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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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248 Squadron crest
20.05.1940 No. 248 Squadron Blenheim IVF P8437 P/O. Bourgeois

Operation: Training

Date: 20th May 1940 (Monday)

Unit: No. 248 Squadron. 17 Group. Coastal Command. (motto: Il faut en finir - 'It is necessary to make an end of it')

Type: Blenheim IV

Serial: P8437

Code: WR-?

Base: RAF Gosport, Hampshire

Location: English Channel off Selsey

Pilot: P/O. Arthur Edmond Quentin Bourgeois 42100 RAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Pilot: P/O. Semon George Tatar 42684 RAF Age ? Missing - believed killed


On a training exercise practicing fighter attack on a 42 Squadron Beaufort I L4501 flown by P/O. Kenneth William Trigance 400730 RNZAF (1). P/O. Bourgeois's Blenheim IVF collided with Blenheim L9455, but managed to continue with the exercise. During the collision P8437 suffered damage to the port aileron and mainplane.

It would appear that the Blenheim was then caught in the slipstream of the Beaufort at around 1,500 ft and dived into the sea. Neither of the crew were recovered.

The pilot of L9455 managed to land safely at base, but the aircraft was later struck off charge.

(1) P/O. Kenneth William Trigance (shown left). Born on the 04th August 1914 at Temuka, South Canterbury, New Zealand. Son of William Trigance and Mary McCallum, husband of Anna Rita Mary Trigance (née Byron - died 07th November 1990, age 73) ).

Enlisted on the 06th December 1937. Transferred to the RNZAF in January 1944. Awarded the DFC on the 30th July 1940 and the OBE in 1964. Retired as Air Commodore in 1969.

Died on the 27th March 2000, age 85. Buried at Buried at Purewa Cemetery, Meadowbank, Auckland. Plot 28, Row 14, Block M A

Burial details:

P/O. Arthur Edmond Quentin Bourgeois. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 7. Born on the 22nd September 1918 at Gisborne, the son of Albert Edmond and Alice Maud Bourgeois (née Sweetapple), of Napier, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. Selected for a short service commission in the RAF 16th March 1939. A total of 199 flying hours logged.

P/O. Semon George Tatar. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 10. From Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada. No further details - are you able to assist?

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

KTY 26.12.2019

KTY 19-09-2021 - Updated with P/O. Trigance details.

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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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