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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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10 Squadron Crest
11/12.06.1940 No. 10 Squadron Whitley V P4954 ZA-T Sgt. Leslie A. Keast

Operation: Troop concentrations

Date: 11/12th June 1940 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 10 Squadron

Type: Armstrong Whitley V

Serial: P4954

Code: ZA-T

Base: RAF Dishforth, Yorkshire

Location: 6 km. North of Abbeville, France

Pilot: Sgt. Leslie Arthur Keast 564740 RAF Age 25. Killed

Pilot 2: P/O. David Frederick Braham 72463 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

Obs: Sgt. John Jacob Myers 580910 RAF Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. James McDonald Black 536996 RAF Age 24. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: LAC Raymond Robin Henry Nuttall 624643 RAF Age 28. Killed


Taking off at 20.47 hrs from RAF Dishforth in Yorkshire to attack troop concentrations in Northern France, together with aircraft from 51 and 102 Squadrons.

Not a very successful operation with 3 crews returning without making an attack, and another 5 reported to have bombed a secondary target.

Previously on the 3rd March 1940 Sgt. Leslie Keast had a lucky escape when the Whitley IV K9022 ZA-M overshot the runway during landing, crashing in a field at Dishforth at 22.10 hrs. The other pilot Sgt. W.S. Hilary also escaped injury.

Right: Sgt. James Black (courtesy Granny at Find A Grave - with permission to use)

Whitley crew returning from an operation (courtesy IWM)

Whitley P4954 is understood to have been hit by flak crashing some 6 km North of Abbeville.

Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension (courtesy CWGC)

Burial details:

Sgt. Leslie Arthur Keast. Abbeville Communal Cemetery Ext. Plot 5. Row H. Grave 16. Son of Arthur and Louie Olive Keast, of North End, Portsmouth, England.

P/O. David Frederick Braham. Abbeville Communal Cemetery Ext. Plot 5. Row H. Grave 20. Son of Dudley Disraeli Braham and of Julia Swift Braham (nee Whiteside), of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England. B.A. (Cantab.), Jesus College. Understood that P/O. Braham was born in Australia.

Sgt. John Jacob Myers. Abbeville Communal Cemetery Ext. Plot 5. Row H. Grave 15. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Sgt. James McDonald Black. Abbeville Communal Cemetery Ext. Plot 5. Row H. Grave 17. Son of Duncan McDonald Black and Florence Anna Black, of Knightswood, Glasgow, Scotland.

LAC Raymond Robin Henry Nuttall. Abbeville Communal Cemetery Ext. Plot 6. Row B. Grave 15. Son of Henry and Martha Belinda Nuttall, of Westport, Nelson, New Zealand.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Granny at Find A Grave for photo, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol. 1 (2nd edition), Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries’ (Updated 2014 version). Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Aircrew Remembered own Archives.

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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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