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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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104 Squadron Crest
15/16.01.1942 No. 104 Squadron Wellington II W5417 EP-F Sgt. Basil Adams

Operation: Emden

Date: 15/16th January 1942 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 104 Squadron

Type: Wellington II

Serial: W5417

Code: EP-F

Base: RAF Driffield, Yorkshire

Location: Not known - lost without trace

Pilot: Sgt. Basil Andrew Adams 1293087 RAFVR Age 19. Missing believed killed

Pilot 2: Sgt. Charles Kenneth German 1056639 RAFVR Age 20. Missing believed killed

Obs: P/O. Royal George Lindsay NZ/401396 RNZAF Age 30. Missing believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Reginald Philip Henry Sperring 1282478 RAFVR Age 19. Missing believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Walter George Tate 1255945 RAFVR Age 20. Missing believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Reginald Cooke 913706 RAFVR Age ? Missing believed killed


Taking off from RAF Driffield in North Yorkshire at 18:48 hrs to bomb the town of Emden - an important shipyard for the Germans, Some 50 aircraft taking part with reports of many fires.

The Nachtjagd Combat Archives The Early Years 1942 by Theo Boiten records an aircraft was shot down on this day by Flak of 7/Marine Flak Abt 246 Battery Ameland. The aircraft crashed into the North Sea at 2046 hours.

No. 6 Course 22 Operational Training Unit.

Front row: Sgt. Harkness, Sgt. Waller, Sgt. J. Wilson, Sgt. S. Wilson, Sgt. Stevenson, Sgt. Taylor, Sgt. Riddiford, Sgt. Redler, Sgt. Williams, Sgt. Willmer.

2nd row: Sgt. Willoughby, Sgt. Killin, Sgt. Harper, P/O. Sams, Sgt. Macqueen, Sgt. Thomas, Sgt. Wright, Sgt. Denham, Sgt. Phillips, Sgt. Franks, Sgt. Hall, Sgt. S. Ray, Sgt. Biggs, Sgt. Wellfare.

3rd row: P/O. Knight, P/O. Pope, Sgt. Chambers, Sgt. Crump, Sgt. Davison, Sgt. Roberts, Sgt. Lefurgey, Sgt. Sutcliffe, Sgt. Abbott, Sgt. Robson, Sgt. Coombes, Sgt. G. Ray, Sgt. Howden.

Rear row: Sgt. Rhodes, Sgt. Norman, Sgt. Pearson, Sgt. Saunders, Sgt. Kerr, Sgt. Agutter, Sgt. Amos, Sgt. Warner, Sgt. Adams, Sgt. Scott, Sgt. Seaward, Sgt. Fisk.

(Course photograph supplied by David Champion - see credits, available to next of kin at a higher resolution - all names retyped from original photograph to enable search engines pick them up)

No. 7 Course 22 Operational Training Unit.

Front row: Sgt. Rees, Sgt. McKernan, Sgt. Welham, Sgt. Brough, Sgt. Clark, Sgt. Morgan, Sgt. Stocker, Sgt. Elphick, Sgt. Drew, Sgt. Hesselden, Sgt. Forster, Sgt. Crow, Sgt. Schofield, Sgt. Walton, Sgt. Ridley, Sgt. D.E. Jones, Sgt. Shaw, Sgt. Parker.

2nd Row: Sgt. Jones, Sgt. Tate, Sgt. Turner, Sgt. Taverner, Sgt. Radcliffe, Sgt. Mogg, Sgt. Nichols, Sgt. Wood, Sgt. Nutt, Sgt. Till, Sgt. Urwin, Sgt. Winterton, Sgt. Whitbread, Sgt. Sankey, Sgt. Slide, Sgt. Simkins, Sgt. Mulvey.

3rd Row: Roberts, Sgt. German, Sgt. Reid, Sgt. Hardy, Sgt. Wityck, Sgt. Winkle, Sgt. Vautor, Sgt. Lee, Sgt. Lloyd, Sgt. Gardner, P/O. Gibson, P/O. Goss, P/O. Griffin, P/O. Fairbairn, Sgt. Bradley, P/O. Lindsay, Sgt. Johnston, Sgt. Harris, Sgt. Powell.

Rear Row: Sgt. Phillips, Sgt. Sloggart, Sgt. Bruning, Sgt. Anderson, Sgt. Higginson, Sgt. Norman, Sgt. Saunders, Sgt. Pearson, Sgt. Hackney, Sgt. Walker, Sgt. Graham, Sgt. Davis, Sgt. Cornwell, Sgt. Zimmerman, Sgt. Foy, Sgt. Knight, Sgt. O’Brien.

