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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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217 Squadron Crest
15.11.1941 No. 217 Squadron Beaufort I AW236 Sq/Ldr. George C. Halley

Operation: Patrol

Date: 15th November 1941 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 217 Squadron (Coastal Command)

Type: Beaufort I

Serial: AW236

Code: MW-?

Base: RAF Thorney Island

Location: North Sea

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. George Charlton Halley 75362 RAFVR Age 32. Missing - believed killed

Obs: P/O. Charles McLean 60787 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Douglas Lewis Heald 942529 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frank Childs 955494 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


Very few details are available on the loss - but understood to have come down in the North Sea.

We welcome any further details?

Fiona Wilson and Dr. John Holliday wrote a book about P/O. Charles McLean. A great publication, 161 pages packed with many fine photographs, personal letters, and other documents.

ISBN: 978-0-9955077-3-9. Published by An Iodhlann Press 2021.

Many of the photographs can be viewed at An Iodhlann, the historical centre on the island of Tiree welcomes visitors. Or visit their website.

The body of Sgt. Heald was washed up at Wijk aan Zee on the 13th December 1941 and that of Sgt. Childs on the 12th December 1941 at Egmond aan Zee - the remaining two crew are still classed as missing - believed killed.

Above L-R: Sgt. E.A. Teviotdale (1), Sgt.W.J. Robson, Sgt. C. McLean and Sgt. Freeman. (courtesy Donald Price and family)

D Flight 3 Squadron Initial Training Wing - April 1940.

Rear Row: W.J. Robson, Hobson, T.A. Ross, D.C. Paterson, R.W. Owen, E.K. Creswell, D.G. Blakely, P.J. Fisher, G.A. Skelly, B. Hemmings, R. Fairclough, C.E. Musgrave, Clarke, W. Roland Smale.
3rd Row: L.Y. Collier, A.K. Johnson, Charles McLean, Freeman, G.E. Taylor, H.F.M. Taylor, Sayers, Peter Rathie, Duncan Walker, E.L. Littlewood, George Davison, R. Innes, Larry Wilford, K.M. Newton.
2nd Row: R.W. Parish, P.W. Smith, W.G. Fothergill, S.F.M. Gunnis, P.S. Patterson, Gordon Turnbull, S.D. Ormiston, B.C. Kelly Kelvin Sayers, Cambrae, H.M. Owens, D.L. Heald, W.R. Oldfield, London.
Front Row: J.R. Wallace, E.A. Teviotdale (1), F.M. Cole, McTaggart, Hill, Harrison, Hardie, Robertson, James V.R. Taylor, H. Badland, C.E.O. Hamilton-Williams. (supplied and kindly typed out by Donald Price and family)

217 Beauforts off Cornwall (courtesy IWM)

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. George Charlton Halley. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 28. Son of James Henderson Halley and Margaret Annie Halley, of Dundee, Scotland.

P/O. Charles McLean. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 33. Son of Donald Archibald (died 19th February 1981 age 91) and Effie Euphemia Terris McLean (née Stoddart) (died 24th May 1964 age 75) of Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland. Brother of Alexina (died 02nd June 1929 age 2) , George (died 24th July 1935 age 12) and Alister (died 27th March 1998 age 67). He also had 3 sisters: Effie Terris McLean born on the 24th February 1919, died 14th March 2007 ex WRAF. Mary McLean born on the 27th November 1920, died 29th December 2003 ex WRAF (mother of Donald Price). Isabella Gibson Stoddart McLean born on the 23rd March 1925 (now lives in Bedfordshire).

Sgt. Douglas Lewis Heald. Bergen General Cemetery. Plot 1. Row D. Grave 2. Son of Louis Alfred and Emily Heald, of Gosforth, Newcastle-on-Tyne and husband of Elizabeth Mary Heald, of Gosforth, England.

Sgt. Frank Childs. Bergen General Cemetery. Plot 1. Row D. Grave 1. Son of Arthur and Mary Lizzie Childs, of Rushden, Northamptonshire, England.

Researched for Donald Price - relative of P/O. McLean who contacted us in June 2017. Also for Dorothy Cox, relative of Sgt Childs who contacted us in July 2017. Page dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources indicated below. Also thanks to Andrea Ruddick for Runnymede and grave photos - July 2017 and Rushden Research for information on Sgt. Frank Childs. Grave photographs courtesy André Reijniers - November 2017.

(1) Sgt. Edmund Alexander Teviotdale 748400 RAFVR was killed during training with No. 15 Flying Training School just five months later. Flying alone in Harvard N7194 when it dived into the ground during low flying at Clanfield Oxfordshire on the 01st September 1940.

KTY - 27.06.2017 Updated with new information/photographs 14.07.2017/ grave photographs 12.11.2017

KTY - 21-01-2022 - Book information 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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