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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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39
20th August 1942 39 Squadron Beaufort IC AW295 P/O. Condon

Operation: Anti Shipping

Date: 20th August 1942 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 39 Squadron (motto: Die noctuque - By day and night). Coastal Command

Type: Beaufort IC

Serial: AW295

Code: XZ-?

Base: Luqa, Malta

Location: Punta Stilo, Italy

Pilot: P/O. Robert Lachlan Condon Aus/402850 RAAF PoW No: 2409 Camp:Stalag Luft Sagan

Obs: P/O. Albert Henry Comber Aus/402730 RAAF PoW No: 3216 Camp:Stalag Luft Sagan

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Clement Leo Parker NZ/405516 RNZAF PoW No: 33654 Camp:Stalag Lamsdorf

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Philip Patrick Scullin NZ/405512 RNZAF PoW No: 33652 Camp:Stalag Lamsdorf

REASON FOR LOSS:

During the first part of 1942 a detachment from the squadron was based on Malta, and in August 1942 that detachment merged with ones from 86 and 217 Squadrons to form a complete squadron.

AW295 was one of twelve Beauforts escorted by ten Beaufighters from 227 Squadron engaged in the attack on the 7,800 ton tanker Pozarica. The ship was escorted by five destroyers, a flak-ship. Air cover included six Italian Air Force Macchis and a Cant floatplane.

They were shot down by anti-aircraft fire off Punta Stilo, all four crew survived to be taken PoW.

Also lost were the crew of Beaufort AW341 of 86 squadron flown by P/O. Peter Roper J/5101 RCAF, taken PoW with the other 3 crew members.

Beaufighter T4934 from 235 Squadron was also shot down, W/O. Donald Brisco NZ/403786 RNZAF and his observer, Sgt. Douglas Paterson were taken PoW after spending two hours in the water. Further details here.

PoW Camp P78, Dulag, Italy, July 1942
Rear left to right: Fl/Lt. Geoffrey Talbot Chinchen (Aus/250704 RAAF - later escaped and awarded DFC and MBE, died 17th July 2005); F/O. Harold George Herbert Roberts (Aus/406082 RAAF, died 02nd March 1991); P/O. Keith Alexander Murdoch (Aus/406402 RAAF); F/O. Robert Lachlan Condon (Aus/402850 RAAF - died 04th August 2008); F/O. Donald Linden Furphy (Aus/402159 RAAF); Fl/Lt. Richard Chandler Hooper (Aus/400144 RAAF); F/O Frederic Felix Henriques Eggleston (Aus/252761 RAAF - escaped to Switzerland, died 30th May 1995); F/O. Reginald Sydney Spear (Aus/406630 RAAF).


Front left to right: P/O. Frederick Easton Thwaites (Aus/400606 RAAF); Fl/Lt. Malcom John Jones (Aus/402240 RAAF); P/O. Albert Henry Comber (Aus/402730 RAAF); P/O. Jack Donald (Aus/402231 RAAF); Fl/Lt. Robert Sydney Jones (Aus/290726 RAAF, escaped to Switzerland); F/O. Charles Keith Teulon Thomson ? (Aus/404055 RAAF)

Burial details:

None - all survived the war.

P/O. Robert Lachlan Condon of Victoria Street, Wesy Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia. Born on the 18th September 1918 at Dubbo, New South Wales. Enlisted on the 11th November 1940 in Sydney. Discharged as a Fl/Lt. on the 20th October 1945.

P/O. Albert Henry Comber of Coogee Bay Road, Coogee, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Born on the 10th September 1916 at Fulham, England. Enlisted on the 14th October 1916 in Sydney. Discharged as a Fl/Lt. on the 18th July 1946.

Sgt. Clement Leo Parker. Trained at No. 3 Wireless School, Winnipeg, Manitob, Canada and No. 4 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mountain View, Ontario. W/Op badge awarded and promoted to sergeant on the 04th August 1941. Passed away on the 07th June 2003 at New Plymouth, New Zealand.

Sgt. Philip Patrick Scullin. Trained at No. 3 Wireless School, Winnipeg, Manitob, Canada and No. 6 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mountain View, Ontario. W/Op badge awarded and promoted to sergeant on the 04th August 1941. Passed away on the 13th September 1984 at Hamilton, New Zealand.

Above: Stalag Lamsdorf showing very over crowded conditions.

Beaufort AW341 Crew:

P/O. Peter Kelk Roper J/5101 RCAF PoW No: 2987 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan

Sgt. G. Codd 119775 RAFVR PoW No: 3062 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan

Sgt. Ben N. Checketts 956844 RAFVR PoW No: 77190 Camp: Stalag Kunau Kr Sprottau/Sagan

Sgt Les Miles 1354318 RAFVR PoW No: 77207 Camp: Stalag Lamsdorf

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, National Archives Australia, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 30-10-2021

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Acknowledgements
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', 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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