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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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99 Squadron Crest
06/07.11.1940 No. 99 Squadron Wellington IC R3289 Fl/Lt. Ronald W. Jones

Operation: Operation to the Ruhr.

Date: 06/07th November 1940

Unit: No. 99 Squadron

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: R3289

Code: LN-?

Base: RAF Newmarket, Suffolk, England.

Location: North Sea, off Cliff Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk, England

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Ronald Watcyn Jones 70351 RAFO Age 29. Killed (1)

Pilot2: F/O. Alwyn Oswald Laurence Stevens 74967 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Cornelius Daniel McColgan Canning 751759 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Herbert Charles Westley 650218 RAF Age 19. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Fraser 965774 RAFVR Age 25. Missing

Air/Gnr: P/O. Maurice Lowden Gauntlett 78748 RAFVR Age 34. Killed


Taking off from RAF Newmarket to attack targets in the Ruhr. A mixed election of 64 aircraft attacking various cities within Germany.

According to William Chorley’s BCL 2014 edition the aircraft is thought to have been shot down at 01:30 hrs, 150 yards from Cliff Road in the North Sea. East Suffolk Police reported that the aircraft was seen to pass over Felixstowe flying W - E and on fire in the air. Machine-gun fire was heard before the crash, but whether this was air-air or ground-air has not been established.

One other aircraft was lost, a Whitley from 102 Squadron which was forced to turn back with mechanical problems. The Whitley T4135 DY-S crashed at its base at Linton-on-Ouse with a full bomb load. The pilot, 27 year old, F/O. Donald U. Lowson DFC from Blackpool, survived, as did all the 4 other crew members. (note)

View from Reed Pond, Cliff Road to the North Sea.

(note) The Whitley T4135 DY-S crashed at its base at Linton-on-Ouse with a full bomb load. The pilot, 27 year old, F/O. Donald U. Lowson DFC from Blackpool, survived, as did all the 4 other crew members. Sadly all but one of this crew were to be killed during the war on other various operations:
28 year old, F/O. Donald Urquhart Lowson DF 41306 RAF 7th July 1941 attached to No. 10 Operational Training Unit. Whitley V Z6476 - killed with all his crew during a night navigation training exercise - aircraft hit barrage balloon cables and crashed near Quinton, Stratford-upon-Avon.
20 year old, Sgt. Kenneth Harold Smith, 3rd January 1941 with 102 Squadron from Keighley, Yorkshire. Whitley V T4227 DY-N - shot down by night fighter over Yorkshire - all 5 crew missing - believed killed - commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
Sgt. Leslie Hogarth 524701 RAF, 21st November 1940 with 102 Squadron, Whitley V P5072 DY-P Operation to Duisburg - all crew of 5 lost over North Sea - commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.21 year old,.
P/O. Dudley Arthur Ronald Tallis DFM 48958 RAF, from Shirley, Birmingham, 31st May 1942, attached to No. 22 Operational Training Unit, from 102 Squadron. Wellington Ic R1235, shot down by night fighter over Kalenberg, Germany.
Sgt. D. Whitehead, understood to have survived the war, no further details.Although we have brief details of these losses - we welcome contact from relatives in order to place a full page to each and every one of them!

Some of the crew graves (courtesy Mark Hudson)

Left: Runnymede Memorial (archives)

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Ronald Watcyn Jones. Mangotsfield (Downend) Cemetery. Sec A. Grave 163. Son of Watkin and Elsie Mabel Jones, of Fishponds, Bristol. England. Fl/Lt Jones held a B.A.-Hons. (Canterbury University).

(1) Note: We have since been contacted by a relative, Mr. Ronald Watkin Jones, informing us that he attended 'Cambridge University'. (St. Catherine's College 1930 - 1933) Not Canterbury, as listed by the CWGC. Also attended Bristol Grammar School prior to this. His parents were both school teachers and he was the only child.

F/O. Alwyn Oswald Laurence Stevens. Felixstowe New Cemetery. Block B. Sec L. Grave 24. Son of William Oswald Stevens and of Joyce Stevens (née Garrett), husband of Elizabeth Mary Stevens (née McBain).

Sgt. Cornelius Daniel McColgan Canning. Grimsby (Scartho Road) Cemetery. RC North Central Border. Row A. Grave 4. Son of Cornelius and Sarah McColgan Canning, of Grimsby, England. Husband of Marjorie Canning. ACIS.

Sgt. Herbert Charles Westley. West Norwood Cemetery. Sec 118. Grave 36025. Son of Charles Medcalfe Westley and May Lilian Ada Westley, of Streatham, London, England.

Sgt. James Fraser. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 14. Son of Donald and Martha Fraser, of Glasgow, Scotland.

P/O. Maurice Lowden Gauntlett. East Ilsley (St. Mary) Churchyard. S.W. Part of cemetery. Of Berkshire, England. Born Hungerford on 13 Mar 1906, the son of Sidney Herbert and Mary Anne (née Brooke) Gauntlett of Hungerford, Berkshire, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew. Thanks to Mark Hudson for these and other grave photographs. For further details our thanks to the following, 12 O’Clock High forum, Mrs. Wendy Bendig for photo’s of P/O. Maurice Gauntlett, John Early for grave photo of P/O. Maurice Gauntlett, Michel Beckers for medal collection photograph - October 2016. Robert Gann who also contacted us in October 2017 with photo of Sgt. Westley. Finally to Dave Champion for further crew details - May 2019.

KTY - 25.10.2016 - Further information/photographs added.

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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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