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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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16.08.1940 No. 5 O.T.U. Defiant I L7010 Sgt. Gwynne

Operation: Training

Date: 16th August 1940 (Friday)

Unit: No. 5 Operational Training Unit

Type: Defiant I

Serial: L7010

Base: RAF Aston Down, Gloucester.

Location: Kilve Beach, St. Audries, Somerset

Pilot: Sgt. John Draper Gwynne 742137 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Campbell Munro 755916 RAFVR Age 26. Killed


Took off on a target towing exercise. Aircraft spun into the sea about a mile off Watchet, Somerset.

Aircraft was covered very quickly by the incoming tide and it was some days (nine in fact) before the bodies could be removed. The coroners report for Sgt Gwynne stated that he had died due to multiple injuries resulting in instantaneous death.

Above left: West Quantoxhead Churchyard and right: Ayr Cemetery

Burial details:

Sgt. John Draper Gwynne. West Quantoxhead Churchyard. Son of David and Evelyn Gwynne, of Denham, Buckinghamshire, England. Grave inscription: 'In Memory's Garden We Meet Every Day. Everlasting Love, Dearest. Mother'.

Sgt. William Campbell Munro. Ayr Cemetery Sec S. 1931 Div. Grave 2953. Son of James Munro, and of Sarah Ann Campbell Munro, of Cathcart, Glasgow, Scotland.

Researched by Diane Flanagan for Aircrew Remembered - dedicated to relatives / friends of the two crew members. We would like any relative or anyone who has further information on this loss to contact us if possible. With thanks to the following, Peter Clare from the WW2 Talk forum, Amrit from RAF Commands Forum who have assisted Diane with this research. To Phillip Maddox for the grave photo's provided to Diane and to Mac Hawkins - 'Somerset at War'.

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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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