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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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404 squadron badge
21.02.1942 404 (Buffalo) Squadron, RCAF Blenheim IV V5433 EE:F Flt Sgt. Brown

Operation: Recce

Date: 21st February 1942 (Saturday)

Unit No: 404 (Buffalo) Squadron, RCAF, Coastal Command

Type: Blenheim IV

Serial: V5433 *

Code: EE-F

Base: RAF Sumburgh, Shetland Islands, Scotland.

Location: Grunay Island, Outer Skerries, Shetlands, Scotland

Pilot: Flt Sgt. Charles Douglas Grant Brown R67587 RCAF Age 24. KiA

Obs: Flt Sgt. James Henry Oliver R64236 RCAF Age 26. KiA

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Thomas William Coy 992775 RAFVR Age 21. KiA

* Believed to be the incorrect serial number listed in the Sqn ORB - but we are unable to confirm the correct serial number.


Returning from an operation to norway where the aircraft had been attacked and suffered some damage the crew sent an SOS Message at 08:30 hrs informing Sumburgh that their radio equipment was faulty but that were heading back. The pilot tried to land on the Island of Grunay on a small flat area but burst into flames on landing. Further inspection of the aircraft revealed that although the front half had been totally burnt out the rear fuselage was intact and showed a number of bullet holes.

Aircrew Remembered understands that a memorial exists on the Island of Grunay, erected by Jay Chrishison, nephew of Ft Sgt Oliver but have been unable to locate further details.

Burial Details

Flt Sgt. Charles Douglas Grant Brown. Lerwick New Cemetery. Terrace 7B. grave 2. Grave inscription: "HE GAVE HIS ALL FOR FREEDOM'S CAUSE". Born on the 18th July 1917 in Windsor, Ontario. Son of Charles Dickens and Mary Rosalie (née Lambert) Brown. (His father predeceased him). Husband of Kathleen Marie (née Mullen) Brown, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Flt Sgt. James Henry Oliver. Lerwick New Cemetery. Terrace 7B. grave 4. Grave inscription: "HE DIED FOR KING AND COUNTRY". Born on the 30th May 1915 in Burford Township, Ontario. Son of Walter and Edna (née Bonney) Oliver of Brantford, Ontario, Canada. (His father predeceased him). Husband of Edna Pearl (née Riddols) Oliver of Brantford, Canada.

Sgt. Thomas William Coy. Neston Cemetery. Plot 5. Div B. Grave 19. Grave inscription: "HEARTS THAT LOVED YOU NEVER FORGET, IN MEMORY, DEAR, YOU ARE WITH US YET". Son of Thomas William and Elizabeth Coy, of Neston, Chester, England.

Researched for relatives of these crews with thanks for additional information to, Graham Warner - 'The Bristol Blenheim'. Update to Next of Kin details by Aircrew Remembered (Dec 2023).

Other sources listed below:

RS 16.12.2023 - Update to Next of Kin details

Pages of Outstanding Interest
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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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