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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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24/25th June 1942 37 Squadron Wellington IC DV643 Fl/Lt. Halliwell DFC.

Operation: Benghazi, Libya

Date: 24/25th June 1942 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 37 Squadron (motto: 'Wise Without Eyes'). 231 Wing. 205 Group

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: DV643

Code: LF-?

Base: LG 09 - Bir Koralyim, Egypt

Location: Mediterranean Sea off Benghazi

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Charles Polwart Turnbull Halliwell DFC. 88473 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Pilot: P/O. Mervyn Charles De Clifford NZ/405239 RNZAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Obs: F/O. Philip Consterdine Jones J/3761 RTCAF Age 24. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Richard Douglas Stevenson 553924 RAF Age ? Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. George Robert Harlock Aus/400347 RAAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Henry Edward Noble 936712 RAFVR Age 26. Missing - believed killed


Taking off between 20:50 - 21:20 hrs to bomb Benghazi in Libya.

Thought to have been hit by flak and came down in the sea off Benghazi, The body of one crew member was recovered from the sea and buried by the Italians in the Benghazi Cemetery. In 1948 it was recorded that the missing crew members had lost their lives at sea.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Charles Polwart Turnbull Halliwell DFC. Alamein Memorial. Column 247. Son of John and Margaret Halliwell, of Shenfield, Essex, England

P/O. Mervyn Charles De Clifford. Alamein Memorial. Column 265. Born on the 18th August 1920 at Riverton. Worked as a telegraphist operator for F and T Department at Awarus radio Station before service. Enlisted on the 22nd December 1940 at Levin. Embarked for Canada on the 29th April 1941. Awarded pilot badge and promoted to sergeant on the 08th August 1941 - commissioned on the 09th August. Embarked for England on the 15th August 1941. Further training with 21 Operational Training Unit before flying a Wellington to Egypt via Gibraltar and Malta on the 12th February 1942. Son of Charles Dupree De Clifford (/died 19th June 1938) and Mary Somerville De Clifford (née Brown - died 16th April 1954). of Palmerston Street, Riverton, New Zealand. A total of 392 flying hours logged and on his 14th operational sortie. His brother 27 year old, Trevor Ledestin De Clifford 7456 was killed the previous year. Killed on the 02nd June 1941 on the island of Crete whilst serving as a driver for New Zealand Army Service Corps, Supply Company. Buried at the Suda Bay War Cemetery. Grave 6.C.11.

F/O. Philip Consterdine Jones. Benghazi War Cemetery. Grave 7.C.27. Enlisted in June 1940 immediately after graduation and trained at Toronto, Edmonton. Embarked for England in April 1941. Son of Reverend Joseph and Florence Jones, of Norway House, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada. (B.Sc. - University of Manitoba). Grave inscription: 'He That Believeth On God Hath Everlasting Life'.

Jones Bay on Tatowaycho Lake was named after him in 1989.

Fl/Sgt. Richard Douglas Stevenson. Alamein Memorial. Column 250. Son of Douglas Stevenson, and of Anna Stevenson, of Garston, Liverpool. England.

Fl/Sgt. George Robert Harlock. Alamein Memorial. Column 265. Born on the 19th July 1920 at Colac, Victoria. Enlisted in the RAAF on the 18th August 1940. Son of Arthur William (died on the 26th September 1946, age 67) and Winnifred Ellen Harlock (died on the 17th April 1983, age 98), of Pombomeit, Victoria, Australia.

Sgt. Henry Edward Noble. Alamein Memorial. Column 262. Son of John Tarren Noble and Alice Maud Noble, of Darlington, County Durham, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, A Place of Honour, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 22-11-2021

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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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