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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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58 Squadron Crest
08/09.10.1940 58 Squadron Whitley V T4137 GE:K Plt Off. Ronald A. Hadley

Operation: Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Date: 8th/9th October 1940 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit No: 58 Squadron, 4 Group

Type: Whitley V

Serial: T4137

Code: GE:K

Base: RAF Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, England

Location: North of Docking, Norfolk, England.

Pilot: Plt Off. Ronald Arnold Hadley 79511 RAFVR Age 20. Killed (1)

Pilot 2: Sgt. Charles Austin Wright 740280 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

Obs: Plt Off. Richard Arthur Phillips 79756 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. James Munro Ramsay 533261 RAF Age 21. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. George Edgar Hall 900575 RAFVR Age 26. Killed


Taking off from RAF Linton-on-Ouse in Yorkshire at 18:25 hrs on an operation to attack the synthetic oil production works at Gelsenkirchen in Germany. During this night 108 aircraft were sent to bomb various targets in Germany and Holland including an operation by 17 Hampden aircraft to bomb the Tirpitz which was in dry dock at Wilhemshaven.

The operation that T4137 had been involved in has been described as successful although no reports are available to us. During the return flight the port engine caught fire at 00:23 hrs. Although the crew managed to put out the fire they had decided that an emergency landing was in order with the pilot deciding to land at the closest airfield at RAF Bircham Newton airfield in Norfolk.

During this procedure the aircraft crashed at 01:15 hrs to the north of the airfield at Docking - sadly the Whitley caught fire with the loss of all 5 crew members.

(1) The brother of Plt Off. Hadley was also serving with the same squadron. His aircraft also crashed he, with all the crew were made PoW. See Whitley V T4134 GE-T 10/11th September 1940 for full story.

Above : As described. Sgt. George Hall is shown here in the uniform of the Fleet Air Arm - his family explained that he had later transferred to the RAFVR.

Burial Details:

Plt Off. Ronald Arnold Hadley. Great Bircham Churchyard (St. Mary) Plot 1. Row 1. Grave 10. Inscription: "GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS". Son of Arnold Harold and Lilian Kate Hadley (née Kjar), of 181 Mackay Street,Thames, Auckland, New Zealand.

Flying time logged: 375 hours his 15th operation.

Sgt. Charles Austin Wright. Kettering Cemetery (London Road). Grave 4213. From Kettering, Northamptonshire, England. Husband to Phyllis Margaret Wright.

Plt Off. Richard Arthur Phillips. South church Churchyard (Holy Trinity). South of Church. Son of Richard Arthur and Margaret Bain Phillips, Southend-on-Sea, husband of Ruth Phillips, of of 20 Manners Way, Southend-on-Sea, England.

Sgt. James Munro Ramsay. Cottingham Cemetery Sec. D. Grave 434. Inscription: "BURIED DEEP WITHIN MY HEART IS MY HUSBAND'S MEMORY". Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Ramsay; husband of Irene Ramsay, of Bedminster, Bristol, England.

Sgt. George Edgar Hall. Mortlake Cemetery. Plot 4. Sec. C. Grave 149. Only son of Mrs. Millicent Hall, of Shepherd's Bush, London, England.

Researched by Kelvin Youngs (Webmaster) (Aug 2016) with thanks to photographs of Plt Off. Trevor Harold Hadley sent to us and used with permission from Julia Hadley, New Zealand - August 2016. Thanks also to ColinA for grave photo of Sgt Wright. Scots Heat for grave photo of Plt Off. Phillips. Mark Hayes contacted us in 2018 with a photo and the Grave image of his relative, George Edgar Hall. Thanks to Dave Hawes, the nephew of Sgt. Ramsay, for correcting the name of the cemetery. (Aug 2022).

Other sources listed below.

RS 27.08.2022 - Correction to Sgt. Ramsay's cemetery

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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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