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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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37 Squadron crest
07/08.02.1942 No. 37 Squadron Wellington IC ES989 LF-A W/O. Sidney Turner

Operation: Tobruk

Date: 07/8th September 1942 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No: 37 Squadron

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: ES989

Code: LF-A

Base: RAF Abu Sueir, Egypt.

Location: Lost without trace

Pilot: W/O.1. Sidney Allan George Turner R/67875 RCAF Age 21. Missing

Pilot 2: W/O.2. Archibald Boyd Cameron R/56347 RCAF Age 22. Missing

Obs: W/O.2. Roger Bentley Clements R/67894 RCAF Age 25. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Roderick Daniel Macdonald AUS/405080 RAAF Age 33. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Geoffrey Donald Rawbone 1187264 RAFVR Age 19. Missing

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Peter McIntyre 946416 RAFVR Age 26. Missing

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off from RAF Abu Sueir, Egypt between 19.15 hrs. and 19.36 hrs to bomb the harbour and shipping at Tobruk. The aircraft and crew failed to return and all the crew are commemorated on the Alamein Memorial in Egypt.

Another 37 Squadron Wellington was also lost on the same operation, Sgt. Shepherd on DV457 LF-W flew into a hill at Gebel Abu Shama. Two crew were killed but the other 4 survived.

Further details on W/O.1. Sidney Allan George Turner as supplied by Laurel Beechey:

"Second son of Archibald Sidney Philpot (Pillpott) and Lilly (Hodgson) Turner.

His parents were married at St. Lukes Battersea, Surrey, County of London. Feb 28th 1918. They had met while he was in hospital after being severely wounded in WWI. Lilly came over as a war bride to New York where Archie met her at the station July 15th 1918 and took her home to Windsor, Ontario Canada.

He was working in Windsor, at the British American Brewery. He was also worked as the motorman on the Amherstburg/Sandwich Street Car and at Ford Motor Co in the coal header dept, which was tremendously noisy (and helped to kill him), but it paid more. Archie was very quick tempered. In 1944 he died of his war wounds including kidney failure a slow result of mustard gas.

They lived on Prince Rd Park which he rented and rode a bike then moved to 590 Brock St. This was an old house then but it was their own. (As a child in 1950's I recall that this was by today standards a very dilapidated/poor home. The floors all sloped. There was no heat on the 2nd floor.)

Sid was the middle of three sons was born in 11th Feb 1921, Bruce the elder and Ron the younger. It seems they had a traditional British upbringing in Canada. All three sons sang in the church choir and at one point were all dressed in sailor suits for a photograph. (Archie had run away as a child to the sea and been in several navies)

Archie had an oversized rowboat with sail and one time his son Sid, took the boat out in front of the LeMoyne (one of the biggest lake freighters on the Detroit River) Archie seeing this leaped about exclaiming "Never Was A Man Cursed Like Me!" This was evidently a favourite saying when he was annoyed with his sons.

Sid came home drunk once, galloped across the room and leaped into bed…however…his mother had moved the bed!

Sid completed 5 years at Sandwich Collegiate Institute in Sandwich, Windsor, where he is remembered as having good grades and as one brother stated, “He knew everything and had a photographic memory.” (now known as Forester Collegiate)

From a February 21st program (no year) we know that Sid was President of the Drama Club and performed in skit called “God Caesar”. His brother Ronald also performed in this same evening’s performance, his skit was called, “While you Wait”.

Between High School and the war or as a part time job, Sid worked for Bowmen typewriters."

Burial details:

None - all are classed as missing.

W/O.1. Sidney Allan George Turner. Alamein Memorial Column 263. Son of Archie S. and Lily Turner, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

W/O.2. Archibald Boyd Cameron. Alamein Memorial Column 263. Son of Peter Archie and Eva Cameron, of Verdun, Province of Quebec, Canada.

W/O.2. Roger Bentley Clements. Alamein Memorial Column 264. Son of W. D. and Tillie Clements, of Goldthwaite, Texas, U.S.A.

Fl/Sgt. Roderick Daniel Macdonald. Alamein Memorial Column 265. Son of John Angus and Helen Macdonald, husband of Myrtle Margaret Macdonald, of Gympie, Queensland, Australia.

Sgt. Geoffrey Donald Rawbone. Alamein Memorial Column 262. Born 28th May 1923. Son of Alfred James and Alice Rose Rawbone of Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

Sgt. Peter McIntyre. Alamein Memorial Column 261. Son of Peter and Mary J. McIntyre, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, England.

Section of the Alamein Memorial book (courtesy Alan Rawbone)

Researched for and with information from Laurel Beechey niece of W/O.1. Sidney Turner. Also to Alan Rawbone, nephew of Sgt. Geoffrey Rawbone, dedicated to relatives / friends of the crew. With thanks to the following: the C.W.G.C. David Gunby and Pelham Temple - 'Bomber Command losses Middle East and Mediterranean'.

A wonderful collage of family photo's submitted by Laurel - included to show the personal side of this, another tragedy!
Top to bottom and left to right: 1st photo: Sidney, Roger Penny, Lily and Archie Turner Anne Penny, Roger Penny and Bruce Turner.
2nd photo: Sidney Turner early 1940, 3rd photo: Sidney Turner at school. 4th photo: Ron, Bruce and Sidney as choir boys,
5th photo: Bruce, Ron and Sidney as sailors, 6th photo: Ron and Sidney with old flying helmets.
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: 11 October 2016, 20:19