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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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206 squadron crest
04.07.1940 206 Squadron Hudson I N7368 P/O. Henderson

Operation: Air Sea Rescue

Date: 4th July 1940 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 206 Squadron

Type: Hudson I

Serial: N7368

Code: VX-?

Base: RAF Bircham Newton, Norfolk.

Location: Texel, Netherlands

Pilot: P/O. Selby Roger Henderson DFC. 40826 RAF Age 22. Missing (1)

Nav: Sgt. George Howard Goldsmith 526218 RAF Age 22. Missing (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Gordon Clifton Sumner 568173 RAF Age ? Missing

Air/Gnr: L.A.C. John Lindsay Williamson 534498 RAF Age 22. Missing


Took off from RAF Bircham Newton at 05:50 hrs together with another Hudson P5162 VX-V from 206 squadron (3) to search for survivors of a 44 Squadron Hampden P4352 KM-J (4) which was lost on a gardening operation in the Great Belt area. Both of these aircraft were lost in the Texel area and is thought that both were hit by flak.

(1) P/O. Selby Roger Henderson DFC. London Gazette 2 January 1940. The recommendation states:

‘At 11.45 on 8 November 1939, when pilot of a reconnaissance aircraft on duty over the North Sea, Pilot Officer Henderson encountered two large enemy flying boats. He engaged the leading boat with utmost resolution; bursts were seen to enter the engines and after part of the flying boat’s hull, the enemy Rear-Gunner was incapacitated and eventually the flying boat went down partially out of control. Pilot Officer Henderson then attacked the second enemy aircraft with equal determination and silenced its fire before exhausting all his ammunition.’

Henderson received his DFC at an investiture at Buckingham Palace in February 1940 and was married to a Norfolk girl that May.

(2) Sgt. George Howard Goldsmith was a former pupil of Moseley Grammar school (Now secondary/grammar school. We are working very closely with the school's historians to remember all the ex pupils who died whilst serving with the RAF and recorded on the school memorial.

(3) The pilot of P5162 P/O. James Mackinnon and all his crew were killed.

(4) Hampden P4352 KM-J flown by P/O. Desmond A. Todd and all his crew were killed.

Burial details:

P/O. Selby Roger Henderson DFC. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 8. Son of Selby and Elaine Henderson; husband of Joan Louise Henderson, of Hunstanton, Norfolk, England.

Sgt. George Howard Goldsmith. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 14. Son of George Henry Goldsmith, and of Charlotte Ella Goldsmith, of Hall Green, Birmingham, England.

Sgt. Gordon Clifton Sumner. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 20. NoK details not available - await contact from relatives.

L.A.C. John Lindsay Williamson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 24. Son of John Francis and Esther Hilda Williamson, husband of Barbara Williamson, of Peckham, London, England.

With thanks to the following: Keith Townsend historian of Moseley Secondary/Grammar school memorial records, Ross McNeil - 'Coastal Command Losses', the CWGC

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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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