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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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RAAF Crest
25.08.1942 No: 459 Squadron Hudson III Fl/Sgt. William L. Farrand

Operation: Maritime Reconnaissance

Date: 25th August 1942 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 459 Squadron (RAAF)

Type: Lockheed Hudson III

Serial: Not found - are you able to assist?

Code: GK-? Not found - are you able to assist?

Base: Landing Ground Z-227, Gianaclis, Egypt (Janaklis)

Location: LG Z, Gianaclis, Egypt

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. William Leonard Farrand 1021726 RAFVR Age 26. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Joseph Kenneth Norman Macmillan R/65413 RCAF Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. James Desmond Purcell R/69899 RCAF Age 32. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Ernest William Fuidge 1380219 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. John Edward Michael Lamb R/56424 RCAF Age 22. Killed


Equipped with Hudsons and Blenheims, No 459 Squadron formed in Egypt in February 1942. Operating in a maritime reconnaissance role, the Unit began an intensive campaign against enemy shipping, in particular attacking German tank landing craft.

On 28 July 1942, four Hudsons made their first attack on two of these landing craft, damaging one so badly that it was subsequently beached. In the following months at least twelve of landing craft were sunk, and soon losses became so heavy that the Germans ceased operating these vessels during the daylight hours.

Staging through many bases in Northern Africa, No 459 Squadron's Hudsons scored a number of major successes. In September 1942 the Squadron sank an enemy destroyer, while the following year a German U-boat was destroyed.

The aircraft stalled whilst in a turn at low altitude and crashed - killing all on board.

Burial Details:

Fl/Sgt. Joseph Kenneth Norman Macmillan. Tel El Kebir War Memorial Cemetery. Grave. 1.H.5. Son of Joseph and Ella (née Macdonald) Macmillan believed to be from Big Baddeck, Nova Scotia, Canada. After the death of his father the 2 boys were then looked after by the Grandparents, Mrs. Sarah and Mr. Dan Neil Macmillan.

Fl/Sgt. James Desmond Purcell. Tel El Kebir War Memorial Cemetery. Grave. 1.H.1. Son of James Joseph and of Elizabeth (née Carpenter), of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. John Edward Michael Lamb. Tel El Kebir War Memorial Cemetery. Grave. 1.H.2. Son of Mr and Mrs P.J. Lamb, Montreal, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. William Leonard Farrand. Tel El Kebir War Memorial Cemetery. Grave. 1.H.4. Son of Leonard and Agnes Gertrude Farrand, of Davenport, Stockport, Cheshire, England.

Fl/Sgt. Ernest William Fuidge. Tel El Kebir War Memorial Cemetery. Grave. 1.H.3. No further details - are you able to assist?

KTY - 30.12.2016

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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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