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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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149 Squadron crest
05.05.1942 No. 149 Squadron Stirling I N6124 OJ-R P/O. A.F. Cheetham

Operation: Stuttgart

Date: 5th May 1942 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 149 Squadron

Type: Stirling I

Serial: N6124

Code: OJ-R

Location: Agnicourt-et-Séchelles North east of Laon, Northern France

Pilot: P/O Arnold Foster Cheetham 103550 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Basil Ernest Smith 569626 RAF Age 21. Killed

Obs: F/O. Kenneth William Byron Moodie J/1211 RCAF Age 26. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick Bertram Pomeroy 1152526 RAFVR Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Victor Carriline 630417 RAF Age 26. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Francis Derek Jago 742695 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. James Arthur Shaw 968972 RAFVR Age ? Killed


Took off from Lakenheath for an operation on Stuttgart. The aircraft crashed at 04:00hrs at Agnicourt, north east of Laon. (Please note: these details are correct as some sources state Agincourt and others Aguilcourt.)

All the crew were killed and bodies taken to Laon St Just Cemetery for burial which does suggest that the Luftwaffe recovered the bodies as Laon at the time was a German night fighter base.

N6124 was part of a 121 aircraft raid and was shot down over Laon by Lt. Gustav Knoch, from 7./NJG4, a former Zerstőrer pilot with one victory to his credit. The Stirling did exchange fire and is understood to have also shot down Gustav Knoch who also perished during this exchange of fire.

Ann Mole pictured left visiting the graves - Ann is the niece of Basil Ernest Smith. With many thanks to David Mole for supplying these pictures and details of the loss.

Burial details:

P/O Arnold Foster Cheetham. Laon Communal Cemetery (St Just). Grave 14. Son of Eugene Wilberforce and Amy Agnes of Bridlington, Yorkshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "In Everlasting Memory Of A Beloved Son And Brother. Rest In Peace".

Sgt. Basil Ernest Smith. Laon Communal Cemetery (St Just). Collective Grave 16-20. Son of Ernest James and Sarah of Haverthwaite, Lancashire, England. Grave inscription reads: "Let Light Perpetual Shine On Them".

F/O. Kenneth William Byron Moodie. Laon Communal Cemetery (St Just). Grave 16-20. Son of James Francis Melville and Lucy Catherine of 238 Scarboro Avenue, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "Greater Love Hath No Man".

Sgt. Frederick Bertram Pomeroy. Laon Communal Cemetery (St Just). Collective Grave 16-20. Son of Frederick W. and Patricia of Hove, Sussex, England

Fl/Sgt. Victor Carriline. Laon Communal Cemetery (St Just). Collective Grave 16-20. Son of Arthur William and Agnes of Newcastle-on-Tyne and husband of Norah Evelyn of Sandyford, Newcastle-on-Tyne, England.

Fl/Sgt. Francis Derek Jago. Laon Communal Cemetery (St Just). Collective Grave 16-20. Son of Sidney Herbert and M.M of Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, England. Grave inscription reads: "Though Absent From Sight, Ever In Our Thoughts".

Fl/Sgt. James Arthur Shaw. Laon Communal Cemetery (St Just). Collective Grave 16-20. Next of kin details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

KTY - 19.12.2017 Page updated

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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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