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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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R.A.F. Crest
05.07.1942 No. 1 FFTU Beaufort I DE121 P/O. Colin Barton

Operation: Ferry flight

Date: 25th July 1942 (Saturday)

Unit: Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit

Type: Beaufort I

Serial: DE121

Base: RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire.

Location: Mousehold Heath, Norwich

Pilot: P/O. Colin William Bidwell Barton NZ/412187 RNZAF Age 25. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Donald Edmund Carpenter 931393 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. James Edward Lemon R/92096 RCAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Robert George Ephraim Kater R/87959 RCAF Age 21. Killed


Taking off at around 09:00hrs from Lynham in Wiltshire.

At around 17:00hrs the aircraft was declared overdue - control at Lynham traced the route of DE121 and found it over the North Sea some 300 miles off course. They sent bearings to bring it back on course. At about 18:00 hrs it was seen approaching Mousehold with its undercarriage lowered. Both engines were heard to be cutting through lack of fuel - aircraft then spun into the ground killing all the crew.

From Eastern Daily Press:

During the first world war Mousehold was used as an aerodrome. The Norwich based company Boulton Paul produced aircraft such as the Sopwith Camel at its Riverside factory and the Royal Norfolk Regiments cavalry training ground was taken over by the Royal Flying Corps.

During the second world war the site was used as a dummy airfield with decoy aircraft to fool German aircraft attacking Norwich. A Beaufort DE121 plane crashed on Mousehold in July, 1942 and another bomber came down in Long Valley in the same year.

Crew graves at Norwich Cemetery - any relative who would like a higher resolution of these we would be happy to send you them free of charge.

Wandsworth Cemetery (courtesy C.W.G.C.)

Burial details:

P/O. Colin William Bidwell Barton. Norwich Cemetery. Sec. 54. Grave 674. Son of Roy Nathaniel and Florence Majory Barton, of Featherston, Wellington, New Zealand. 226 flying hours logged.

Sgt. Donald Edmund Carpenter. Wandsworth Cemetery Block 17. Grave 67. Son of Edward and Edith Carpenter, of Tooting, Surrey, England.

Fl/Sgt. James Edward Lemon. Norwich Cemetery. Sec. 54. Grave 26. Son of Arthur Edward and Daisy Gertrude Lemon, of Duncan, British Columbia, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Robert George Ephraim Kater. Norwich Cemetery. Sec. 54. Grave 25. Son of Robert Kater and of Annie Kater, of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Researched for relatives / friends of the crew. With thanks to the following: Moominpapa from Norwich, the Eastern Daily Press Norwich, the Commonwealth Graves Commission.

KTY 21-05.2017 map 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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