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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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RAF Crest
11.01.1944 No. 2 Aircraft Delivery Unit Wellington XI MP649 Fl/Lt. Harcourt

Operation: Ferry Flight

Date: 11th January 1944 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 2 Aircraft Delivery Unit 216 Group (Thought to be on detachment from 135 Maintenance Unit at Gebel Hamzi)

Type: Wellington XI

Serial: MP649

Code: -

Base: LG. 237 /Kilo 40, Heliopolis, Egypt

Location: North of airfield

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Godfrey Simon Harcourt MiD. NZ/412684 RNZAF Age 32. Killed

Pilot: Sgt. Raymond Silk Borlase 1318713 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at about 11:07 hrs and very shortly afterwards crashed 1.5 miles north of the airfield at Heliopolis and exploded amongst houses.

Both of the pilots (the only crew) were killed.

It is thought that they suffered an engine failure as it appeared the port propeller appeared to be running slowly.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Godfrey Simon Harcourt. Heliopolis War Cemetery. Grave 4.A.2. Born on the 10th July 1911 at Wellington, the son of Son of Charles James Stanton and Annie M. Harcourt (née Dean), 41 Panama Street, Wellington, New Zealand. Educated at Wellesley College and at Huntly, then Wanganui College before Cambridge University in England. A partner of Harcourt Company Sharebrokers prior to enlisting on the 04th May 1941. A total of 758 flying hours logged with 23 on the Wellington.

Sgt. Raymond Silk Borlase. Heliopolis War Cemetery. Grave 4.B.2. Son of Harold James Borlase and Edith Elizabeth Borlase, of Slough, Buckinghamshire, England. Grave inscription: 'His Memory Is Our Greatest Treasure. In Our Hearts He Will Live For Ever'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and 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, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 02.01.2020

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Acknowledgements
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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