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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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23 crest
23 Squadron Mosquito NF.II DZ693 F/O. William Henry Hopkins

Operation: Intruder

Date: 27/28th April 1943 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 23 Squadron (motto: Semper Aggressus - 'Always on the Attack'). 248 Wing. Malta Air Command

Type: Mosquito NF.II

Serial: DZ693

Code: YP-Q

Base: RAF Luqa, Malta

Location: Mediterranean Sea

Pilot: F/O. William Henry Hopkins NZ/413851 RNZAF Age 26. Missing - believed killed

Nav: W/O. Roy Claude Sherrington DFM. 751458 RAFVR Age 23. Missing - believed killed


Taking off at 00:07 hrs on an intruder flight over Western Sicily

Aircraft failed to return and the crew were lost without trace.

Burial and other details:

F/O. William Henry Hopkins. Malta Memorial. Panel 12, Column 1. Born on the 15th November 1916 in Waipawa. Educated at Seddon Memorial Technical Collage. A radio serviceman for New Zealand Raikways at Otiria Junction. A member of the Auckland Aero Club in 1938 and obtained his 'A' Licence. Enlisted at Levin as a pilot under training on the 06th July 1941. With No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School 17th August 1941.

Embarked for Canada on the 20th October 1941. With No. 4 Service Flying Training School on the 08th November 1941. Pilot badge awarded and commissioned on the 27th February 1942. Embarked for England on the 14th March 1942. With No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre 28th March 1942. Pilot Advanced Flying Unit 18th May 1942. 51 Operational Training Unit 14th July 1942 flying the Blenheim and Beaufighter. 23 squadron on the 15th October 1942 flying the Mosquito.

To RAF Bradwell Bat 09th December 1942. With 51 Operational Training Unit Intruder Poo; at Twinwood Farm 05th January 1943. Attached to 157 squadron 27th March - 09th March flying the Mosquito. 10 Aircraft Delivery Unit 15th March 1943. Flew a Mosquito to Malta via Gibralter, Algeria and Libya 27-31st March 1943. Joined 23 squadron on the 17th April 1943 flying 9 operational sorties.

Son of Robert Charles and Madeline Hopkins (née Howard). Nephew of Mary Hunt, of Green Lane, Auckland, and Noel Howard, of Orakei, Auckland, New Zealand.

W/O. Roy Claude Sherrington DFM. Malta Memorial. Panel 7, Column 1. Born in Waldringfield, Woodbridge in 1921. Educated at Mid-Essex Technical College. Worked for Hoffmann Manufacturing Co many in the drawing office. Son of William Joseph Sherrington (died 1929), and of Annie Maud Sherrington (née Bloomfield - died 1975), of 30 Lady Lane, Chelmsford, Essex. Husband of Eileen Emily Sherrington (née Fisher - died 1988) and father of one son. Over 50 operational sorties.

His brother, 25 year old Sgt. Stanley Victor Sherrington 908776 also served. He was killed on the 30th July 1943 whilst with 51 squadron as a flight engineer. Halifax II JD309 on am operation to Hamburg failed to return with all crew missing - believed killed. Further information here.

DFM L/G 10th June 1942:

Fl/Sgt. Roy Claude Sherrington, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 23 Squadron. This observer has completed a large number of intruder sorties, during which he has participated in the destruction of a number of enemy aircraft. He is a keen navigator who is also accurate in his bombing and coolly efficient at all times.

Above L-R: Back; Sanders, Rickerby, Taylor, Hopkins, Bailey, Cowin, E Gardner, Eady, Evers-Swindell, Brabant, R Harper, Jensen, Brockett, Ingpen.
Third row; Robinson, Milestone, Wilson, Wills, Wakelin, Tempest, Dickson, Templer, E Johnson, P Johnson, Hayward, Kainamu, Fraser, Fleming, Noble-Campbell, Thomson.
Second row; Leigh, DE Martin, Nicholls, Smith, Stewart, McCook, Lornie, Mansill, Dwyer, Pryde, Hill, J Harper, Lambourne, R Gardner, Gordon, Warne.
Front; White, Mattson, Flack, Sparks, McGregor, Lock, Cockerill, Arkinstall, Corson, Brooker, Dudding, Garlick, D.J Martin. (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot, thanks 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, Air Museum of New Zealand, Chelmsford War Memorial, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 27-08-2022

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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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