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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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Bomber Command Crest
28/29.07.1940 No. 142 Squadron Battle I L5502 QT-D Fl/Lt. Robert H. Edwards

Operation: Brussels

Date: 28/29th July 1940 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 142 Squadron

Type: Fairey Battle Mk I

Serial: L5502

Code: QT-D

Base: RAF Binbrook

Location: 1km sw of Audembert France

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Robert Howard Edwards 42113 RAF Age 22. PoW No. 161 Camp Oflag Schubin bei Bromberg  (1)

Obs: Sgt. Reginald William Cornwell 747814 RAF Age 22. PoW No. 396 Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Edward Hotchkiss 653176 RAF Age 20. PoW No. 186 Luft Heydekrug (3)


On an operation to bomb an airfield near Brussels, taking off at 23:50 hrs. Understood to have been hit by Flak. The pilot managed a crash landing, all the crew survived with no injuries but were captured shortly afterwards. 

(1) Fl/Lt. Robert Edwards - just after breakfast on the 26th September 1942 announced that he was fed up being held, lit up a cigarette, walked to the wire and started to climb over - he was shot at point blank range after a challenge from a German guard, he died later that day.
(2) Sgt. Reginald Cornwel - born 7th September 1917 of Kitto Road, London SE14.
(3) Sgt. Ronald Hotchkiss - born 20th January 1920 of Lordship Lane, Wood Green, London N22, England.

Burial details: 

Fl/Lt. Robert Howard Edwards. Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery. Grave 6.A.7 Poland. Son of Oliver Gilbert and Mary Emily Edwards, of Salford, Lancashire, England. 

Research and photographs - Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered, March 2015.

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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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