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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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139 Squadron Crest
26/27.07.1944 139 Squadron Mosquito XX KB266 XD:F Fg.Off. Hay

Operation: Hamburg

Date: 26/27th July 1944 Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: 139 Squadron (8 Path Finder Force Group)

Type: Mosquito XX

Serial: KB266

Code: XD:F

Base: RAF Upwood, Huntingdonshire

Location: Großheide, Germany

Pilot: Fg.Off. Balfour Richard John Hay DFC 411892 RNZAF Age 21. Killed

Nav: Fg.Off. James Dunn DFC, DFM 171076 RAFVR Age 27. Killed


30 Mosquitos taking part in an operation to Hamburg, KB266 taking off at 22:35 hrs and understood to have been shot down (no claims from night fighters). Crashed at 00:20 hrs in a peat bog just to the west Großheide some 24 km ENE of Bremerhaven.

Burial details:

Initially buried at Geestemünde Cemetery at Bremerhaven - reinterred after the war.

Fg.Off. Balfour Richard John Hay DFC. Becklingen War Cemetery. Grave 24.B.4. Born on the 4th August 1922 at Auckland, the son of William Hay and of Menneer Hay (née Tremain), of Auckland City, New Zealand and husband of Christina May Hay, of Moordown, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

DFC awarded whilst with 139 Sqn, gazetted June 1944: Citation reads "Has completed numerous operations against the enemy, in the course of which he has invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty."

Fg.Off. James Dunn DFC. DFM. Becklingen War Cemetery. Grave 24.B.3. Son of William Alexander Dunn and Mary Ann Dunn. Grave inscription reads: "Until The Day Break And The Shadows Flee Away" Always Remembered".

Flown his first tour on Lancasters with 97 Sqn. DFM awarded to 1128355 Flt.Sgt. Dunn, gazetted on 13th August 1943. DFC awarded whilst 139 Sqn wef 26th July 1944-since deceased, gazetted 10th April 1945.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew, with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand. Updated by Aircrew Remembered (Dec 2020). Other sources as quoted below:

RS 17.12.2020 - Minor updates

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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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