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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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40 squadron crest
12/13.03.1941 No. 40 Squadron Wellington IC T2515 BL-U Sgt. Gough

Operation: Boulogne

Date: 12/13th March 1941 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit:No.40 Squadron. 3 Group

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: T2515

Code: BL-U

Base: RAF Alconbury, Cambridgeshire

Location: Near Wimille, Pas-de-Calais, France

Pilot: Sgt. Douglas William Gough NZ/40764 RNZAF Age 19. Killed

2nd. Pilot: Sgt. Thomas Geoffrey Webb NZ/40670 RNZAF Age 19. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Thomas Herbert Rose R/56850 RCAF Age 19. Killed (1)

W/AGnr: Sgt. Henry Jones 973995 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

W/AGnr: Sgt. Frank Stones 975763 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. William James Morgan 631925 RAF Age 21. Killed


Wellington T2515 took off from Alconbury at 19:50 hours as part of an eight aircraft sortie against the channel ports of Calais and Boulogne. Near the target area the aircraft was hit by a Luftwaffe flak Unit and crashed near the village of Wimille, 5 km north of Boulogne killing all aboard.

This very young and inexperienced crew, who ranged in age from 19 to 21 years of age, were all on their very first operational mission when they were lost.

The Rose family would suffer a further loss when a second son, Fl/Sgt. Donald Irwin Rose, was killed in the crash of Halifax LK649 during a raid on Berlin on the night of 28/29 January, 1944. Page of remembrance can be read here.

Burial and personal details:

Sgt. Douglas William Gough, Wimille Communal Cemetery. Born on the 21st September 1921 at Masterton, the son of William Henry Charles (died 28th November 1963 age 69) and Violet (née Jimmieson, died 05th November 1983 age 83) Gough of Palmerston North, New Zealand. Prior to enlisting on the 12th March 1940 worked as a postal messenger and assistant for P and T Department. A total of 277 flying hours logged and on his 1st operational sortie.

Sgt. Thomas Geoffrey Webb, Wimille Communal Cemetery. Born on the 13th November 1921 at Auckland, the son of James Herbert (died 20th April 1960, age 73) and Beatrice Annie Webb (née Bending, died 17th September 1957 age 69) of Mt. Albert, Auckland, New Zealand. Enlisted on the 13th February 1940 and prior to this worked as a warehouseman for Chas L. Stevenson Ltd. A total of 245 flying hours logged and on his 1st operational sortie.

Sgt. Thomas Herbert Rose, Wimille Communal Cemetery. Further information: Son of Herbert Cecil and Annie Marion Rose of Stony Mountain, Manitoba, Canada. Tom Rose, born in Gladstone, Manitoba on 6 April, 1921. The family moved to Stony Mountain where he attended the Stony Mountain School like his younger brother Don. Whereas his brother was more the mischievous one, Tom was rather serious and quiet. He developed an artistic talent in drawing and painting and was also an accomplished carver and model maker. At a craft exhibition in 1937 sponsored by the T. Eaton Company in Winnipeg, he submitted a model of the Queen Mary winning first prize. Like Don, he was very active in sports as a pitcher in baseball and also played ice hockey with several teams.

When war broke out it was Tom’s ambition to join the airforce but due to an eye problem he was at first rejected. When this was corrected he reapplied and was accepted in April 1940 being posted to No.1 Initial Training School in Toronto later that month. From No.1 ITS, he went to No.1 Air Observer’s School at Malton graduating from the first class trained under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan as an Air Observer on 25 October, 1940. Arriving in England that November, Tom was posted to No. 20 OTU at Lossiemouth in Scotland where he completed his training on 8 March, 1941.

Sgt. Henry Jones, Wimille Communal Cemetery. Son of Thomas Price and Martha Ann Jones of Aintree, Liverpool, England.

Sgt. Frank Stones, Wimille Communal Cemetery. Son of William and Emma Stones of Tyldesley, Lancashire, only child. Leigh Boys Grammar School, Leigh Road, Manchester, England.

Sgt. William James Morgan, Wimille Communal Cemetery. Son of James and Ann Morgan of Plasmarl, Swansea, Wales.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and RCAF specialist Colin Bamford for relatives of Wellington T2515. With thanks to information supplied by Lynn Hatton for information on Sgt Stones, A Place of Honour, Manitoba's War Dead, Richard Edwards for photo of his great Uncle Sgt. William James Morgan. Jenifer Lemaire, AWMM, and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3, Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol. 2", Commonwealth Graves Commission.

(1)Rose Point on Molson Lake, Manitoba is named after Sgt. Thomas H. Rose

CHB 22.05.2012
KTY 21.11.2019 New Zealand crew details added.

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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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