(Course photograph supplied by David Champion - see credits, available to next of kin at a higher resolution - all names retyped from original photograph to enable search engines pick them up)

No. 9 Course 22 Operational Training Unit.

Front row: Sgt. Adams, Sgt. Cartright, Sgt. Carrington, Sgt. Tilley, Sgt. Manners, Sgt. Gill, Sgt. Skinner, Sgt. Fell, Sgt. Rowland, Sgt. Radcliffe, Sgt. Peel, Sgt. Allinson, Sgt. North, Sgt. Birch, Sgt. Proctor.

2nd row: Sgt. Munday, Sgt. Cassidy, Sgt. Dexter, Sgt. Scott, Sgt. Hughes, Sgt. Docherty, Sgt. Stacey, Sgt. Mann, Sgt. Wright, Sgt. Davis, Sgt. Sperring, Sgt. Bacon, Sgt. West, Sgt. Fairweather, Sgt. Marshall, Sgt. Clayton, Sgt. Bevan.

3rd row: F/O. McNaughton, Sgt. Baker, Sgt. Robertson, Sgt. J.L. Bell, Sgt. Higgins, Sgt. Falkinder, Sgt. J.B. Bell, Sgt. Garrow, Sgt. Harvey, Sgt. Dyson, Sgt. Johnson, P/O. Wright, Sgt. McDowell, Sgt. Weston, Sgt. Dansey, Sgt. Parsons, Sgt. Bradshaw, Sgt. Rossiter, Sgt. Simmons, F/O. Cummin.

Rear row: Sgt. East, Sgt. Hil, Sgt. Smith, Sgt. Carpenter, Sgt. Gordon, Sgt. Howsan, P/O. Hemy, Sgt. Slaughter, Sgt. Snook, Sgt. Atkinson, Sgt. McFarlane, P/O. Colcohoun, P/O. Churchill, P/O. Underwood, P/O. Mould, Sgt. Rattray, Sgt. Brown, Sgt. Edwards.

(Course photograph supplied by David Champion - see credits, available to next of kin at a higher resolution - all names retyped from original photograph to enable search engines pick them up)

Another aircraft was lost from the Squadron on return:

Wellington II W5493 EP-D crashed into high ground Arden Great Moor in Yorkshire. Pilot, Sgt. John Wilmot 1001441 RAFVR killed with 3 other crew members, 2 others escaped with injuries.

Burial details:

Sgt. Basil Andrew Adams. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 77. Son of H. D. and Ruth Adams, of Earl's Court, London, England.

Sgt. Charles Kenneth German. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 83. Born Prestwich, Lancashire, September 1921 Qtr. Son of Charles and Helena (née Eccles) German, married Prestwich December 1919 Qtr.

P/O. Royal George Lindsay. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 116. Born Avondale, Auckland on the 6th January 1912, attended Mt. Albert Grammar School. Grocer. Enlisted RNZAF as Airman Pilot u/t 4th June 1940. Training terminated August 1940, remustered as Air Observer U/T 1st September 1940. Embarked for Canada 5th December 1940. Attached RCAF 23rd December 1940, No. 4 AOS 27th December 1940, No. 4 B and GS 18th March 1941, promoted Sgt and awarded Air Observer Badge 26th April 1941, commissioned P/O 27th May 1941. Embarked for UK 18th June 1941. No. 3 PRC 17th July 1941, No. 22 OTU 21st July 1941. Posted to No. 104 Sqn 20th September 1941 (8 ops). Son of Samuel and Anne Lindsay (née Belcher, Avondale) A total of 235 flying hours logged - lost on this his ninth operation.

Left as described (courtesy Medals Reunited New Zealand - June 2018)

Sgt. Reginald Philip Henry Sperring. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 94. Son of Phillip and Evaline Elizabeth Sperring.

Sgt. Walter George Tate. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 94. Son of Thomas Walter and Dorothy Rose Tate, of Bognor Regis, Sussex, England.

Sgt. Reginald Cooke. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 80. Son of William Thomas Cooke and Anne Mary Cooke, of Ramsgate, Kent, England.

With thanks to Lynette Royce, niece of Sgt. Reginald Sperring who contacted us in October 2016. Detailed information kindly sent in by Mr. David Champion - October 2016 with the training photographs. Thanks to John Jones for the Nachtjagd Combat Archives entry. Additional information also supplied in July 2017. For further details our thanks to the following sources shown below.

RS 07.04.2019 - Nachtjagd Combat Archives data added

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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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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