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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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No 9 Squadron
18/19.06.1940 No 9 Squadron Wellington IA N2897 WS-P P/O Francis Charles Joseph Butler

Operation: Barge and Leverkusen, Germany

Date: 18/19th June 1940 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No 9 Squadron

Type: Wellington IA

Serial: N2897

Code: WS-P

Base: RAF Honington, Suffolk

Location: North Sea

Pilot: P/O. Francis Charles Joseph Butler. 76576. RAFVR. Age 25. Killed (1)

2nd Pilot: Sgt. Raymond Graham Elliott. 740509. RAFVR. Age 24. Killed (2)

Nav: Sgt. Alan Thomas Legg. 902217. RAFVR. Age? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Kevin Barry Brennan. 549506. RAF. Age 19. Killed (3)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Charles Naylor. 581407. RAF. Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ian Maywood McCulloch. 901582. RAFVR. Age 23. Killed

If you have any further information on the loss of this aircraft, crew, their relatives and friends than please contact us via the "add info" button at the top of this page


Wellington N2897 took off from RAF Honington at 21.50hrs on an operation to attack Barge and Leverkusen on the Eastern bank of the Rhine. Seven Wellington aircraft took off that day from RAF Honington on the same operation. Wellington N2897 was the only aircraft that failed to return and it is believed that it came down in the North Sea. A search was conducted the following day by Wellingtons from No 9 Squadron but nothing was found


Wellington IA Aircraft (courtesy of the Imperial War Museum)

Burial details:


All the crew are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey

P/O. Francis Charles Joseph Butler. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 7. Son of Francis Mourilyan Butler and Josephine Lawrence Butler (1) Francis Charles Joseph Butler was posted to No. 9 Squadron on the 21 April 1940 from No. 214 Squadron. At the time of his death his address was Carswell Manor, Faringdon, Berkshire, England. He is also remembered on the Charterhouse War MemorialP/O. Butler had flown over 11 operations while with No. 9 Squadron

Sgt. Raymond Graham Elliott. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 14. Son of Harold Graham Elliott and Gladys Ayton Elliott of Hove, Sussex (2) At the time of his death Raymond's address was 4 Bishops Road, Hove, Sussex, England.

Sgt. Alan Thomas Legg. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 16. No further information as yet

Sgt. Kevin Barry Brennan. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 12. Son of Stephen and Ellen Brennan of Chester-le-Street, Co. Durham. (3) Sgt. Brennan is remembered on the 1939-45 St. Cuthbert R. C. Church Plague, Chester-le-Street, England.

Sgt. Charles Naylor. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 17. Son of Charles and Mildred Naylor of Fulwood, Lancashire

Sgt. Ian Maywood McCulloch. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 17. Son of Grant and Jean A. McCullock of Galashiels, Selkirkshire, Scotland.

Researched by: Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew

Acknowledgements: With special thanks to Commonwealth War Graves Commission, W. R. Chorley - Bomber Command Losses 1939-1940. Including Prewar Losses July 1936-September 1939, Gordon Thorburn - Bombers First and Last, National Archives Air 27/125 and Air 27/131, Imperial War Museum.

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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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