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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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Bomber Command Crest
25.08.2018. No. 640 Squadron Halifax III NA578 P/O. White

Operation: Watten, France

Date: 25th August 1944 (Friday)

Unit: No. 640 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: NA578

Code: C8-?

Base: RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire

Location: Thought to be in the Éperlecques area, France

Pilot: P/O. Cyril Arthur White 179590 RAFVR Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Harry Ward 2221266 RAFVR age 21. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Stanley Jenkins 1451229 RAFVR Killed

Air/Bmr: P/O. James Douglas Duffin J/92131 RCAF Age 28. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Geoffrey Edward Warren 2201288 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Arthur John Alden 1850102 RAFVR Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Albert John Bosworth 1807185 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Leconfield in Yorkshire at 18:30 hrs on a daylight operation. 161 aircraft taking part - 140 Halifaxes, 16 Lancasters and 5 Mosquitoes to bomb various German V1 Launch sites and storage depots.

No details on how Halifax NA578 was brought down but strongly suspected to be a victim of anti-aircraft fire. One of 4 aircraft lost. 2 Lancasters and 2 Halifaxes with another Halifax managing to return with flak damage and subsequently written off. 19 aircrew were killed, 2 evaded capture, 3 others injured.

Plaque at Éperlecques (sent into Mr. Geoffrey Gillon source unknown)

Incidentally this was also the day that the French 2nd Armoured Division along with the US 4th Infantry Division liberated Paris from the occupying German forces.

Above: As described (Main photo CWGC, Insert Mr. Geoffrey Gillon)

Burial details:

P/O. Cyril Arthur White. Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery (St. Omer). Plot 6. Row C. Collective Grave 2. No further details - we welcome any additional information.

Sgt. Harry Ward. Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery (St. Omer). Plot 6. Row C. Collective Grave 2. Son of James Alfred and Emily Ward and husband of Dorothy Irene Ward, of Stourbridge, Worcestershire, England.

Fl/Sgt. Stanley Jenkins. Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery (St. Omer). Plot 6. Row C. Collective Grave 2. No further details - we welcome any additional information.

P/O. James Douglas Duffin. Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery (St. Omer). Plot 6. Row C. Collective Grave 2. Son of Mr. James A. Duffin of Riverside Drive, Toronto, Canada.

Sgt. Geoffrey Edward Warren. Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery (St. Omer). Plot 6. Row C. Collective Grave 2. Son of Charles Alfred and Bessie Elvina Warren, of West Hartlepool, Co. Durham, England.

Sgt. Arthur John Alden. Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery (St. Omer). Plot 6. Row C. Collective Grave 2. No further details - we welcome any additional information.

Sgt. Ronald Albert John Bosworth. Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery (St. Omer). Plot 6. Row C. Collective Grave 2. Son of Jesse John and Kathleen Francesca Bosworth (née Begine), brother of Doreen Violet Bosworth of St. David's, New Bath Road, Sonning, Berkshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "And As The Sun Goes Down And In The Morning We Shall Remember Him". His mother wore her son’s wings on her blouse every day for the rest of her life!

Researched and placed for our friend and fellow researcher Mr. Geoffrey Gillon - relative of Ronnie Bosworth and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Geoffrey and other sources as quoted.

KTY - 10.04.2018

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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