17/18.04.1941 No. 40 Squadron Wellington R1331 BL-R Sgt. Jenner
Insert linkOperation: Berlin
Date: 17/18th April 1941 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit: No. 40 Squadron
Type: Wellington IC
Base: RAF Alconbury, Cambridgeshire
Location: Combe Martin, North Devon, England
Pilot: Sgt. Kenneth Sydney Jenner NZ/40647 RNZAF Survived (1)
Pilot: Sgt. Trevor Horace Bagnall NZ/40640 RNZAF Survived (2)
Obs: Sgt. Carmen Douglas Noble J/15080 RCAF Survived (3)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. H. Jordan RAFVR Survived
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Allan MacAskill 778670 RAFVR Age 29. Survived (4)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Griffin 778670 RAFVR Age ? KilledREASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 20:45 hrs from RAF Alconbury, Cambridgeshire to join 117 aircraft on the raid to the 'Big City', the target Bomber Command crews dreaded due to the long distance and the horrific flak defences en-route.
Haze prevented accurate bombing. Flak proved to be as accurate as ever and eight aircraft failed to return from this operation (a further 3 from others taking place) This was the highest number of aircraft lost in the war so far, not counting aircraft that were lost in England on return. Sadly, later operations would see loss figures grow far higher than this.
Ken Jenner with his first wife Ruth Sutton, taken later in 1944 (courtesy Daily Telegraph)
Wellington IC R1331 was experiencing navigational difficulties on return and fuel was very low, the pilot gave the option for the crew to bale out. Sgt. Griffin was the only person to choose this, sadly the aircraft was to low and his parachute failed to open in time. Sgt Jenner managed to crash land the aircraft on a hillside in Combe Martin. The remaining crew were not seriously hurt.
(1) Sgt. Ken Jenner later won the D.F.C. and left the service in 1946, went on to fly the Comet with BOAC he died on 24th February 2013.
(2) W/O. Trevor Horace Bagnall later missing - believed killed on the 18th December 1942. Stirling I BF396 AA-X.
(3) Sgt. Carmen Douglas Noble was shot down flying in Stirling I N3762 BU-C. PoW No: 477 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria. Repatriated to Canada on the 08th July 1945 as Sq/Ldr. Retired in the 1960's.
Sgt. John Griffin. Ayr Cemetery, Scotland. Sec. S. 1931 Div. Grave 2865. Husband of Margaret Griffin, of Ayr, Scotland.
(2) Sgt. Allan MacAskill was killed on the 23rd July 1941, serving with 40 Squadron in Malta. Buried at Suez War Cemetery. Grave 2.A.12. Son of Alexander John and Susan Macaskill, of Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland, husband of Teresa Macaski.
Researched for relatives of the crew with thanks to Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses' Vol. 2, Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', The Commonwealth War Graves Commission.