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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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110 Squadron Crest
27.12.1941 No. 110 Squadron Blenheim IV Z7442 Sgt. Norman Kaby

Operation: Combined Operations

Date: 27th December 1941 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 110 Squadron

Type: Blenheim IV

Serial: Z7442

Code: VE-?

Base: RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland

Location: Off Egerø, North Sea

Pilot: Sgt. Norman Kaby 941669 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Obs: P/O. Robert Charles Davis NZ/404480 RNZAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Norman Coatesworth 953084 RAFVR Age 25. Missing - believed killed


Six Blenheims from the Squadron took off in the morning for a daylight operation to attack shipping off the Norwegian coast as a diversion for the commando’s landing further up the coast, named ‘Operation Archery’ - the first combined Army, Navy and Airforce operation of the war.

The commando force of some 51 officers and 525 men led by Lieutenant Colonel Durnford-Slater were put ashore to attack German positions in order to divert valuable German forces to the area. The raid was a total success for the commandoes taking the Germans by surprise - later the Germans sent 3 divisions to the Norwegian coastline to defend the exporting of iron ore. This had been the aim of Mountbatten - to tie up the german forces to spend years defending thousands of miles of open country and fiords.

It is understood that they were either shot down by anti—aircraft fire or by attacking B109’s of I/JG77 based at Herdla, north of Bremen.

The Squadron were to suffer terrible losses during this daylight operation, some 4 crews were lost, the remaining 2 managed to return. The others:

Blenheim IV V6429 Flown by 21 year old, P/O. John Bruce Macleod 101552 RAFVR of Peterculter, Aberdeenshire, Scotland - missing with both other 2 crew members.
Blenheim IV V6448 Flown by P/O. David Montgomery Jenkinson J/15027 RCAF - missing with both other 2 crew members.
Blenheim IV Z7317 Flown by 24 year old, Fl/Lt. Richard Trevor Blewett NZ/403118 RNZAF of Napier, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand - killed, his other 2 crew missing.

Burial Details:

Sgt. Norman Kaby. Trondheim Cemetery (Stavne) Grave A IV British B.6. Son of Thomas and Susannah Kaby (née Hikson), of Cuddington, Cheshire, England. Epitaph reads: “In Remembrance Of Our Dear Son And Brother He Made The Supreme sacrifice.”

Obs: P/O. Robert Charles Davis. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 63. Born on the 25th December 1917 in Richmond, Melbourne, Australia although brought up in Taumarunui, King Country, New Zealand. 209 Flying hours logged.

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Norman Coatesworth. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 41. Son of Benjamin and Nora Coatesworth, of Staincross, Yorkshire, England.

Researched for Christine Louise O'Brien, relative of P/O. Davis and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources indicated below. With thanks to Andrea Ruddick for the Runnymede Memorial panel photographs - these are available at high resolution to next of kin - please contact us, also to Lars Snith for grave photograph of pilot.

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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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