23/24.05.1940 88 Squadron Battle I P2356 Plt Off. Bert Wickham
Date: 23rd/24th May 1940 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: 88 Squadron (75 Wing, Advanced Air Striking Force)
Type: Fairey Battle I
Base: Les Grandes Chappelles, France
Location: Springen, Germany
Pilot: Plt Off. Albert Edgar Wickham 36200 RAF Age 22. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Edward Hibbert 564863 RAF Age 26. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: AC2. Matthew Whelan 630351 RAF Age 19. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from the airfield at Les Grandes Chappelles to attack Bingen-on-Rhine - understood to have been hit by flak and aircraft exploded in the air.
Various sources quote that the target area was where they were shot down, others state that they came down at the village of Springen - both marked on the map.
The Graves Concentration Report recorded that the three crew members were initially interred in the Springen Civilian Cemetery. They were reburied at the Durnbach War Cemetery on the 13th September 1947.
Plt Off. Albert Edgar Wickham. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.B.17-19. Son of Richard Edgar and Ruth Wickham, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. A total of 243 flying hours logged.
Sgt. Edward Hibbert. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.B.17-19. No further details - are you able to assist?
AC2. Matthew Whelan. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.B.17-19. Grave inscription reads: "IN HEALTH AND STRENGTH HE LEFT HIS HOME, THE GOOD LORD BIDDING HIM COME".Son of Matthew and Mary Elizabeth Whelan, of Waterloo, Liverpool, England.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew. Thanks to John Jones for the Graves Concentration information (Nov 2021). Thanks to sources indicated below.