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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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138 Squadron crest
17.12.1942 138 Squadron Halifax II DT542 NF:Q Fg Off. Krzysztof L. DobromirskI

Operation: Ferry flight

Date:17th December 1942

Unit No: 138 Squadron

Type: Halifax II

Serial: DT542

Code: NF:Q

Location: Zejtun, Malta

Pilot: Fg Off. Krzysztof Leon Dobromirski P-0100 PAF Age 27. Killed

2nd Pilot: Fg Off. Stanislaw Pankiewicz P-0858 PAF Age 26. Killed

Flt Eng: Sgt. Alexander Clubb Watt 571759 RAF Age 21. Killed

Nav: Fg Off. Zbigniew Augustyn Idzikowski P-0742 PAF Age 32. Killed

WOp: Flt Sgt. Alfred Edmund Kleniewski 780771 PAF Age 24. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Roman Wysocki 780214 PAF Age 26. Killed

Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. Oskar Franciszek Zieliński 781151 PAF Age 32. Killed


Maj. (Lord Apsley) Bathurst DSO, MC, TD. 12995 RAC Age 47. Killed

LAC. Cyril Dennis Brown 1069726 RAFVR Age? Killed

LAC. Richard Clegg 1233498 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Flt Lt. Peter Earle 44315 RAF Age 28. Killed

Cpl. Douglas Sidney Hounslow 1165159 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

AC1. Stanley Edward Kelly 1493201 RAFVR Age 40. Killed

Maj. Arthur David Curtis Millar Indian Army. Age 38. Killed

Sgt. Dennis Spibey 535526 RAF Age 25. Killed

Sdn Ldr. Jefferson Heywood Wedgwood DFC and Bar 37645 RAF Age 25. Killed

Flt Lt. Leonard Arthur Vaughan DSO, DFC. 78666 RAFVR Age 42. Killed


Took off from Luqa, Malta to the United Kingdom but then turned back due to engine problems and crashed East of Zejtun, Malta at 04:05 hrs whilst attempting to land. Some reports state that it crashed just as the aircraft became airborne.

Left to right: Pilot, Dobromirski, 2nd Pilot, Pankiewicz, Nav, Idzikowski, WOp, Kleniewski, Air Gnr, Wysocki

Burial Details (Crew):

Fg Off. Krzysztof Leon Dobromirski. Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Collective grave No: 4. From Gliniany, Poland.

Fg Off. Stanislaw Pankiewicz. Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Collective grave No: 4. From Augustow, Poland.

Above left: Sgt. Watts and Right: Initial Joint Grave marker for Cpl. Hounslow, Flt Sgt. Zieliński, Sgt. Watts and Sgt. Spibey (Courtesy of Calum Dodds)

Note: Sgt Willfred Warren 249651 from 148 Sqn and Sgt. Arthur Harry May 355514 from No. 431 Flt were killed in an attack on RAF Luqa by a lone enemy aircraft.

Sgt. Alexander Clubb Watt. Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Collective grave No: 17. Inscription: 'LOVELY MEMORIES ARE ALL WE HAVE LEFT OF ONE WE LOVED AND WILL NEVER FORGET'. Grandson of Isabella Watt, of St. Fergus, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Fg Off. Zbigniew Augustyn Idzikowski. Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Collective grave No: 4. From Krakow, Poland.

Flt Sgt. Alfred Edmund Kleniewski. Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Collective grave No: 4. From Mlawa, Poland.

Sgt. Roman Wysocki. Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Collective grave No: 18. From Lubelskie, Poland.

Flt Sgt. Oskar Franciszek Zieliński. Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Collective grave No: 16. From Prostken, Poland.

Burial Details (passengers):

Above: Major, (Lord Apsley) Bathurst DSO.MC. TD. shown here in the white coat.

Maj. (Lord Apsley) Bathurst. Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery Prot officer's. Plot E. Collective grave 4. Son of Colonel Seymour Henry Bathurst, CMG. TD. JP. DL. 7th Earl Bathurst, and of the Countess Bathurst (nee Borthwick), of Cirencester, Gloucestershire. Husband of Lady Apsley, CBE (née Meeking), of Cirencester, England.

Colonel, The Arab Legion. MA. (Oxon); JP. Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Gloucestershire. Member of Parliament for Southampton, 1922-1929, and Bristol, 1931-1942; President, United Kingdom Pilots' Association.

LAC. Cyril Dennis Brown. Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery Prot Men's. Plot F. Collective grave 18. No further details.

Unit: Ex 21 PTC. (Personnel training centre) Middle East Command.

