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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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49 squadron crest
16/17.10.1940 No. 49 Squadron Hampden I L4129 Sgt. Imber

Operation: Gardening

Date: 16/17th October 1940 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 49 Squadron

Type: Hampden I

Serial: L4129

Code: EA-?

Base: RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire.

Location: Gironde, near Bordeaux, France

Pilot: Sgt. Dennis Sydney Imber 748039 RAFVR Age 21 Killed

Pilot 2: Sgt. Robert Frederick Rose 740263 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Kenneth Charles Friend 747724 RAFVR Age 19. Killed (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frank Corbett 618707 RAF Age 22. Killed


Took off from Scampton together with other Hampdens to lay mines off Bordeux. Shot down by German Flak near Amares-et-Lagrave which is 11 km north east of Bordeaux.

A disastrous raid for 49 squadron who lost 4 aircraft on this operation:

L4195 Flown by F/O. Evans who managed to return to England but crashed at 04:50 hrs at Lenham near Ashford in Kent. He was injured, another crew member was killed and the third escaped injury.
P2143 Flown by F/O. Charles Pitman, also crashing in England when short of fuel - all crew were killed
X2900 Flown by Sgt. Bates, crashed in Andover when overshot the runway - all crew were safe.

(1) Sgt. Kenneth Charles Friend 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.

Burial details:

Sgt. Dennis Sydney Imber. Ambares-Et-Lagrave Communal Cemetery Sp. Mem C. Son of Sidney Albert John and Grace Elizabeth Imber, of Cambridge, England.

Sgt. Robert Frederick Rose. Ambares-Et-Lagrave Communal Cemetery Sp. Mem C. Son of Bertie Percy and Florence Jessie Rose, of Peckham, London, England.

Sgt. Kenneth Charles Friend. Ambares-Et-Lagrave Communal Cemetery Sp. Mem C. Nephew of Mrs. V. Chandler, of Brington, Huntingdonshire, England.

Sgt. Frank Corbett. Ambares-Et-Lagrave Communal Cemetery Sp. Mem C. Son of George R. Corbett and Emma Corbett, of Great Houghton, Yorkshire, England.

Researched for relatives of the crew. With thanks to the following: Keith Townsend historian of Moseley Secondary/Grammar School memorial records, Michel Beckers for crash photographs and Chris Goss for photo of Sgt. Imber and crew graves.

KTY - Page updated 06.08.2017

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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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