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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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12 Squadron Crest
08/09.06.1942 No. 12 Squadron Wellington II Z8652 Sgt. William Clayton

Operation: Essen

Date: 08/09th June 1942 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 12 Squadron

Type: Wellington II

Serial: Z8652

Code: PH-? (Are you able to confirm?)

Base: RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire

Location: Not known - ‘probably’ target area

Pilot: Sgt. William Clayton 1254858 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

Pilot 2: Sgt. Edward Arthur Conybear 983702 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Harold Bond 1168700 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alastair Charles Robertson 1113937 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Charles Stewart McIntyre 1112959 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Philip Julian Seckerson 1375679 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

We welcome contact from relatives of the crew members - or indeed other information on this loss


No details on the nature of the loss but thought ‘probable’ that they were brought down by anti-aircraft fire over the target area. No Luftwaffe claims for this aircraft that took off from RAF Binbrook at 23:16 hrs.

170 aircraft left from various bases to bomb the German city of Essen. The city was classed as one of the major industrial areas of Germany. During the war the area had been bombed on no less than 272 occasions.

This operation was made up with 92 Wellingtons, 42 Halifaxes, 14 Stirlings, 13 Lancasters, 9 Hampdens.

Bombing was made from 17,000 ft, but proved to be inaccurate due to poor target identification, the city suffered only light damage with 13 people killed a further 42 injured on the ground.

The RAF lost some 20 aircraft, 96 crew losing their lives, 1 taken PoW with 2 others evading capture. Most of the aircraft lost to the night fighters were over Holland.

Burial details:

Burial details:

Sgt. William Clayton. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 9.B.7. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Clayton, of Grovesend, Glamorgan, Wales. William held a Batchelor of Arts Degree. (University of Wales).

The following tribute to Sgt. Clayton has been posted on the Gower County School Memorial

Sgt. Edward Arthur Conybear. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.B.3-5. Son of Frank Robinson Conybear and Florence Alice Conybear, of Uplands, Swansea, Wales.

Sgt. Harold Bond. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.B.3-5. Son of Richard James Bond and Mabel Jeannette Bond, of Shirley, Southampton, England.

Sgt. Alastair Charles Robertson. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 9.B.6. Son of Alex and Thirza Elizabeth Robertson, of Whitecraigs, Renfrewshire, Scotland.

Sgt. Charles Stewart McIntyre. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.B.3-5. Son of Donald Grant McIntyre and Helen Ann McIntyre, of Dunkeld, Perthshire, Scotland.

Sgt. Philip Julian Seckerson. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 9.B.2. Son of John Ernest and Constance Seckerson of Dudley, Worcestershire, England.

With thanks to Bob McIntyre - relative of the W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Charles McIntyre. For further details our thanks to the following sources. Also to Larry Roberts of Canada, who assisted Bob with basic details in 1999. Thanks to John Jones for the link to the Gower County School Memorial for Sgt. Clayton. Finally to our friend, Mitch Buiting who made a special trip for us and the relatives taking the grave photographs of the crew in September 2016.

All the grave photographs are available free of charge at a higher resolution to relatives courtesy of Mitch.

RS 23.05.2019 - Addition of Gower County School tribute to Sgt. Clayton

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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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