18/19.03.1941 No. 10 Squadron Whitley V T4202 ZA-N Sgt. Watson
Date: 18/19th March 1941 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: No. 10 Squadron
Type: Whitley V
Base: RAF Leeming, Yorkshire
Location: Low Ellington, Yorkshire
Pilot: Sgt. Neville Watson 754857 RAF Age 21 Killed
Pilot 2: P/O. William McNaughton Spiers 87666 RAF Age 25. Survived (1)
Obs: Sgt. Derek Charles Lovelace Mole 754810 RAF Survived (2)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. A.J. Owen 818146 RAF Survived (3)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Bole 553790 RAF Survived (4)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Leeming in Yorkshire at 20:21 hrs on an operation to Kiel. Some 99 aircraft taking part in what the city reported as the heaviest raid so far in the war. The Deutsche Werke U-Boat yard was hit as well as many other buildings - 5 were killed on the ground with 10 others injured. No allied aircraft lost during the operation.
On return whilst at 6,000 ft the port engine seized and caught fire. The order was given for the crew to abandon the aircraft which all but the pilot complied with. It seems that the pilot was overcome by the smoke as he tried to leave the cockpit - his body was recovered in the wreckage. The aircraft crashed at around 04:55 hrs at Sutton Penn Farm in Low Ellington, Yorkshire.
Sutton Penn Farm in Low Ellington, Yorkshire (courtesy Angela Tuff)
(1) P/O. William McNaughton Spiers: Killed just a few months later on Whitley V T4231 ZA-A on an operation to Hanover - with all his crew. The family also lost his younger brother, 21 year old, P/O. John Reynolds Spiers 88038 RAF killed flying Anson R3321 - during a training exercise making a forced landing in Denbighshire, Wales.
(2) Sgt. Derek Mole: survived the war as a Fl/Lt. (112539) and passed away in October 1976 in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, England.
(3) Sgt. A.J. Owen: sole survivor of a 77 Squadron Halifax III MZ715 KM-Z on an operation to Sterkgrade - taken PoW No: 182 Camp: Stalag Luft Bankan, near Kreulberg, Upper Silesia. Survived the war.
(4) Sgt. James Bole: DFM Gazetted on the 10th September 1943. From Airdrie, Scotland. Later served with 429 Squadron RCAF on Wellingtons. After the war then served with 1 Squadron SAAF - killed on the 14th March 1952 when making a roll at low altitude and crashed near Bryanston, Johannesburg, South Africa in AT-6 Harvard 7023.
Sgt. Neville Watson. Newcastle-upon-Tyne Crematorium (West Road). Panel 9. Son of George Arnold and Florence Watson of Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, England.
Researched for Angus Mathie, nephew of Sgt. Bole. For further details our thanks to Angela Tuff for photo of the farm and the following sources shown below.