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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 Coastal Command crest
18.08.1943 547 Squadron Wellington XI HZ407 2V-K Flt.Sgt. John Clarke

Operation: Musketry 3 (Anti-submarine patrol)

Date: 18th August 1943 (Wednesday)

Unit: 547 Squadron, Coastal Command

Type: Wellington XI

Serial: HZ407

Code: 2V-K

Base: RAF Davidstow Moor, Cornwall

Location: Bay of Biscay

Pilot: Flt.Sgt. John Clarke 1230372 RAFVR Age 21. Missing

Pilot 2: Fg.Off. Noel William Springer 415034 RNZAF Age 22. Missing

Nav: Flt.Sgt. Charles Ross Byers R/127557 RCAF Age 21. Missing

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. George Billing Hasdell 1222569 RAFVR Age 33. Missing

Air Gnr: Sgt. Henry James Graham 1029884 RAFVR Age 21. Missing

Air Gnr: Sgt. Granville Smith 1021078 RAFVR Age 21. Missing

We welcome contact from any other relative who are able to contribute information or comments on this page of remembrance.


Took off on anti-submarine patrol from RAF Davidstow Moor, Cornwall at 13.27 hrs.

The aircraft failed to return and no further details are available. The crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial (details below

Left: Fg.Off. Noel William Springer. Right: Plt.Off. Colin Nairne.

The family of Fg.Off. Springer also lost another relative, Plt.Off. Colin Nairne piloting a 75 Squadron Lancaster I HK588 AA-D.

Left: Runnymede Memorial (archives)

Burial details:

None - all are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial

Flt.Sgt. John Clarke. Panel 135. Son of Frederick and Esther Clarke, of Leigh, Lancashire, husband of Margaret Clarke, of Leigh, Lancashire, England.

(Above right) Fg.Off. Noel William Springer. Panel 198. Son of Ernest Charles and Constance Ella Louise Springer (nee Ricketts), of Wakefield, Nelson, New Zealand. Further information: Born on 23rd Ocober 1920 in Wakefield, New Zealand. He also had a twin sister, Nola Constance. Both attended Wakefield school in 1925. Noel later attended Nelson College 1934-1935. A total 742 hours flying time recorded.

Flt.Sgt. Charles Ross Byers. Panel 135. Born on the 25th September 1921 in Winnipeg. Son of Charles William and Winifred Beatrice (née Goodchild) Byers, of Weston, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. George Billing Hasdell. Panel 152. Son of Charles Henry and Comfort C. Hasdell, of Northampton, husband of Winifred Louisa Hasdell of Northampton, England.

Sgt. Henry James Graham. Panel 151. Son of William John and Aletta Gertrude Graham, of Portobello, Staffordshire, England.

Sgt. Granville Smith. Panel 165. Son of James and Jessie Smith, of Newton Heath, Manchester, England.

Researched for Keith Springer (relative of Fg.Off. Springer) and dedicated to all relatives of this crew. With thanks to, Keith Springer and family, Errol Martyn - "For Your Tomorrow Vol 2", Chris Goss - "Bloody Biscay", Auckland Museum/Cenotaph , NZ Weekly News, CWGC.

30.04.2020 - Editorial update and addition of Runnymede Panel.

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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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