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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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58 Squadron Crest
06/07.11 1940 No. 58 Squadron Whitley V P4943 GE-P Sgt. Elton

Operation: Hamburg

Date: 06/07th November 1940 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 58 Squadron, 4 Group (motto: Alis nocturnis - 'On the wings of the night')

Type: Whitley V

Serial: P4943

Code: GE-P

Base: RAF Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire

Location: North Sea

Pilot: Sgt. Francis Raymond Elton 754825 RAFVR Age 19. Missing - believed killed

Pilot 2: Sgt. Reginald Wilfred Prout NZ/39936 RNZAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Obs: Sgt. Edward Arthur Shapland 746954 Age 22. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Lionel Bradley Breeze 755007 RAFVR Age 31. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Granville Graham 970896 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed


Taking off at 17:10 hrs on an operation to Hamburg. At 00:18 hrs during their return leg the wireless operator transmitted an SOS message - since that signal was received nothing further was heard from the crew.

It was calculated that they were approximately 10 miles off the coast of Lowestoft over the North Sea - nothing further was heard from P4943 and they were listed as missing, despite searches being made.

Burial details:

Sgt. Francis Raymond Elton. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 14. Son of Frank and Gladys Elton, of Sutton, Surrey, England.

Sgt. Reginald Wilfred Prout. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 28. Son of Mr. T. Prout of 58 Bentley Street, Masterton, New Zealand. 253 Flying hours logged. Joined 58 Squadron on the 28th September from 15 Operational Training Unit at Harwell, Oxfordshire.

Sgt. Edward Arthur Shapland. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 19. Son of Edward Arthur and Ada Florence Shapland, of Enfield, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. Lionel Bradley Breeze. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 12. Son of Charles Leonard and Mabel Caroline Breeze, of Alton, Hampshire and husband of Margaret Edith Stirling Breeze, of Alton, Hampshire, England.

Sgt. Granville Graham. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 14. Son of William and Nellie Graham, of Leigh, Lancashire, England.

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, other sources as quoted below:

KTY - 27.12.2018

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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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