Date: 20/21st October 1941 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 408 Squadron 5 Group (motto: 'For Freedom') RCAF
Type: Hampden I
Base: RAF Syerston, Nottinghamshire
Location: Haltham, Lincolnshire
Pilot: Sgt. Desmond George Bradley NZ/401801 RNZAF Age 22. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Alexander Teryl McMillan R/67522 RCAF Age 24. Killed (1)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert Arthur Stansfield 1055943 RAFVR Age 27. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. E.L Coles RAFVR Survived injured (no further details)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 18:14 hrs joining 152 other aircraft from various squadrons. The report from Bremen described it as a small raid with no significant damage.
5 of them were lost either in England or on the coast. 5 others crashed in occupied territory.
P1212 was returning to land at RAF Coningsby both cut out (probably through lack of fuel and at 00:45 hrs crashed at Haltham north of the airfield. Sgt. Coles survived the crash badly injured. Some reports state that he died later, but we have not been able to find any information to back this up.
(1) The brother of Alexander, 21 year old, P/O. Osman McMillan J/92574 RCAF also lost his life. On the 25th September 1944 whilst with 441 Squadron RCAF flying Spitfire NH151 9G-S when he was hit from a Fw190a over Nijmegen in Holland. Killed during an attempted crash landing.
Sgt. Desmond George Bradley. Newark-Upon-Trent Cemetery Sec. Q. Grave 300. Born on the 05th December 1918 at Wangaroo, the son of Vincent Henry and Edith Victoria Bradley (née Barnes), of Waipukurau, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. Prior to service worked as sheep farmer. A total of 322 flying hours logged and on his 10 operational sortie.
Sgt. Alexander Teryl McMillan. Newark-Upon-Trent Cemetery Sec. Q. Grave 299. Son of Osman and Ina McMillan of 685 Chilver Road, Windsor, Ontario, Canada and husband of Betty McMillan, of Windsor, Canada, Grave inscription: 'In Life Loved, In Death Remembered'.
Sgt. Robert Arthur Stansfield. Blackpool Cemetery (Carleton) Sec. E. Grave 71. Son of Frederick and Clara Stansfield and husband of Jean Sunsfield, of Leyland, England. Grave inscription: 'There, The Warfare Ended, Bid Them Rest In Peace'.
Other: P/O. Osman McMillan. Mook War Cemetery. Grave II.A.6. Inscription reads: 'God Rest His Soul In Peace'.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and the 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:
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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