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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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515 Squadron Crest
06/07.11.1944 No. 515 Squadron Mosquito FBVI PZ217 P3-K Fl/Lt. Thomas N. Cooper

Operation: Bomber Support

Date: 06/07th November 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 515 Squadron

Type: Mosquito FB VI

Serial: PZ217

Code: P3-K

Base: RAF Little Snoring, Norfolk

Location: North Sea

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Thomas Noel Cooper 68807 RAFVR Age 30. Missing - believed killed

Nav: F/O. Kenneth Harding Bonner 171344 RAFVR Age 29. Missing - believed killed


Taking off from RAF Little Snoring in Norfolk at 18:20 hrs on a Bomber Support sortie to the regions of Nordholz and Stade, Germany. Supporting an attack from Bomber Command sending some 992 heavy bombers to Düsseldorf. The weather was described as a full moon, good visibility with little cloud.

At 22:14 hrs on the evening they left, a 100 group listening post heard a transmission from PZ217 “Is Base OK for me, will go to Woodbridge. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft and it is assumed they ditched in the channel.

PZ217 P3-K taken at Saint Dizier in France. The two chaps shown in the front are F/O. J.W. Smith and Fl/Sgt. Dockeray DFC (courtesy Mrs. Jamieson, née Smith, Valerie Gordon and Iain Gordon)
See the loss page for F/O. John William Smith DFC - also in November 1944.
The loss was brought to our attention by a Mr John Sherratt who, in June 2016 was removing the windows from his kitchen and noticed a ragged newspaper cutting from the Daily Mail of 18th November 1944 and took the time to send a copy into us. He lives local to Exmouth and will visit the town War Memorial and pay his respects.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Thomas Noel Cooper. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 202. Son of Alfred Edmund and Rose Frances Cooper, of Talcahuano, Chile.

F/O. Kenneth Harding Bonner. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 204. Also commemorated on the Exmouth War Memorial. Son of Ernest and Emma Bonner, husband of Louisa Grace Bonner, of Exmouth, Devon, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of the crew with thanks to John Sherratt and sources as quoted below:

KTY 18.06.2016

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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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