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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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692 Squadron crest
25/26.08.1944 No. 692 Squadron Mosquito B.XVI MM135 Sq/Ldr. Walter D.W. Bird

Operation: Berlin

Date: 25/26th August 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: 692 Squadron PFF

Type: Mosquito B. XVI

Serial: MM135 

Code: P3-?                  

Base: RAF Gransden Lodge, Cambridgeshire

Location: Old Warden, Bedfordshire.

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Walter Douglas Wilberforce Bird 40361 RAF Age 28. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Francis William Hudson 1801746 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


This aircraft took-off from RAF Gransden Lodge in Cambridgeshire at 21.55 hrs for a bombing operation to Berlin. 36 Mosquitoes taking part on this sortie. 

A busy night for Bomber Command with many other operations taking place:

412 Lancasters attacking the Opel works at Rüsselsheim, 190 Lancasters with 9 Mosquitoes to Darmstadt, 284 Halifaxes, 32 Lancasters and 18 Mosquitoes to Brest, 182 training aircraft on a diversionary sweep over the North Sea, 2 Mosquitoes on reconnaissance of targets, 22 others to 5 other targets, 68 Mosquitoes on various patrols, 6 Halifaxes on gardening operations, 6 aircraft on resistance operations - a massive night of operations.

Tragically MM135 crashed on return from this operation at 02.45 hrs, at Park Farm, Old Warden, Bedfordshire killing both crew members. Understood that the accident was due to the pilot misreading his altimeter.

The Squadron nearly lost another crew on this operation when Fl/Lt. C.H. Burbidge crash landed Mosquito MM140 at Woodbridge in Suffolk at 23.50 hrs. Both the pilot and Navigator Sgt. I.L.H. Ramage escaped injury.

Sgt. Francis William Hudson.

692 Squadron Mosquitoes at RAF Gransden Lodge

Burial Details: 

Sq/Ldr. Walter Douglas Wilberforce Bird. Worting (St. Thomas of Canterbury) Churchyard, Hants. Grave SE Corner. Son of William N.W Bird and Ruth Bird, of Worting, Hants, England.

Sgt. Francis William Hudson. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave: 13567. Son of James Arthur and Annie Florence Hudson of Appledore, Kent, England.

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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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