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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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RAF Crest
04/05.03.1943 28 OTU Wellington IC Z1109 QN:T Flt Sgt. Atkin

Operation: Nickel

Date: 4th/5th March 1943 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit No: 28 Operational Training Unit (OTU), 93 Group

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: Z1109

Code: QN:T

Base: RAF Wymeswold, Leicestershire

Location: Nieuwesluis, Netherlands

Pilot: Flt Sgt. Charles Carr Atkin 12316 RAAF Age 27. KiA

Obs: Sgt. Clinton E. Gunning 1315314 RAFVR Age? PoW No: 27642 *

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Gerald Stanley Loveday 1303116 RAFVR Age? PoW No: 27723 *

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Robert Holden Roskell 1030795 RAFVR Age? PoW No: 27660*

Air Gnr: Sgt. Joseph Anthony Molloy 1621707 RAFVR Age 19. MiA

* Stalag 8b, in 1943 renamed Stalag 344, Lamsdorf (now called Łambinowice) in Silesia, Lamsdorf (now called Łambinowice) in Silesia.

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Wymeswold in Leicestershire at 23:50 hrs on a Nickel operation (propaganda leaflet dropping).

The Casualty Enquiry & Investigation Report by No.2 Missing Research Enquiry Unit (MREU) recorded the following eye witness details:

The Burgomaster of Breskens informed the researcher that at approximately 01:30 hrs on the night of the 4th/5th March 1943 several aircraft flew over the Breskens area, one of which was shot down by a German Marine-Flak-Abteilung battery from West Breskens and came down in flames in a field, near Breskens, owned by a Mr. van Hootegem.

At 06:00 hrs the next morning German soldiers searching a farm found one English airman in a barn who turned out to be one of the three who had baled out from the aircraft, all three were initially taken to Oostburg before transfer to Stalag 344.

The German found the remains of an airman by the wreckage of the aircraft and placed him in a coffin and then taken to the Cemetery at Flushing when he was buried on the 11th March 1943 in Section 3b, Grave No.122. This airman was later identified as Flt Sgt. Atkins.

The Germans buried the aircraft where it had crashed, took everything away and left no objects that might identify the aircraft or any of the crew.

It was reported by the three crew member that survived and returned home after the war that Sgt Malloy was the first to bale out of the aircraft over the sea and was believed to have drowned. He remains Missing in Action (MiA)

Burial details:

Flushing Northern Cemetery (Vlissingen) - Christmas Eve 2018 (courtesy Gerard W. Leppers)

Above Flt Sgt Atkin, left from his service record and right, grave marker (courtesy Gerard W. Leppers)

Flt Sgt. Charles Carr Atkin. Flushing Northern Cemetery (Vlissingen) Row D. Grave 28. Born on the 5th January 1916 at Armidale, New South Wales, Australia, the son of George and Amy Atkin and husband of Jessie Hamilton Atkin, of East Maitland, New South Wales, Australia.

Above: Runnymede Memorial with panel insert for Sgt. Joseph Molloy.

Sgt. Joseph Anthony Molloy. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 159. Son of Michael and Josephine Molloy, of Bootle, Lancashire, England.

Researched by Kelvin Youngs (Webmaster) for aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the families of the crew (Sep 2017). Thanks to Gerard W. Leppers for the map correction (Nov 2018). Additional information and photograph of Flt Sgt Atkin added by Aircrew Remembered (Mar 2023).

Other sources listed below:

RS - 27.11.2018 - Correction to crash location

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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', 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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