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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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635 squadron
04.08.1944 No. 635 Squadron Lancaster III PA983 Fl/Lt. Beveridge. DFC Crew details

Operation: Trossy

Date: 4th August 1944 (Friday)

Unit: No 635 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: PA983

Code: F2-A

Base: RAF Downham Market, Norfolk

Location: Trossy St. Maximin, France

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Robert Walter Beveridge DFC 170892 RAF Age 24. Killed

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Frank Cyril Victor Tuck 916863 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

Nav: Fl/Lt. Michael Ingoldsby Massy 141336 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Francis George Chaplin Brown 1561578 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Lt. John Gordon Irwin DFC 131135 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. James John Mather 1042788 RAFVR Age? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John David Smith 1813739 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: F/O. John Allinson DFM 51349 RAFVR Age ? Killed


Took off at 11.07 hrs from Downham Market to attack the V1 missile sites North of Paris. An eyewitness reported that the aircraft had been hit by flak in the tail of the aircraft and on opening the bomb doors the tail flew off causing the aircraft to turn on its back. The aircraft crashed near the village of Trossy St. Maximin.

Target area at Trossey, taken during the night of the operation

Two aircraft were lost from 635 Squadron.

The other, Lancaster III ND811 F2-T, flown by Sq/Ld. Ian W. Bazalgette VC DFC (left) bombed the target after being hit by flak, losing both starboard engines. He gave the order for the crew to bale out. Having two wounded crew members on board, he made the decision to try and crash land the aircraft, which he did successfully.

Tragically the aircraft exploded after landing, killing the crew on board. He was awarded the VC posthumously for his actions. One of his crew members who survived, Fl/Sgt. Cameron DFM also survived an earlier crash whilst serving with 149 Squadron in November 1942, his pilot was also awarded a posthumous VC.

Burial details:

The aircrew were initially buried at the site of the crash and later reinterred in Marissel French National Cemetery shown left with insert Fl/Lt. Michael Ingoldsby Massy

Fl/Lt. Robert Walter Beveridge DFC Marissel French National Cemetery, Grave 359. Son of Robert F. Beveridge and Elizabeth Ann Beveridge of Battersea, London, England.

Fl/Sgt. Frank Cyril Victor Tuck. Marissel French National Cemetery, Joint Grave 356-357. Son of Jane Tuck of Croydon, Surrey England.

Fl/Lt. Michael Ingoldsby Massy. Marissel French National Cemetery, Grave 362. Also remembered at St. Mary's Cathedral (Church of Ireland) Bridge Street, Limerick City. Son of William Ingoldsby Justice Massy and Ada Mary Frances Massy of Stoneville, Co. Limerick, Irish Republic. Husband of Penelope Louise Massy. B.A. (Oxon)

Fl/Sgt. Francis George Chaplin Brown. Marissel French National Cemetery, Grave 363. Son of George and Edith Chaplin Brown of Leslie, Fife, Scotland.

Fl/Lt. John Gordon Irwin. DFC Marissel French National Cemetery, Grave 361. Son of Arnold and Elsie Maude Irwin of Newcastle-on-Tyne, England.

Fl/Sgt. James John Mather. Marissel French National Cemetery, Joint Grave 356-357. No further information as yet

Sgt. John David Smith. Marissel French National Cemetery, Grave 360. Son of James Benjamin and Jane Elizabeth Smith of Downham, Bromley, Kent, England.

F/O. John Allinson. DFM. Marissel French National Cemetery, Grave 358. No further information as yet

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Kate Tame for relatives of this crew. With thanks to the Irish Memorial Project for use of the memorial plaque also to the Commonwealth Graves Commission.

The Memorial reads:

Right: Memorial to St. Mary's Cathedral (Church of Ireland) Limerick (See credits)

To The Glory of God. And in memory of the men of the united dioceses fallen in the war 1939 – 1945 specially of those whose names are cut on this monument

A.G. Bevan A.B.R.N. H.M.S. Daring

J.D. Bishop F/O. R.A.F.

W.J.P. Goodbody Cpt CT. ION. Yeo.

A.W. Grenfell lieut. 10th K.R.R.C.

G.B. Grenfell F/O. R.A.F.

C.R.C.Herbert P/O. R.A.F.

C.B.V. Holden capt. 9th J.A.T.S.

W.J.W. Kingston Fl/Lt B.C. R.A.F.

B.D.J. Macgillicuddy M.C. M.M. Cpt. 47th D. Guards

M.I. Massy Fl/Lt. RA.F.V.R.

D.W.T. Maxwell Lt. Seaforths

J. Modler Cpl. Irish Guards

R.G. Preston Gunner 15th Coast Rgt. R.A.

A. Ruttle Pte. Manchester Rgt.

J.H. Ryan Trooper N.I.H.

C.R.P. Sweeny M.C. Mjr. R. Ulster Rifles

R. Thompson Sgt. Navigator B.C. R.A.F.

H.F. Turpin Lt. R.T.R. 6th Airborne

J. Welply Lt. 6th Airborne

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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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