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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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206 Squadron Crest
01.01.1941 No. 206 Squadron Hudson I T9287 F/O. Featherstone

Operation: Transit flight

Date: 01st January 1941 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 206 Squadron (Coastal Command)

Type: Hudson I

Serial: T9287

Code: VX-?

Base: RAF Bircham Newton, Norfolk.

Location: Langham, North Norfolk

Pilot: F/O. Henry Edward Middleton Featherstone 41275 RAF Age 27. Killed

Pilot 2: P/O. John Buttemer Allen 83260 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Pilot 3: P/O. Roy McKenzie Mansell 81646 RAFVR Age 22. Killed (1)

Pilot 4: F/O. Dennis Maurice Gerald Kiralfry 70368 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert Arthur Plowright 550840 RAF Age 20 Killed

Air/Gnr: LAC Kenneth Charles George Gllder 639237 RAF Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: AC1. George Alexander Meridew 635301 RAF Age 23. Killed

Air/Gnr: LAC William Arthur Meller 622156 RAF Age 20. Killed


We list accidents such as this as it does help compile a picture of the true amount of fatalities that occurred and that as it may not be 'operational' they are never recorded in the normal channels! Help us to rectify this by sending us your stories and or information - we can try and complete the picture for you.

Here we have eight qualified and experienced RAF Crew members - killed, even before they have taken part in further operations.

Above: Area of loss - with insert of pilot, F/O. Henry Edward Middleton Featherstone (courtesy Michel Beckers)

Taking off on a transit flight when the aircraft hit a barn wall whilst low flying. The port wing tip caught the building and the aircraft crashed near Langham, Norfolk at 14:48hrs.

1) Interesting in that the headstone for one of the crew is inscribed 1s June 1941 - when it is clear that P/O Mansell was killed with all the other crew on the 1st January 1941 - we have contacted the CWGC to inform them of the problem. (The CWGC database has since been changed - May 2014). Although the headstone has yet to be altered.

Update: We were informed by Barbara Davis that in 2016 the CWGC had indeed changed the headstone to read the correct date. Barbara, niece of P/O. Roy McKenzie Mansell wrote to us in November 2017 and explained that following his death her Grandparents refused to collect his pension as they said he had not been killed in action. The family have visited his grave every year, once they discovered where he was buried.

With thanks to Rob Wethly from the Netherlands who visited and photographed the grave of LAC William Arthur Meller in August 2017. Rob runs another website honouring those lost in his region.

Burial details:

F/O. Henry Edward Middleton Featherstone. Great Bircham (St. Mary) Churchyard. Plot 1. Row 1. Grave 16. Son of Edward Henry and Jennie Featherstone; nephew of Miss S. A. Featherstone, of Tunbridge Wells Kent, England.

P/O. John Buttemer Allen. Brighton (The Downs) Cemetery. Sec. Z.A. Grave 1309. Son of Charles Bird Allen and Mary Diana Allen, of Brighton, England.

P/O. Roy McKenzie Mansell. Portsmouth (Milton) Cemetery. Plot Y. Row 4. Grave 19. on of Frederick Robert and Lily Mansell, of Southsea, England.

F/O. Dennis Maurice Gerald Kiralfry. Hindhead (St. Alban) Churchyard. Sec 4. Grave 101.F. Son of Gerald Archibald and Margaret Milner Kiralfy, of Churt, Surrey England. B.A. Hons. (Cantab.).

Sgt. Robert Arthur Plowright. Langtoft Cemetery. Plot D. Grave 184. Son of Thomas and Mary Elizabeth Plowright, of Langtoft, Lincolnshire, England.

LAC Kenneth Charles George Gllder. Thurrock (Chadwell St. Mary) Cemetery. Sec 1. Grave 116. No further information currently available - happy to make any additions that you are able to contribute?

AC1. George Alexander Meridew. Great Bircham (St. Mary) Churchyard. Plot 1. Row 1. Grave 17. Son of Frederick and Mabel Meridew, husband of Vera Joy Meridew, of Hounslow, Middlesex, England.

LAC William Arthur Meller. Birmingham (Warstone Lane) Cemetery. Sec E. Grave 265. on of Albert Edward and Beatrice Meller, of Hockley, Birmingham, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Kate Tame for grave photograph, Rob Wethly, Michel Beckers, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses' Vol. 2, Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

KTY - Map added 03.09.2017

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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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