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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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106 Squadron Crest
16/17.08.1941 No. 106 Squadron Hampden I AD756 P/O. Gordon G. Watts

Operation: Düsseldorf

Date: 16/17th August 1941 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 106 Squadron

Type: Hampden I

Serial: AD756

Code: ZN-

Base: RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire

Location: Gembloux, Belgium

Pilot: P/O. Gordon Geoffrey Watts 88016 RAFVR Age 24. Killed (1)

Pilot 2: P/O. James Grant 100206 RAFVR Age 28. Killed (2)

Obs: Sgt. Leonard Acres 1250963 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. G.V. Lynn 97600 RAFVR PoW No: 144 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus (357)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. J.H. Cook 922433 RAFVR PoW No: 127 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus (357)


This page is dedicated to the lady who was probably to be the pilot of the wife, Ms. Mary Ann Wright - at the time of his death she was serving in the WAAF based at Compton Bassett and Bletchley Park. She then married in 1945 and had a daughter 1948, Christine Hurwood who had contacted us to assist in trying to find out more.


REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 22:05 hrs from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire with 12 others from the Squadron joining some 45 other aircraft in the Düsseldof area. At the same time, 72 aircraft left to bomb Cologne, 54 to attack Duisburg all with the same purpose - bombing of railway targets.

The Squadron lost another crew on this operation:

Hampden I AE134 Flown by 21 year old, F/O. Terence Myles Robinson 84938 RAFVR from Ryde on the Isle of Wight, England, taken PoW with all of his crew. Sadly the pilot died, whilst a PoW on the 10th October 1941 - no details.

Hampden AD756 is confirmed to have been shot down by Oblt. Hans-Joachim Redlich of I./NJG1 - taking off from his base at Sint-Truiden (St. Trond) in his Bf110 he shot the aircraft down at 02:44 hrs.

This was his 3rd and as it happens his final claim of the war - he was killed on the 11/12th January 1942 in a flying accident East of the Sint-Truiden airfield. (see Kracker Luftwaffe Archive on this site)

(1) P/O. Gordon Geoffrey Watts proposed to Mary Ann Wright - she turned him down at the time. She later married Mr. Leslie Francis Squires on September 5th 1945. But there was always a corner of her heart for Gordon. Her husband must have been very understanding, he accompanied Mary in the 90’s to Brighton area - just to try and find any relatives with no success. We welcome any new contact which will be passed on. In the meantime Christine is trying to find the photographs that her mother held for the rest of her life.

(2) P/O. James Grant was not a usual member of this crew - he obtained permission to go along to obtain some operational experience.


Burial details:

P/O. Gordon Geoffrey Watts. Gembloux Communal Cemetery. Grave 64. Son of Mr. E.E. Watts of Hyverdale, 12 Leonards Road, Hove, East Sussex, England. Educated at Shoreham College from 1929.

(Right - memorial plaque at Shoreham College)

P/O. James Grant. Gembloux Communal Cemetery. Grave 63. Son of James and Margaret Grant, of Inverness, Scotland.

Sgt. Leonard Acres. Gembloux Communal Cemetery. Grave 65. Son of Joseph Henry and Ellen Acres, of Hammersmith, London, England.

Researched with information sourced by Kate Tame of Aircrew Remembered for Christine Hurwood whose mother was proposed to by the pilot. With thanks to Shoreham College for the memorial photo, Anneke Moerenhout and CWGC for grave photos. For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.

KT - 03.01.2017

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, 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', 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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