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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 9 Squadron
07/08.12.1940 9 Squadron Wellington IC R3220 WS:L Flt Lt. Desmond G. Stanley

Operation: Dusseldorf, Germany

Date: 7th/8th December 1940 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit No: 9 Squadron

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: R3220

Code: WS:L

Base: RAF Honington, Suffolk

Location: Stene on the Southern outskirts of Ostend

Pilot: Flt Lt. Desmond Geoffrey Stanley 33336 RAF Age 23. KiA

2nd Pilot: Sgt. Robert Coates Parker 75418 RAFVR Age? KiA

Obs: Sgt. John James Coulsham 'Jimmy' Nanson 75922 RAFVR Age? KiA

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Anthony Arthur Rogers 965303 RAFVR Age 26. KiA

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Joseph Alan Grocott 581509 RAF Age 20. KiA

Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. William Humphrey Pontin 967876 RAFVR Age 20. KiA

Above left: Flt Lt. Desmond G. Stanley (Courtesy of Rev. A.P. Stanley), and right: Sgt. John James Coulsham 'Jimmy' Nanson (Courtesy of Andrew Hudson)

If you have any further information on the loss of this aircraft, crew, their relatives and friends than please contact us via the "add info" button at the top of this page

Wellington IC type aircraft. Dusseldorf after a bombing raid


Wellington R3220 took off from RAF Honington at 17.00hrs for an operation on Dusseldorf. 69 aircraft took off that day most going to Dusseldorf with a total of 5 aircraft lost. Twelve aircraft from 9 Squadron were involved in this operation with Wellington R3220 failing to return.

The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed near Ostend. The following day nine aircraft from 9 Squadron carried out a search for the aircraft over the North Sea but without success.

Burial details:

Oostende New Communal Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

Flt Lt. Desmond Geoffrey Stanley. Oostende New Communal Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot 9. Row 4. Joint Grave 8-9. Son of the Very Revd. Charles Geoffrey Nason Stanley, B. A. and Eileen Stanley of Lismore Deanery, Co. Waterford, Irish Republic.

Desmond Geoffrey Stanley was posted to 9 Squadron on the 21st Oct 1940 from No. 15 OTU (Operational Training Unit) Born on the 23 September 1917 in Waterford. Educated at Bishop Foy School he and entered Cranwell in 1936 and was assigned to C Squadron. Stanley is remembered on the Waterford Roll of Honour

Sgt. Robert Coates Parker. Oostende New Communal Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot 9. Row 4. Grave 4. No further information on next of kin

Sgt. John James Coulsham 'Jimmy' Nanson. Oostende New Communal Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot 9. Row 4. Joint Grave 8-9. Son of James and Isabella Dixson (née Armstrong) Nanson from Sunderland, Durham, England.

Sgt. Anthony Arthur Rogers. Oostende New Communal Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot 9. Row 4. Grave 5. Son of Samuel and Edith Jane Rogers of Manchester.

At the time of his death Anthony's address was 33 Deramere Street, Manchester

Sgt. Joseph Alan Grocott. Oostende New Communal Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot 9. Row 4. Grave 7. Son of Joseph and Grace Constant Grocott of Waltham Abbey, Essex

Sgt. William Humphrey Pontin. Oostende New Communal Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot 9. Row 4. Grave 6. Son of William H. and Doris W. Pontin of Pontnewydd, Monmouthshire.

William Humphrey Pontin is remembered on the Pontnewydd War Memorial

Researched by Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew. Thanks to Rev. A.P. Stanley for the image of Flt Lt. Stanley and for updating the aircraft code. (Oct 2020). Thanks to Andrew Hudson for the photograph of Sgt Nanson, who was the cousin of Andrew’s grandmother (Jun 2023).

Other sources listed below:

RS 22.06.2023 - Addition of image for Sgt. Nanson

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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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