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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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101 Squadron Crest
03/04.06.1942 No. 101 Squadron Wellington III X3473 SR-S Fl/Lt. Edwards

Operation: Bremen

Date: 03/04th June 1942 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 101 Squadron (3 Group)

Type: Wellington III

Serial: X3473

Code: SR-S

Base: RAF Bourn, Cambridgeshire

Location: Delmenhorst, Germany

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Norman John Edwards 79510 RAFVR Age 28. Killed (1)

Obs: P/O. Laurence Alan Edward Osbon 82725 RAFVR PoW No: 554 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick Ralph Arthan 1108989 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William George Cormack 985764 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Kenneth Edward Steel Muggleton 121536 RAFVR PoW - No further details available (2)


Taking off in the late evening to raid Bremen along with 169 other aircraft from various squadrons.

Mr. Ian Carswell submitted this information January 2020:

'Laurie told me verbally and in writing that he had moved forward and was in the bomb-aimers position having just opened the bomb doors when there was a huge explosion! S-Sugar rolled on her back then righted herself. Norman said get out if you can, then she fell from the sky. 'Laurie was of course lying over the main entry hatch. He released the bombs, opened the hatch and dived out'.

Coned by Flak Scheinwerfer 'Casar' of 4./Res Flak Abt.222 and hit by 3./Res.Flak Abt.222 (IV.Zug), crashed at Bremen - Blockland at 01:35hrs. (courtesy Theo Boiten and Rod Mackenzie)

Above: 101 Squadron in front of Wellington X3670 SR-F - Missing on the 31st May 1942 with all five crew.

Rear row: Air/Gnr. John Skipsey, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Rogers, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Mullin, Air/Gnr. Tracey, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Skinner, A/G. Sundberg, W/Op/Air/Gnr. William Harry Armold, Obs. Mullan, Obs. Downer, Air/Gnr. Ferguson.

Middle Row: W/Op/Air/Gnr. Matheson, Air/Gnr. Sime, Pilot. Foxcroft, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Kilwyn, Pilot. Keen, Pilot. Richards, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Garland, Pilot. Llewelyn, Obs. Baker, Obs. Clark, Obs. Calhoune, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Sibbald, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Sauve, Pilot. Machin, Air/Gnr. Spooner, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Brace.

Front Row (sitting): W/Op/Air/Gnr. Hart, Pilot. Marney, Air/Gnr. Wigham, Air/Gnr. King-Scott, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Ward, Obs. Menage, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Young, Pilot. Diemer, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Artham, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Jones, Air/Gnr. Angelo, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Pollock, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Oakley, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Cormack, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Bott, Air/Gnr. Mackay, Pilot. Early, Pilot. Williams, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Tattoh, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Woodgate, Air/Gnr. Urwin, Obs. Pearson, Air/Gnr. Charles, Pilot. Attwood, Pilot. Brown, Air/Gnr. Murray, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Burgess, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Jaggers, W/Op/Air/Gnr. Stewart, Air/Gnr. Wade, Air/Gnr. Symonds.

Left: Fl/Lt. Norman John Edwards from New Zealand - attached to the RAF.

(1) Fl/Lt. Norman John Edwards lost his brother just 4 days previously. 22 year old, Sgt. Denis Henry Edwards NZ/405515 RNZAF killed whilst with 22 Operational Training Unit.

(2) Fl/Lt. Kenneth Edward Steel Muggleton relinquished his commission on account of medial unfitness for the RAF on the 08th November 1947 (retaining his rank)

Mr. Ian Carswell published a book about the Edwards Brothers in 1997. He is currently updating the book for a possible future new edition.

Burial details:

Crew were originally buried in a collective grave at Delmenhorst - reinterred after the end of the war.

Fl/Lt. Norman John Edwards. Becklingen War Cemetery. Collective grave 14.B.4-8. Born on the 11th April 1914 at Dannevirke, the son of Henry Norman and Laura Gertrude Ellen Edwards (née Beale), of Hastings, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. An accounts clerk for the Public Trust Office of Napier prior to enlisting on the 23rd October 1939. 832 flying hours logged and on his 25th operational sortie.

Sgt. Frederick Ralph Arthan. Becklingen War Cemetery. Collective grave 14.B.4-8. Son of Frederick and Gertrude A. Arthan, of Heaton Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "Through Death To Life Eternal".

Sgt. William George Cormack. Becklingen War Cemetery. Collective grave 14.B.4-8. Son of John Craig Cormack and Mary Roberts Cormack, of Dumfries, Scotland.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, Mr. Ian Carswell, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 17.07.2018

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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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