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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 coastal command
30.09.1939 224 Squadron Hudson I N7219 QX:V Plt.Off. Heaton-Nichols

Operation: Reconnaissance (Sylt)

Date: 30th September 1939 (Saturday)

Unit: Squadron (Coastal Command.)

Type: Lockheed Hudson I.

Serial: N7219

Code: QX:V.

Location: Sylt Northern Germany.

Pilot: Plt.Off. D. G. Heaton-Nicholls 27275 RAF Age? PoW No: 22 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Bellaria

Pilot: Sgt. James Pearce 564932 RAF Age 25. Killed.

WOp/Air Gnr: AC1 Albert Sill 520315 RAF Age 25. Killed.

Air/Gnr: AC1 Albert Thomason 530618 RAF Age 25. Killed.

Relatives are seeking any further information and or photographs of AC Albert Sill - please contact us in the first instance.


This aircraft took off from its base at Leuchars on a photo reconnaissance operation to the island of Sylt. Shot down by flak from Marineflakabteilung 264, and crashed 300 yards from the beach. The flak battery reported two parachutes.

Those killed were initially buried at List, Sylt, on the 2nd of October 1939 but now rest in Kiel War Cemetery.

224 Squadron Lockheed Hudson I

The crew were buried by the Luftwaffe with full military honours. Plt.Off Heaton-Nicholls can be seen with arm in a sling between Luftwaffe personnel saluting.

Left: Kiel War Cemetery (courtesy CWGC)

Burial Details:

Sgt. James Pearce. Kiel War Cemetery. Plot 4. Row F. Grave 15. Born in 1914 in East Looe, Cornwall. Son of James Collins and Matilda Prynn (née Gaskell) from East Looe, Cornwall, England.

AC1 Albert Sill. Kiel War Cemetery. Plot 4. Row F. Grave 14. Born in April 1914 in Easington, Durham. Son of Simon and Elizabeth (née Taylor) Sill from County Durham, England. His mother predeceased him in July 1939.

AC1 Albert Thomason. Kiel War Cemetery. Plot 4. Row F. Grave 13. Son of Edward and Caroline Thomason, of Newton Heath, Manchester, England.

Researched for and dedicated to the relatives of the crew. Aircrew Remembered have been contacted by Mary Doyle (Sill) in January 2016 - seeking further information, her father was the brother of Albert Sill. Next of Kin details for Sgt. Pearce and AC1 Sill updated by Aircrew Remembered (Nov 2020).

RS 09.11.2020 - Update of Non details for Sgt. Pearce and AC1 Sill

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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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