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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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102 Squadron Crest
23/24.09.1942 102 Squadron Halifax II W1055 DY:F Plt Off. Richard C.E. Bassom

Operation: Flensburg

Date: 23th/24th September 1942 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: 102 Squadron

Type: Halifax II

Serial: W1055

Code: DY:F

Base: RAF Pocklington, Yorkshire

Location: Baltic Sea of Flensburg

Pilot: Plt Off. Richard Charles Edgar Bassom 132605 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

Flt Eng: Sgt. John Bennett 573729 RAF Age 20. Missing

Nav: Sgt. Sydney Cooper 1186699 RAFVR Age 26. Missing

Bomb Aimer: Sgt. Robert John Gould 405483 RNZAF Age 24. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. William Douglas Reynolds R62684 RCAF Age 26. Killed

Air Gnr: Sgt. Arthur Graham Sherrard-Smith 924232 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air Gnr: Sgt. Charles Stainton 954283 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Above: Plt Off. Richard Charles Edgar Bassom (courtesy John Bassom)


Taking off from RAF Pocklington in Yorkshire at 00:16hrs to bomb Flensburg with 28 other Halifaxes from 4 group.

Just 16 managed to find and bomb the target due to poor weather conditions.

W1055 was coned by 2. & 3./Res. Flakscheinw. Abt. 609 and hit by flak from 1.-4./Res. Flak Abt. 306, 1.-3./lei. Flak Abt. 755 and the Flak of lei. Marine-Flakzug. The aircraft crashed in Flensburg-Förde near the U-Boot wharf at 04:01 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (30 May - 31 December 1942) The Early Years Part 3 - Theo Boiten)

Five bodies were recovered, the remaining two are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey.

102 Squadron lost another aircraft on this operation:

Halifax II DT517 DY:G Flown by 26 year old Fg Off. George Mee 402559 RNZAF from Wellington City, New Zealand. Killed with all the other 7 crew members.

DT517 was coned by 2./Res. Flakscheinw. Abt. 609 (Werfer 36) and hit by flak from 2.-4./Res. Flak Abt. 306, 1.-3./lei. Flak Abt. 755 and lei. Flakzug Müwik. The aircraft crashed near Flensburg railway station ay 04:05 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (30 May - 31 December 1942) The Early Years Part 3 - Theo Boiten)

Burial details:

Initially buried at Friedenshugel Cemetery in Flensburg, reinterred after war end.

Plt Off. Richard Charles Edgar Bassom. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 4.A.8. Born on the 23rd December 1913 in Billericay, Essex, England. Brother to Enid, who was residing at the Bay Court Nursing Home, Budleigh, Salterton, Devon, England at the time of this report.

Sgt. John Bennett. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 78. Son of Thomas Harold and Violet Mary Bennett, of Long Compton, Warwickshire, England.

Sgt. Sydney Cooper. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 80. Son of Christopher and Beatrice Cooper, husband of Florence Elizabeth Cooper, of Sheldon, Warwickshire, England.

Sgt. Robert John Gould. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.10. Son of Hubert John and Mary Gould, of Pleasant Point, Canterbury, New Zealand.

This was his 7th operaration. although he had a total of 209 hrs flying time.

Flt Sgt. William Douglas Reynolds. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.11. Born on the 7th July 1916 in Grauby, Quebec. Son of William Samual and Florence Winnie (née Mayotte) Reynolds of Granby and Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Sgt. Arthur Graham Sherrard-Smith. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 4.A.9. Born in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire 1920 he was the eldest son of Norman Sherrard Smith and Alison Graham Barnard. He had two brothers, Stuart Norman Sherrard Smith (1923 - 1973) and John Sherrard Smith (1925 - 2002).

Sgt. Charles Stainton. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.12. Son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Stainton, of Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, England.

Page placed for Graham Price, second cousin to Sgt. John Bennett. Thanks also for details on the pilot to John Bassom, his nephew. Thanks to James Stewart-Rattray, a first cousin to Sgt. Sherrard Smith for his NoK details (Sep 2021). Loss details and NoK detail for Flt Sgt. Reynolds added by Aircrew Remembered (Sep 2021) For further details our thanks to the sources as quoted below.

RS 20.09.2021 - Loss details and NoK for Sgt. Sherrard-Smith and Flt Sgt. Reynolds 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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