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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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295 Squadron Crest
24.07.1943 No. 295 Squadron Whitley V LA856 Sq/Ldr. John N.W. Kerr

Operation: Conversion training

Date: 24th July 1943 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 295 Squadron

Type: Whitley V

Serial: LA856

Code: Not known

Base: RAF Hurn, Dorset

Location: At airbase - RAF Hurn

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. John Noel Wilmot Kerr 43101 RAF Age 27. Killed

Pilot U/T: Fl/Sgt. Thomas Harold Payne AUS/413418 RAAF Age 28. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Geoffrey Maurice Connell AUS/420377 RAAF Age 20. Killed

This page is dedicated to the memory of F/O. William Roderick McPherson who clearly had a great respect to the two Australians in this crew having served with them. The funeral photographs shown on the page were from his collection.


The aircraft was being used for a type conversion sortie. During take off the port engine failed. The crew lost control with the aircraft crashing and destroyed by fire - all three crew were killed.

No. 295 Squadron RAF was an airborne forces and transport squadron of the Royal Air Force during World War II. It was the first unit to be equipped with the Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle transport and glider tug aircraft. Prior to this used the Whitley aircraft and in July 1944 went over to use the Short Sterling.

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. John Noel Wilmot Kerr. Littleham Churchyard (Ss. Margaret And Andrew). Born in Cheltenham September 1916 - the son of William John Wilmot Kerr and Irene Maude Kerr, of Exmouth, Devon, England. Also previously served in the 1st. Royal Tank and the Gloucester Regiments of the British Army.

Pilot U/T: Fl/Sgt. Thomas Harold Payne. Christchurch Cemetery. Sec. Y. (Uncons. New). Grave 13. Born on the 07th July 1915 at Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia - the son of Jonathan Harold Alexander and Lydia Frances Payne, of Croydon, New South Wales, Australia. Enlisted in Sydney.

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Geoffrey Maurice Connell. Christchurch Cemetery. Sec. Z. (Uncons. New). Grave 13. Born on the 07th May 1923 at Albury New South Wales, Australia - the son of Geoffrey Charles and Reba Kathleen Connell, of Tumblong, New South Wales, Australia. Enlisted in Sydney.

Researched for Rod McPherson, son of the navigator F/O. William McPherson who contacted us in December 2016 - his father served with the two Australian from this crew. On the rear of the funeral photos that he submitted he had written “'Tom Payne my skipper one of the best that ever flew”. The story of F/O. McPherson Halifax III MZ470 KN-F 13th December 1944. With thanks to Geoff Wild and Sprayerman for grave photographs. For further details our thanks to the following sources shown below.

KTY - 12.12.2016

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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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