/O. (Fl/Lt. on release) Trevor Harold Hadley 79512 RAFVR Age 20. PoW No: 245 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria. (2)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. (W/O. on release) K.D. Hall 759194 RAF PoW No. 274 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus
Air/Gnr: Sgt. (W/O. on release) William Hughes 633463 RAF Pow 278 Camp: Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang / Sagan and Belaria / Heydekrug
Air/Gnr: Sgt. (W/O. on release) W.J. Bull 701084 RAF PoW No. 265 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Linton-on-Ouse at 23:25 hrs to bomb the inland port at Bremen - thought to have been hit by flak and came down near Lübeck.
PoW Location Details for P/O. Hadley:
20.02.1941 - Oflag IX-A/H - Spangenberg Castle, Hesse, Germany, 04.03.1941 Stalag XXA - Thorn Podgorz, Poland, 07.06.1941 - Oflag IX-A/H - Spangenberg Castle, Hesse, Germany, 08.10.1941 Oblag VIB Dössel, Germany, 04.09.42 Oflag XXIB, Szubin, Pomorze, Poland, 11.04.1943 Stalag Luft 3, Sagan and Bellaria, Poland.
(1) No PoW details but repatriated in September 1944. (745716 number as a SNCO prior to his commission on the 17th April 1940) Received the MBE for activities whilst a PoW. Details:
Flight Lieutenant Thompson was a member of the crew of an aircraft which failed to return from an operational sortie over Germany on the 11th September, 1940. He was captured by the Germans when he landed on the shores of the Baltic near Lubeck. A few weeks after capture, Flight Lieutenant Thompson escaped from a tram at Stralsund station, while being transferred from Oberursel to Barth. He climbed out of the window, while the guard's attention was distracted, and crawled along the railway track.
His absence was discovered however and he was recaptured after a very short time. In January, 1942, whilst at Stalag Luft I at Barth, thus officer made his second attempt to escape, after studying the movements of the guards and the general layout of the camp for a period of months. He gained admission to the non-commissioned officers' compound to take part in a football match and remained in hiding in the barracks when the other officers left. Later that night lie crawled under the double gate leading to the football field and climbed over the perimeter fence. The whole operation took nine hours, and, when he was eventually free, he made has way towards Stralsund. There he was recaptured three days later while waiting for a boat to Sweden. Subsequently, Flight Lieutenant Thompson took an active part in several tunnel digging operations, but all of these were discovered before completion. He was eventually repatriated in September, 1944. Throughout his captivity, this officer showed great determination in has efforts to escape and his enthusiasm was never shaken by his failures. Note - we are unable to find details as to why he had been repatriated, normally through serious injury or illness.
(2) Shortly before on the 30/31st August 1940 He was flying as a co-pilot on Whitley V P5002 GE-T from RAF Lintin-on-Ouse on an operation to Berlin. During their return when very low on fuel the crew abandoned the aircraft over Hornsea. The pilot, Fl/Lt. Clements (3) 42194 RAFVR survived, as did P/O. Trevor Harold Hadley (5), Sgt. Zamek (4) and Sgt. R.F. Williams. 21 year old, Sgt. Matthew Hill 567598 RAFVR from Whitby, Yorkshire, England, baled out with all the crew but sadly his parachute drifted over the sea and it is assumed he drowned as his body was never recovered.
(3) On the 05th December 1944 30 year old, Fl/Lt. Neville Oxynham Clements, then with 24 Squadron, was killed flying Dakota III FL588 NQ-Z whilst transporting some of the most experienced glider pilots to the Far East. 18 people lost their live, 5 others survived when it is understood that the aircraft hit a mountain in France. The family were from Durban, Natal, South Africa.
(4) On the 3rd October 1940 22 year old, Sgt. Ian Alexander Zamek 749523 RAFVR was killed with all crew on the 3rd October with 58 Squadron also on a Whitley. N1434 GE-E on an operation to Frankfurt. His family suffered the loss of his brother on the 16th July 1942. 20 year old, Sgt. Norman Henry Zamek 1196372 RAFVR flying a Hurricane with 135 Squadron over India. The family were from Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.
(5) Brother: 20 year old, P/O. Ronald Arnold Hadley 79511 was killed the following month. See Whitley V T4137 GE-K 08/09th October 1940 for full story.
The rear of their photo is written: New Zealanders at Oflag IX-A - P/O. Hadley is shown far right at rear. Others not named - are you able to assist?
Boxing within the PoW camp P/O. Hadley is shown in front row extreme right. Others not named - are you able to assist?
German officers and other PoW's watching the boxing.
Trevor Hadley on right - chap on the left unknown - can you assist?
Pre-war days - Trevor Hadley shown front in black blazer, his brother, Ronald Hadley at rear 2nd left. Others not named - are you able to assist? Understood to be the Taranaki New Plymouth Aero Club
None - all crew PoW and thought to have survived the war.
Researcher - Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered August 2016. Further research by Webmaster. Photographs of the aircraft from the Michel Beckers collection. The photographs of P/O. Trevor Harold Hadley sent to us and used with permission from Julia Hadley, New Zealand - August 2016.