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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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No. 77 Squadron
28/29.06.1944 No. 77 Squadron Halifax Mk III MZ748 KN-A P/O. Jakeman

Operation: Railway Yards Blainville, France

Date: 28/29th June 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 77 Squadron

Type: Halifax Mk III

Serial: MZ748

Code: KN-A

Base: RAF Full Sutton, Yorkshire

Location: Between Fourmetot and Corneville-sur-Risle, Eure, France

Pilot: P/O. Colin Ian Jakeman. J/86240 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Alfred Manstoff. 1615909 RAFVR Evader (1)

Nav: P/O. Robert John West. 173984 RAFVR. Age ? Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. F. L. Giles. Evader (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. J. W. Hargreaves. PoW No. 86199. Camp Stalag XIIA Limburg, Stalag Luft L7 Bankau-Kreuzburg (Klucsbork, Poland) (3)

Air/Gnr: P/O. Ross John James McFadden. J/88350 RCAF Age 27. Killed

Air/Gnr: F/O. Andrew Harold Anthony Dowd. 1014800 RAF Evader (4)

Took off from RAF Full Sutton at 21.55 to attack rail facilities at Blainville. Part of a group made up of 202 Halifax’s and a further 28 Pathfinder Lancaster’s to attack railway yards at both Blainville and Metz. Both targets were hit.

Obit. Jakob Schaus of 4/NJG4 claimed a Halifax of 77 Squadron probably MZ748 at Pont Audemer, SW of Rouen at 03.20hrs. 12 Halifax aircraft were lost from this raid on Blainville and 8 from the attack on Metz, with a total loss of 59 lives, 33 PoW's, 47 evaders and 1 crew member who was injured and died later of his wounds

A Halifax Mk III type aircraft. Map showing Metz and Blainville

Burial details:

P/O. Jakeman, P/O. West and P/O. McFadden (courtesy of Kate Tame) P/O. West, Nevendon War Memorial (courtesy Find a Grave

Fourmetot Churchyard and Corneville-sur-Risle Churchyard

Left: P/O Colin Ian Jakeman (Courtesy Veteran Affairs Canada)

P/O. Colin Ian Jakeman. Fourmetot Churchyard. Son of Russell W. Jakeman and Jessie T. Jakeman of Roblin, Manitoba, Canada

Jakeman Lake, Manitoba is named after P/O Colin Ian Jakeman

P/O. Robert John West. Corneville-sur-Risle Churchyard, Joint Grave 1. Son of Robert William and Kathlin West of Wickford, Essex. Husband of Ivy Grace West. His brother Fl/Sgt. Leo West. 1256886. R.A.F.V.R. also lost his life on the 22nd July 1942 (Wellington Z8420) and is buried in Bergen General Cemetery, Netherlands. Robert and Leo are remembered on the Nevendon War Memorial in St. Peter Churchyard, Nevendon, Essex, England.

Left: P/O Ross J.J. McFadden (Courtesy Veteran Affairs Canada)

P/O. Ross John James McFadden. Corneville-sur-Risle Churchyard, Joint Grave 1. Son of George and Elda May McFadden. Ross was born 11 September 1916 in Ontario and had been in the RCAF for 3 years.

(1) Fl/Sgt. Alfred Manstoff. Evader. Sheltered near Tocqueville until August 1944. Fl/Sgt. Alfred Manstoff was awarded the DFM as per London Gazette 10th November 1944 - this airman has displayed the highest standard of skill, fortitude and bravery in air operations

(2) Fl/Sgt. F. L. Giles. Evader. No further information as yet

(3) Fl/Sgt. J. W. Hargreaves was captured near Caen on 13th August 1944

(4) F/O. Andrew Harold Anthony Dowd. Evader. Sheltered near Bourneville until liberated. Awarded the DFC on 26th March 1945 as per Supplement to the London Gazette 20th April 1945

Researched by Kate Tame of Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew

Acknowledgments: Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Dr. Theo E. W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. MacKenzie - "Nightfighter War Diaries Vols 1 and 2, Australian War Museum, WW2 escaper and evasion information exchange, Wikimedia Commons, Find a Grave, Imperial War Museum

CHB 02.08.2020 Jakeman photo & commemorative feature link added. McFadden photo added.

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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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