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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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Bomber Command crest
08/09th July 1942 19 OTU Whitley V L7077 UO-M W/O. Johnson

Operation: Training

Date: 08/09th July 1942 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 19 Operational Training Unit. 91 Group

Type: Whitley V

Serial: L7077

Code: UO-M

Base: RAF Kinloss, Morayshire

Location: Sound of Jura, 7 miles south of Eilean a' Chùirn

Pilot: W/O. Edward Owen Johnson NZ/40445 RNZAF Age 27. Missing - believed killed

Obs: Sgt. Roy Alan Ashmore 657674 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Joseph Lorkin 120039 RAFVR Age 24. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. John James Stephen Corderoy 916421 Age 27. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Stratton Wardle 1124718 Age 30. Missing - believed killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 23:15 hrs on a night navigation exercise sortie to Port Douglas on the Isle of Man and then due to return at 03:30 hrs.

The crew on another aircraft reported that they saw L7077 plunging in flames into the sea at 03:40 hrs. Large amount of static activity in the area and it is thought possible that they had been struck by lightning.

Only one body was recovered that had washed up on Rathlin Island and that was not until the 04th December 1942.

Burial details:

W/O. Edward Owen Johnson. Runnymede Memorial Panel 117. Born on the 12th April 1915 in London, England. Motor mechanic for G.K. Matheson Ltd. prior to service. Enlisted for pilot training on 24th November 1940. Emigrated to Australia in 1924 and the to New Zealand in 1939. Son of Ernest and Margaret Johnson (née Philip) of Auckland and husband of Mavis Hannah (née Sherman) of Whangarei, New Zealand. 380 Flying hours logged with 125 solo with 36 of these on the Whitley. He had completed 3 operational sorties.

Sgt. Roy Alan Ashmore. Rathlin Church of Ireland Churchyard (St. Thomas). Son of Reuben and Kate Elizabeth Ashmore and husband of Mabel Ashmore, of Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Grave inscription: 'His Life A Treasured Memory'.

P/O Joseph Lorkin. Runnymede Memorial Panel 70. Son of Joseph Lorkin and of Margaret Lorkin (née Gibson).

Sgt. John James Stephen Corderoy. Runnymede Memorial Panel 80. Son of John James Corderoy and Emily Ellen Corderoy, of Mitcham, Surrey.

Sgt. James Stratton Wardle. Runnymede Memorial Panel 70. Son of Robert and Mary Elizabeth Wardle, of Ebchester, Co. Durham; husband of Mary Wardle, of Ebchester.Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and 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, Alex at 'Find A Grave' for photo, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 14-01-2021

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Acknowledgements
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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