LAC. Richard Clegg. Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery Prot Men's. Plot F. Collective grave 16. Son of Joseph and Mary Ellen Clegg, of Preston, Lancashire, England.

Flt Lt. Peter Earle. Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery Prot Officer's. Plot E. Collective grave 4. Son of Phyllis Earle, husband of Florence Earle, of West Worthing, Sussex.

Unit: Ex 462 Squadron - Observer.

Cpl. Douglas Sidney Hounslow. Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery Prot Men's. Plot F. Collective grave 17. Born in 2nd Qtr of 1921 in Buckinghamshire. Son of Sidney and Minnie (née Sloman) Hounslow. Husband to Netta May (née Jackson) Hounslow of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England.

Unit: 138 Squadron - Ground crew

AC1. Stanley Edward Kelly. Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery Prot Men's. Plot F. Collective grave 18. Son of George and Mary Ann Kelly, husband of Alice Beatrice Kelly, of Wood Green, Middlesex, England.

Unit: ex 244 Wing Middle East Command.

Maj. Arthur David Curtis Millar Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery Prot Officer's. Plot E. Collective grave 4. Major Arthur David Curtis Millar of Indian Army. Son of Sarah Millar of Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland.

Sgt. Dennis Spibey. Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery Prot Men's. Plot F. Collective grave 17. Born in April 1917 in Ilkeston, Derbyshire. Son of Henry "Harry" and Sylvia (née Sisson) Spibey of Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England.

Unit: 138 Squadron - Ground crew.

Sqn Ldr. Jefferson Heywood DFC and Bar. Wedgwood Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery Prot Officer's. Plot E. Collective grave 4. Unit: ex 92 Squadron. Born on the 28th May 1917 in Aldwick, Sussex. Son of Jefferson and Susan May (née Heywood Johns) Wedgwood. Husband to Ruth (née Colette) Wedgwood of Caernarfonshire, Wales.

DFC awarded whilst with 92 Sqn. London Gazette 2nd October 1942. Citation reads: "Squadron Leader Jefferson Heywood WEDGWOOD (37645). Reserve of Air Force Officers, No. 92 Squadron. In August, 1942, whilst patrolling the battle area, this officer led his squadron brilliantly in an attack against a superior number of enemy fighters. Despite the odds, Squadron Leader Wedgwood so disposed his squadron that, during the combat, at least 4 enemy aircraft were destroyed and several more were damaged. Throughout, this officer who, in the fighting, shot down a Messerschmitt 109F, displayed great tactical ability. Squadron Leader Wedgwood has always set a most courageous example. He has destroyed at least 6 and damaged many more hostile aircraft".

Bar to DFC awarded whilst with 92 Sqn. London Gazette 5th February 1943.

Flt Lt. Leonard Arthur Vaughan DSO, DFC. Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery Prot Officer's. Plot E. Collective grave 4. Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Vaughan, husband of Joan Vaughan, of Epsom, Surrey.

Unit; ex 40 Squadron - Air Gunner.

DFC awarded as Plt Off. whilst with 148 Sqn. London Gazette 12th December 1941. Citation reads: "Pilot Officer Leonard Arthur VAUGHAN (78666), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 148 Squadron. This officer air gunner has participated in 54 raids, including 28 against targets in Germany and German-occupied territory. Throughout, he has displayed the utmost keenness for operations which, together with his utter contempt for danger has set a splendid example to all. On one occasion during a mine-laying mission, his aircraft was subjected to fire, at close range, from 2 antiaircraft guns. By silencing these guns, Pilot Officer Vaughan performed very valuable work in difficult circumstances. As a qualified gunnery leader, he carries out a great deal of the instruction of new crews, a work in which he has shown real ability".

DSO awarded as Flt Lt. whilst with 40 Sqn. London Gazette 5th January 1943. Citation reads: "This officer has completed a large number of operational missions, including sorties over Germany and enemy territory and in the Middle East. Throughout, he has displayed outstanding leadership and great determination while his high skill has been of incalculable, assistance to his fellow gunners. During a recent period of intense aerial activity his fine fighting qualities and courageous example have been worthy of the highest praise".

With thanks to Willie Orr for details on Maj. Arthur David Curtis Millar (Jun 2016). Note: Willie says the family history has it that the crash resulted from 'friendly fire'. If anyone has specific information on this aspect please contact us via Helpdesk. Update to NoK details and awards by Aircrew Remembered (Feb 2022). Thanks to Calum Dodds for the two images for Sgt. Watt. Alexander Watt was a cousin of Calum Dodds’ mother (Feb 2023).

RS 10.02.2023 - Addition of Images for Sgt. Watt

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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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