AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.
Check our Research databases: Database List


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

433 Squadron Crest
05.08.1944 No. 433 Squadron Halifax III MZ828 BM-H F/O. Harrison

Operation: St-Leu

Date: 05th August 1944 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 433 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: MZ828

Code: BM-H

Base: RAF Skipton-on-Swale

Location: Skipton-on-Swale Village

Pilot: F/O. James Robert Harrison J/21448 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Dennis Lawson Whitbread 1624919 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Nav: F/O. James Frederick Kinder J/20875 RCAF Survived - seriously injured, recovered.

Air/Bmr: F/O Edwin Tauno Widenoja J/27281 RCAF Survived - seriously injured, recovered.

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O Lorne E Dufresne J/24065 RCAFSurvived - injured, recovered.

Air/Gnr: F/O Alan Bourne R/256048 RCAF Survived - injured, recovered.

Air/Gnr: P/O Norman Sydney Godfrey 171881 RAF Survived - injured, recovered.

Civilian: Mstr. Kenneth Battensby Age 5. Killed


Taking off at 10:38 hrs on an operation to bomb the flying bomb site at St-Leu-d'Esserent the 6th successive day of attacks on this type of target - this time 742 aircraft from 4, 5, 6 and 8 group attacking two targets, Forêt de Nieppe and St-Leu-d'Esserent storage sites.

Understood to have been hit by anti-aircraft fire during the operation damaging starboard outer engine, however the pilot expertly managed to get the aircraft back to the base. During their second landing approach the pilot applied full power to go round again but the Halifax turned sharply to starboard and fell into a dive.

Rear L-R: F/O. Widenoja, F/O. Kinder, Sgt. Beaudette, F/O. Harrison. Front: Sgt. Whitbread, F/O. Dufresne Fl/Sgt. Bourne.

The aircraft lost valuable height and it clipped some trees prior to then hitting a much larger tree on the village green at Skipton-on-Swale. The aircraft came to a halt - almost intact but several pieces flew off the aircraft. Sadly, not only did two crew lose their lives but all a 5 year old boy playing in his back garden who was hit by some of these pieces. The remaining five crew survived suffering various degrees of injuries.

Burial details:

F/O. James Robert Harrison. Harrogate Cemetery (Stonefall) Sec. E. Row A. Grave 3. Son John George Harrison and Pearl Nama (née Broadworth), of Crossfield, Alberta, Canada.

Sgt. Dennis Lawson Whitbread. Kempston Cemetery. Block J. Grave 30. Son of Arthur Charles and Daisy Beatrice Whitbread and husband of Lilian May Whitbread, of Kempston, England.

Mstr. Kenneth Battensby. Skipton on Swale Churchyard. Son of Robert Henry and Audrey Battensby (née Hunter), of 53 Gresham Road, Middlesbrough, England.

Researched by Linda Ibrom for Aircrew Remembered - June 2017 and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Yorkshire Air Museum, Dimities Corcodilos for grave photo of Mstr. Kenneth Battensby, Peter Lucas for grave photo of F/O. James Harrison, Richard for grave photo of Sgt. Dennis Whitbread.

LI - 22.06.2017

KTY 06-05-2023 Wreckage photographs added

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
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.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2024
Last Modified: 06 May 2023, 14:34

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor