19/20.09.1943 No. 138 Squadron SOE Halifax V DG252 NF-B Sq/Ldr. Wilkin DFC. MiD. MC.
Operation: S.O.E. Operation "Catarh".
Date: 19/20th September 1943
Unit: No. 138 Squadron
Type: Halifax V
Base: RAF Tempsford
Location: North Sea - North of Frisians, Holland
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Richard Pennington Wilkin DFC. MiD. MC. J/6026 RCAF Age 23. Killed
Fl/Eng: P/O. George Alfred Berwick DFM. 51682 RAF Age 26. Killed
Nav: F/O. James Wilfred Henry Brown DFM. 136035 RAFVR Age 35. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Hugh Burke DFM. 129140 RAFVR Age 27. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Albert Hughes MC. 970899 RAFVR Age 23. Missing
REASON FOR LOSS:
The records shows that this Halifax V DG952 was using a 5 man crew and crashed into the sea at the location shown above. No German Night fighter claims have been made for this loss but it is thought that they were shot down.
P/O. George Alfred Berwick D.F.M. also shown with his wife Betty. (courtesy Sandra Uden)
The Military Cross awarded to Sq/Ldr. Richard Wilkin and Fl/Sgt. Albert Hughes were awarded by the Czechoslavakian Airforce.
138 Squadron during World War II, was reformed in 1941, from No. 1419 Flight, as No. 138 (Special Duties) Squadron. It was based at RAF Tempsford, and was tasked with dropping agents and equipment of the Special Operations Executive inside occupied territory. It carried out this role until March 1945 when it was reassigned to Bomber Command, operating under No. 3 Group.
S/Ldr. Richard Pennington Wilkin DFC. MiD. MC. Terschelling (West Terschelling) General Cemetery. Grave 109. Son of William Lewis Wilkin and Hilda Richardson Wilkin, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Born in August 1917, London, England.
P/O. George Alfred Berwick DFM. Barradeel (Pietersbierum) Protestant Churchyard. Row 29. Grave 2. Son of George Alfred and Hannah Berwick, husband of Elizabeth Berwick, of New Barnet, Hertfordshire, England.
F/O. James Wilfred Henry Brown DFM. Harlingen General Cemetery. Plot E. Row 4. Grave 15. Son of John and Elizabeth A. Brown, of Nottingham, England.
F/O. Hugh Burke DFM. Ameland (Nes) General Cemetery. Plot D. Row 11. Grave 24. Son of John William and Florence Burke, husband of Edith Burke, of Harworth, Yorkshire, England.
Fl/Sgt. Albert Hughes MC. Runnymede Memorial Panel 137. Son of William and Hannah Hughes, of Walton, Liverpool, England.
For further details our thanks to the following, Sandra Uden for the supply of the photographs of her Uncle, P/O. George Berwick. Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries (Updated 2014 version), Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Les Allison and Harry Hayward - 'They Shall Grow Not Old’.