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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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40 Squadron Crest
29/30.06.1941 No. 40 Squadron Wellington II W5456 BL-P Fl/Lt. Baird

Operation: Hamburg

Date: 29/30th June 1941 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 40 Squadron 3 Group (motto: Hostem acolo expellere - 'To drive the enemy from the sky')

Type: Wellington II

Serial: W5456

Code: BL-P

Base: RAF Alconbury, Huntingdonshire

Location: Lost without trace

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Angus Bruce Baird NZ/391821 RNZAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed (note)

Obs: P/O. Joseph Henry Walls 88033 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Joseph Nowill Lister 628033 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Archibald Sinclair Rowan 973925 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Samuel Edward Bird 635899 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed


28 aircraft were detailed to attack Hamburg with a simultaneous operation against Bremen by 106 aircraft.

Nothing further was heard from W5456 after take off at 22:45 hrs.

According to the latest edition of the Nachtjagd Combat Archives by Theo Boiten (2019) it is thought 'probable' that they fell victim to the Wilhemshaven based Marine Flak. Flak Ugruko Mitte (II. Marine Flak Brigade) with the Wellington coming down in the Wadden Sea North West of Langwarden at 02:44 hrs.

However, he also lists two other claims that maybe attributed to the Wellington:

Fw. Helmut Arnold of 1./NJG2 at 60 km North East Bacton with the aircraft cashing into the North Sea at 03:50 hrs. (Killed 03rd September 1943)

Ofw. Hermann Jung of 2./NJG2 at 200 km East South East of Grimsby, aircraft crashing into the North Sea at 04:14 hrs. (Missing - believed killed on the 26th June 1942)

Note: His brother 33 year old, P/O. Francis Stephen Baird NZ/4212743 RNZAF was lost on the 17th January 1944. Whilst with 2 Squadron RNZAF flying as a navigator on Ventura NZ4520 when it crashed into the Coral Sea off Vanuatu, Solomon Islands.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Angus Bruce Baird. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 63. Born on the 08th December 1915 at Wyndham, the son of Dr. James Henderson Baird and Millicent Emily Baird (née White), of Wyndham, Southland, New Zealand. A bank officer for the Bank of New South Wales prior to service. A total of 564 flying hours logged and having completed 34 operational sorties.

P/O. Joseph Henry Walls. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 35. No further details - are you able to assist?

Fl/Sgt. Joseph Nowill Lister. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 37. Son of Joseph Nowill Lister and Alice Lister, of Sheffield, England.

Sgt. Archibald Sinclair Rowan. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 51. No further details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Samuel Edward Bird. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 39. Son of Samuel and Lillian Bird, of Dowlais, Glamorgan, Wales.


P/O. Francis Stephen Baird. Bourail Memorial. Panel 5. Born on the 02nd July 1910 at Wyndham. Husband of Myra Garfield Baird, of Fendalton, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. Prior to service worked as a surveyor with the Caribbean Petroleum Company.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and also the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, also the detailed research by Tom Kracker of the Kracker Archive on this website, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 05.11.2019

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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', 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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