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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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RAF Crest
14.03.1941 No. 10 Operational Training Unit, Whitley V P5087 P/O. Bridson DFC

Operation: Training

Date: 14th March 1941 (Friday)

Unit: No. 10 Operational Training Unit (6 Group)

Type: Whitley V

Serial: P5087

Code: Not known

Base: RAF Abingdon, Berkshire

Location: Irish Sea

Pilot: P/O. Allan Bridson DFC. 36267 RAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Pilot: P/O. Geoffrey Bertrand Chapman 63432 RAFVR Age 23. Missing - believed killed

Obs: Sgt. Frank Henry Baldwin 935264 RAF Age ? Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. David Carnegie Craig 974166 RAFVR Age 25. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Orr 754090 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Walter James Savage 944281 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed


P/O. Bridson served a tour with 10 Squadron where he was awarded the DFC - published in the London Gazette on the 07th March 1941 - just a week prior to his loss.

On Friday/Saturday 20/21st December 1940 he was piloting Whitley V P4961 out of RAF Leeming on an operation to Berlin. It is thought that they completed their bombing run on the aircraft component factory in the capital of Germany when, on their return the starboard engine failed.

Whilst over the area of Honington Airfield in Suffolk, the pilot ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft. This they did and all the crew managed to land safely.

Above: 10 OTU Whitley at Abingdon

On Friday the 14th March after taking off from RAF Abingdon in Berkshire at 10:45 hrs they left on a pre-determined route. (see map) Serving as a screened pilot with 10 OTU P/O. Bridson is understood to have handed over the aircraft controls to P/O. Chapman - nothing further was heard from the crew after take off. They are understood to have perhaps come down in the Irish Sea - at 19:30 hrs they were then classed as missing - none of the crews bodies were recovered and all are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial Panels.

Above: Acting pilot officers who have completed training in the ninth course at Wigram Training School passed out on Saturday. Standing, from the left, P/O. Herbert Gregory Ballantyne 36265 RAF - killed 14th August 1940, P/O. Allan Bridson 36267 RAF killed 14th March 1941, P/O Clive King Saxelby, J.L. Bicker-Uke, P/O. Charles William Miller 36270 RAF - killed 11th July 1942, P/O. Eric Orgias 36272 RAF killed 25th September 1940. Seated, P/O. William Henry Hodgson 36269 RAF - killed 13th March 1941, F/O. Noel Carroll Pettit 36273 RAF - killed 28th August 1941, P/O. Peter Knox Sigley 36276 RAF - killed 24th May 1940, P/O. William Oscar George Krogh NZ/2521 RNZAF - killed 22nd July 1940, H.O Newman, G.N. Fitzwater, Sq/Ldr. Peter Bettley Robinson 36274 RAF - killed 11th September 1942. Acting P/O. Allan Bridson and P/O. Krogh are remaining for service with the RNZAF in the Dominion.

Burial details:

P/O. Allan Bridson DFC. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 31. Born on the 19th October 1918 at Silverdale, Auckland, the son of Thomas Angus and Margaret Bridson, of Silverdale, Auckland, New Zealand. Prior to service worked as a motor mechanic. A total of 475 solo flying hours logged and having completed 22 operations.

P/O. Geoffrey Bertrand Chapman. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 31. Son of Bertrand James Chapman and Edith Gladys Mary Chapman, of Uplands, Swansea, Wales.

Sgt. Frank Henry Baldwin. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 39. No further details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. David Carnegie Craig. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 41. Son of John F. and Susan Craig, of Arbroath, Angus, Scotland.

Sgt. James Orr. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 49. No further details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Walter James Savage. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 51. Son of James and Sabina Kate Savage, of Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, the Paper Past Archive, other sources as quoted below:

KTY - 06.12.2017

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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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