Operation: Convoy Patrol
Date: 19th July 1940 (Friday)
Unit: No. 141 Squadron (motto: Caedimus Noctu 'We slay by night') 11 Group
Type: Defiant I
Base: RAF West Malling, Kent
Location: Strait of Dover
Pilot: P/O. John Richard Kemp 41850 RAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert Crombie 903506 RAF Age 29. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Shortly after 09.00 hrs on the 19th July, twelve Defiants moved to the forward airfield at Hawkinge. At 12.23.hrs they were ordered off to carry out an offensive patrol twenty miles south of Folkestone. Three were left behind with engine trouble.
During the patrol the nine Defiants were surprised by Me109's of III/JG51 and in less than a minute four were shot down, three in flames.
The day turned out to be a disaster with the Defiant no natch for the 109's. No less than six aircraft from the squadron were lost within minutes. It would have been worse had it not been for Hurricanes from 111 squadron coming to their aid. 3 Defiants managed to return to Hawking.
Following this operation the squadron was withdrawn to Prestwick to regroup.
Defiant L7009: Flown by 22 year old, Fl/Lt. Ian David Grahame Donald and 28 year old, P/O. Arthur Charles Hamilton. Both killed after being shot down over Dover.
Defiant L6995: Crewed by 20 year old, P/O. Richard Alexander Howley and 33 year old, Sgt. Albert George Curley. Both missing believed killed after being shot down in the English Channel.
Defiant L7015: Crewed by 26 year old, P/O. Rudal Kidson and 26 year old, Sgt. Frederick Peter John Atkins. Pilot missing believed killed after being shot down in the English Channel. Air gunner's body washed ashore in France.
Defiant L7016: Crewed by 22 year old, P/O. John Rushton Gard'ner and 26 year old, P/O Dudley Malins Slatter. Aircraft ditched, pilot managed to escape from the wreckage and rescued air gunner missing believed killed.
Defiant L6983: Crewed by 20 year old, P/O. Ian Neil Macdougal and 20 year old, Sgt. John Francis Wise. Pilot survived a forced landing, air gunner missing believed killed.
Burial and personal details:
P/O. John Richard Kemp. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 8. Born on the 14th August 1914 at Napier. Worked as a clerk for Turnbull and Jones and Company. On the 16th February 1938 applied and was accepted for a short-term commission in RAF. Promoted to P/O on the 21st October 1939. Awarded pilots badge on the 15th July 1939. Son of Thomas Simpson Charles and Ethel Cordella E. Kemp (nee Curgenven), of Timaru, Canterbury, New Zealand. 303 flying hours logged
Sgt. Robert Crombie. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 13. Born on the 29th December 1910 in Paris, France. Son of William and Mary Crombie and husband of Phyllis Edina Helson Crombie, of Lightwater, Surrey.
Fl/Lt. Ian David Grahame Donald. 33306 RAF. Tilford Churchyard (All Saints). Born on the 3rd September 1917. Son of Air vice Marshal Sir D.G. Donald of 12 Christchurch Place, Epson, Surrey.
P/O. Arthur Charles Hamilton. 78543 RAF. Hawkinge Cemetery. Plot O. Row 1. Grave 12. Born in July 1911. Son of George Albert and Alice Nellie Mary Hamilton, of North Harrow, Middlesex. Grave inscription: 'To The Dear Memory Of "Arch" He That Giveth His Life Shall Find It'.
P/O. Richard Alexander Howley. 41705 RAF. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 27. Born on the 16th April 1920. Of St. John's, Newfoundland.
Sgt. Albert George Curley. 747968 RAFVR. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 13. Born on the 30th September 1907 in Ballincollig, Ireland. Son of Major John Curley, and of Jane A. Curley, of Bushey, Hertfordshire.
P/O. Rudal Kidson. 41297 RAF. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 9. Born on the 7th May 1914 at Wellington. joined the Auckland Aero Club where he obtained his 'A' License in February 1938, left for England at his own expense where was accepted for a short-term commission in the RAF. Son of George Rudal Kidson and Norah May Kidson of New Zealand. 303 flying hours logged.
Sgt . Frederick Peter John Atkins. 903401 RAFVR. Boulogne Eastern Cemetery. Plot 13. Row A. Grave 18. Born on the 1st January 1914 in Oxford. Son of Daniel and Eva Atkins, of Oxford and husband of Joyce Ethel Atkins, of Edmonton, Middlesex. Grave inscription: ' 'R.I.P'.
P/O Dudley Malins Slatter 44597 RAF. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 10. Born on the 7th March 1914. Son of Wilfred Thomas Slatter, and of Valletta Matilda Slatter, of Southsea, Hampshire
Sgt. John Francis Wise 746875 RAFVR. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 21. Born on the 6th December 1920. Husband of Hetwigg Louise Karpp of Poplar, London, England.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of these crews 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, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: