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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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101 Crest
07/08.06.1944 No. 101 Squadron Lancaster I ME565 SR-Q P/O. Algot L. Arnell

Operation: Foret de Cerisy

Date: 07/08th June 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 101 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: ME565

Code: SR-Q

Base: RAF Ludford Magna, Lincolnshire.

Location: Calvados, France.

Pilot: P/O. Algot Leon Arnell J/85254 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. James Baxter Carr 1393365 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Nav: F/O. Henry Frank Peacock 152783 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Sydney James Stott 141547 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Walter David Knight 938113 RAFVR Age 29. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Reuben Edward Foulds 1591122 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Edward Girdwood 1594791 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

On this day 8th June 1944 General Montgomery lands in Normandy, sets up his head quarters in Chateau de Creully


Took off from RAF Ludford Magna, Lincolnshire at 23:11 hrs with 112 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitoes to attack the fuel dumps between Bayeux and St-Lö. The raid was classed as a total success with huge damage done to both the fuel dumps and the German tank units that were preparing to counter attack the Allied landing force.

No claims for the shooting down of this Lancaster have been established but as there were several other raids taking place this night it is thought that the Luftwaffe night fighters were occupied with these. ME565 was probably hit by flak and it crashed near Saint Laurent su Mer. Calvados 5 km. north north east of Trevieres.

The complete crew were buried there in the U.S Military Cemetery until 1948, when the two air gunners Sgt. Foulds and Sgt. Girdwood who were the only two to be positively identified were moved to Bayeux Cemetery (details below).

Burial details:

P/O. Algot Leon Arnell. Runnymede Memorial Panel 249. Born 3 January 1923 at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The son of Lars Bernhard and Marie (née Landrioutt) Arnell of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Lars, an immigrant from Sweden, married Marie at Vancouver on the 28th August 1919. Sister Genevieve was born a year after P/O. Arnell.

Left: P/O. Algot Leon Arnell (courtesy Dave Champion)

Sgt. James Baxter Carr. Runnymede Memorial Panel 226. Son of James Baxter Carr and Margaret Carr, of Ealing, Middlesex, England.

F/O. Henry Frank Peacock. Runnymede Memorial Panel 208. Born at Woolich, Kent in the September 1923 Qtr, F/O Peacock was the only child of Henry and Nellie Florence (née Finden) Peacock of Sevenoaks, Kent, England.

F/O. Sydney James Stott. Runnymede Memorial Panel 209. F/O Stott was the son of Mark and Ethel (née Robson) Stott of Wingate, Co. Durham, England. He had an older brother, Ronald and a younger sister, Anne.

Fl/Sgt. Walter David Knight. Runnymede Memorial Panel 219. Son of Basil Knight, and of Mary Knight, of Purley, Surrey, England.

Sgt. Reuben Edward Foulds. Bayeux War Cemetery Grave X.C.3. Son of Reuben C. and Beatrice Foulds, of South Anston, Yorkshire, England.

Sgt. John Edward Girdwood. Bayeux War Cemetery Grave X.C.2. Son of Christopher and Emily Girdwood, of Southwick, Sunderland, Co. Durham, England.

Researched for Brian Clark-Barkness, nephew of Sgt. John Girdwood and for all relatives of this crew. For further details our thanks to the following, Moose for the grave photographs. Also to Dave Champion for comprehensive crew details and photograph.

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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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