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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 IX Squadron
12/13.03.1941 9 Squadron Wellington IC N2744 WS:U Sgt. Bernard P. Hall

Operation: Bremen, Germany

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

Unit No: 9 Squadron

Type: Wellington Ic

Serial: N2744

Code: WS:U

Base: RAF Honington, Suffolk

Location: Versen near Meppen, Germany

Pilot: Sgt. Bernard Preston Hall 75806 RAFVR Age 19. KiA

2nd Pilot: Sgt. John Robert Brown 937473 RAFVR Age 21. PoW No. 484 *

Obs: Sgt. William James Manger 910906 RAFVR Age 24. KiA

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. William Leslie Smith 945932 RAFVR Age? KiA

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. John William Hammond 944304 RAFVR Age? KiA

Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. Edwin Collins 615282 RAF Age? PoW No. 492 *

* Stalag 357, Thorn (Toruń) in Poland. Moved in September 1944 to Stalag 11b, Fallingbostel, Lower Saxony, Germany.

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

Sqn Ldr. Dicky James the 9 Sqn Historian contacted Aircrew Remembered on the 2nd December 2021 to inform us that John Robert Brown was born on the 1st February 1920 and at a grand age of 99 is still with us.

Simon Cains, who was a pupil at the primary school when Jon Robert 'Bob' Brown was the headmaster, contacted Aircrew Remembered on the 28th February 2023 and informed us that Jon Robert 'Bob' Brown has passed away at a grand age of 103.

His great-nephew, under training in the RAF organised a flypast of an RAF Typhoon from IX Sqn at his funeral.

Wellington Ic aircraft from 9 Squadron (courtesy of IWM)


Part of a force of 86 bombers dispatched to target Bremen town centre and the Focke Wulf factory. Sgt. Hall and crew flying in Wellington N2744 were detailed to bomb the Focke Wulf factory in Bremen. Six aircraft from 9 Squadron were detailed for this operation and Wellington N2744 was the only one that failed to return. Taking off at 19.34 hrs nothing was heard from this aircraft after take-off until 23.29 hrs when NAP signal was received which was just on the aircrafts estimated time over the target area. Repeated attempts were made on the Groups frequency, but nothing further was received.

The Focke Wolf airframe factory which manufactured the FW Condor 200 a civilian aircraft which during the war were converted for military use and caused much damage and loss to merchant shipping in the Atlantic. No 9 Squadron's ORB (Operation Record Book) Appendices state "It is most important that this target should be most effectively hit in order that the enemy's interference with our shipping may be reduced"

N2744 was claimed by Uffz. Karl Kupfer his 1st Abschuss, from 3./NJG3 over Gross Fullen, 5km west of Meppen at 00:55 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (1939 - 12 July 1941) The Early Years Part 1 - Theo Boiten).

The Focke Wolf airframe factory (courtesy of the Australian War Museum)

Burial details

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. (courtesy of CWGC)

Sgt. Bernard Preston Hall. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave Ref: 14. C. 15. Inscription reads: "AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN AND IN THE MORNING WE WILL REMEMBER THEM". Son of Montague Preston Hall and Kate Almina Hall of Marylebone, London, England.

Sgt. William James Manger. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave Ref: 14. C. 17. Inscription reads: "BLESSED ARE THE DEAD WHICH DIE IN THE LORD". Son of Edwin Clement Manger and Emily Jane Manger of Crawley, Sussex, England.

Sgt. William Leslie Smith. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave Ref: 14. C. 18. No further information as yet

Sgt. John William Hammond. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave Ref: 14. C. 16. Inscription reads: "IN PROUD AND LOVING MEMORY OF OUR DEAR SON". Son of William and Minnie Hammond of Barnsley, Yorkshire, England.

John William Hammond is remembered on the St. Edward Confessor Church WW2 Plague, Kingstone, Barnsley

Researched by: Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew. With special thanks to Oliver Clutton-Brock - Footprints on the Sands of Time, Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial. Addition of loss information and biographical detail for Sgt. Brown (Dec 2021).

RS 28.02.2023 - Additional of link to Funeral of Sgt. Jon Robert 'Bob' Brown

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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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Last Modified: 28 February 2023, 15:12

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