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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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207 Squadron crest
14/15.01.1942 No. 207 Squadron Manchester I L7523 EM-M Fl/Sgt. Basil C. Wescombe

Operation: Hamburg

Date: 14/15th January 1942 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 207 Squadron

Type: Manchester I

Serial: L7523

Code: EM-M

Base: RAF Bottesford, Lincolnshire

Location: Holmpton, East Yorkshire

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Basil Courtney Wescombe 523056 RAF Age 25. Killed

Pilot 2: Fl/Sgt. Frederick Edward Thomas 1111152 RAF Age 26. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Eric Ronald Harper 925454 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Leonard Sieve 902414 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt.Claude Raymond Westbury 961733 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. ‘Jack’ John Thomas Howe 1194389 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Maurice Robert Walker 641700 RAF Age 19. Killed


Taking off at 17:35 hrs from RAF Bottesford, 15 minutes late due to a technical problem. It is thought that another problem forced the pilot to turn for home after jettisoning the bomb load over the North Sea.

At 20:45 hrs the aircraft crashed at the location shown - none of the crew were to survive.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Basil Courtney Wescombe. Falmer Church, Sussex in the 7th Grave from gate - Pathside. The Son of George Courtney Wescombe and Elsie Wescombe and the husband of Audrey Ruby Constance Wescombe, of Bitterne Park, Southampton, England.

Fl/Sgt. Frederick Edward Thomas. St. Mary’s Church, Brandesburton, East Yorkshire. Grave 8, RAF Section. No further details -are you able to assist?

Sgt. Eric Ronald Harper. Streatham Cemetery, London. Grave 305, Block 9. The Son of William and Hilda Maud Harper, of Tooting, Surrey, England.

Fl/Sgt. Leonard Sieve. Failsworth Jewish Cemetery, Manchester. Grave N.31. The Son of Myer and Lydia Sieve; nephew of Joseph Sunlight, of Knutsford, Cheshire, England.

Sgt. Claude Raymond Westbury. Nottingham Church Cemetery, St. George Sec. Grave 12058. The Son of Herbert and Mary Westbury, of Nottingham, England.

Sgt. ‘Jack’ John Thomas Howe. Winfield Cemetery, Nottingham, Grave B.3. The Son of Thomas and Sarah Elizabeth Howe, of Rugby, England.

Above: Understood to be Sgt. Maurice Robert Walker on the left of these two crew members (insert Sgt. Walker) in front of Wellington T2972 KG-G (This aircraft went on to survive over 50 operational sorties with 311 Squadron (Czech) before it was finally scrapped in 1944 )

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Maurice Robert Walker. Frankby Cemetery, Wirral. Grave C.9. Born 21st January 1922, in Wallasey, the son of Harold Hood Sydney Walker and Mabel Gibbs Walker (née Burcher). They lived in Wallasey, Merseyside, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Mike McQaid and also to Mike Berrell of The Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society. Also to Lisa West and the family of Sgt. Maurice Robert Walker for photographs and information - September 2017. Julia and Keld, Irish, Meersbrooke for other grave photographs. Further sources as quoted:

KTY - Page sponsored and photos added 16.09.2017

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 (both 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', 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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Last Modified: 16 September 2017, 17:59

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