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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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90 Squadron Crest
27/28.06.1944 No. 90 Squadron Lancaster III NE145 WP-D P/O. Todd

Operation: Blennais

Date: 27/28th June 1944 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 90 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: NE145

Code: WP-D

Base: RAF Tuddenham, Suffolk

Location: Icklingham, Suffolk

Pilot: P/O. Cyril James Todd 173008 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Joseph Kenneth Horn 574273 RAF Age 21. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Robert Jeffrey Ferrans 1566749 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Richard James Travers Hawkes 1324754 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Alexander Burnett 1062774 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Douglas James Smith 1852687 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Cyril Thomas Sayer 1870253 RAFVR Age 20. Killed


Taking off from RAF Tuddenham in Suffolk at 23:41 hrs to bomb the flying bomb factory at Blennais. Just one of several operations this night against the menace thrown against England with the V1s.

The operations were carried out under a half moon, but the Luftwaffe were confused as to the intentions of Bomber Command with a force of Operational Training Units flying out towards France and then returning to England.

It was not until just after midnight that German commanders committed the night fighters to the various threats.

During their return, intruder units flying the Me 410 attacked and shot down Lancaster NE145 south of Newmarket at Icklingham in Suffolk at 02:27 hrs. The pilot, Lt. Markan of 4./KG51 claimed the Lancaster at 02:27 hrs shooting it down flying at 350 metres with the aircraft crashing at Canada Farm in Icklingham - all the crew were killed.

Burial details:

P/O. Cyril James Todd. Ipswich Old Cemetery. Sector C. Division 31. Grave 73. Son of Amos Albert and Esther Todd, of Ipswich; husband of Joan Lilian Todd, of Ipswich, Suffolk, England. Grave inscription reads: "They Shall Grow Not Old As We That Are Left Grow Old Age Shall Not Weary Them Nor The Years Condemn".

Sgt. Joseph Kenneth Horn. Beck Row Churchyard (St. John). Row E. Grave 9. Son of William and Alice J. Horn, of Aston Tirrold, Berkshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "In Pride Pass This Stone, Not In Sorrow; And Strive To Live As Nobly As He Died".

Sgt. Robert Jeffrey Ferrans. Auchtermuchty Cemetery. Sector H. Grave 16. Son of John Ferrans and Maggie Ferrans (née Smith), of Auchtermuchty, Fife, Scotland. Grave inscription reads: "Our Deep Sorrow Is Softened By Happy Memories. Father, Mother And Family".

Fl/Sgt. Richard James Travers Hawkes. Mortlake Crematorium. Panel 6. Son of Edgar Cecil and Rosa May Hawkes, of Hammersmith, London, England.

Sgt. William Alexander Burnett. Tunbridge Wells Cemetery. Row C. Grave 8. Son of William Alexander and Jean Rae Burnett and husband of Norma Burnett, of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England. Grave inscription reads: "Treasured Memories Of A Dear Husband And Father. With Him I Spent My Happiest Days".

Sgt. Douglas James Smith. Dursley Cemetery. Grave 179. Son of Ivo James Smith and Doris Smith, of Dursley, Gloucestershire, Engand. Grave inscription reads: "Just Farewell, Not Good-Bye, We Shall Meet Again".

Sgt. Cyril Thomas Sayer. Hither Green Cemetery. Sector Z. Grave 44. Son of Frederick James Sayer and Rose Louisa Sayer, of Bellingham, Northumberland, England. Grave inscription reads: "Ever In Our Thoughts".

Researched for the Callahan family - relatives of Sgt. Cyril Sayer who contacted us in January 2018 and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown.

KTY - 20.01.2018

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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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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