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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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44 squadron crest
21/22.07.1941 No. 44 Squadron Hampden I AD983 Sgt. Bruce


Date: 21st/22nd July 1941.

Unit: 44 Squadron.

Type: Handley Page Hampden I

Serial: AD983.

Code: KM-?

Base: RAF Waddington

Location: Hampden AD983, England.

Pilot: Sgt. Donald MacDonald Bruce 1001163 RAF Age 28.   Killed.

Obs: Sgt. William Robert Bain Relyea R/62627 RCAF Age 24. Killed.

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Aloysius Connolly 974039 RAFVR Age ? Killed.

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Peter Joseph Lynch 914965 RAFVR Age 24. Killed.

We welcome contact from any relative or any additional information


This aircraft took off from its base at RAF Waddington 22.25 hrs to lay mines off the Frisian Islands. Crashed at 04.00 hrs. on the Greenstones, staff residence for Lindum Hill School for Girls at Lincoln. Miss Edith Catherine Fowle, the 49 year old senior French mistress, died after being trapped in the burning building. 

Ground crews loading mines on to a 44 Squadron Hampden for a Gardening Operation.

The sad remains of AD983 the next morning, with the tail section still resting on the wall of the school. (courtesy Lincolnshire Echo)

Sgt. Relyea was buried here at Waddington, the other crew members were taken to their home towns as described below.

Burial Details:

Sgt. Donald MacDonald Bruce. New Kilpatrick (or Hillfoot) cemetery. Sec. L. Grave 458. Son of Malcolm and Annie Macdonald Bruce, husband of Margaret McCubbin Bruce, of Glasgow, Scotland. 

Sgt. William Robert Bain Relyea. Waddington (St. Michael) churchyard. Son of William O. Relyea, and of Edna Relyea, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. James Aloysius Connolly. Edinburgh (Mount Vernon) roman catholic cemetery. Sec. N. Grave 73. N.o.K. details currently unavailable - Can you assist?.

Sgt. Peter Joseph Lynch. Streatham Park cemetery. Square 22. Grave 28845. Son of Peter and Bertha Lynch, husband of Monica Lynch, of South Lambeth, London, England. 

With thanks to the following: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol 2', Martin Middlebrook "Bomber Command War Diaries". The CWGC.

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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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