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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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102 Squadron Crest
08/09.12.1942 No. 102 Squadron Halifax II W7925 DY-S Sgt. Brian J. Ketchell

Operation: Gardening

Date: 08/09th December 1942 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 102 Squadron

Type: Halifax II

Serial: W7925

Code: DY-S

Base: RAF Pocklington, Yorkshire

Location: North Sea off Wangerooge, Frisian Islands

Pilot: Sgt. Brian John Ketchell 1155502 RAFVR Age 23. Body not recovered

Flight/Eng: Sgt. Cyril George Adnams 922704 RAFVR Age 28. Body not recovered

Obs: Sgt. Gordon Carruthers Haig R/93443 RCAF Age 31. Body not recovered

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Clarence Ames Massey R/82826 RCAF Age 25. Body not recovered

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Charles Parry 1067071 RAFVR Age 21. Body not recovered

Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Neville Hopwood 1095270 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick Ernest Arthur Box 1311922 RAFVR Age 34. Killed


Took off at 17:05 hrs from RAF Pocklington on a Gardening operation to the Heligoland approaches (Yams). Nothing further heard of and presumed crashed in the sea.

The aircraft was hit by Luftwaffe Flak of I, II, IV and V/3/lei 988 and Marine Flak of 6/Marine Flak Abt 226 and Marine Flak Abt 216. Crashed 1km West of Utlandshörn at 1904 hrs. (Nachtjagd War Diaries - Vol 1, Dr. Theo E W Boiton)

Two bodies, those of Sgt. William Hopwood and Sgt. Frederick Box were washed ashore on the 15th February and 19th January 1943, respectfully.

A "Report on crashed or exploded aircraft, plaque crosses, multiple burials - AMO 682/45" recorded that the aircraft crashed just off the shore of the Island of Juist. Two bodies were washed ashore; the remaining crew members were trapped in the aircraft and could not be recovered. The remains of the aircraft were blown up by the Germans as they constituted a danger to shipping.

Burial details:

Sgt. Brian John Ketchell. Runnymede War Memorial. Panel 87. Son of Richard John and Daisy Kate Ketchell, of Falmer, Sussex, England.

Sgt. Cyril George Adnams. Runnymede War Memorial. Panel 77. Son of Mr. and Mrs. George Adnams and husband of Beatrice Rose Elizabeth Adnams, of Oxford, England.

Sgt. Gordon Carruthers Haig. Runnymede War Memorial. Panel 104. Son of Mr. and Mrs. D.C. Haig of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Clarence Ames Massey. Runnymede War Memorial. Panel 105. Son of Mr. and Mrs. C.W. massey of Morganston, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. William Charles Parry. Runnymede War Memorial. Panel 91. Son of Frederick Curtis Parry, and of Ellen Muriel Parry, of Pontyrhyll, Glamorgan, Wales.

Sgt. William Neville Hopwood. He was initially buried at the Wittmund Cemetery Grave 70 before being reinterred at the Sage War Cemetery. Grave 3.E.12. No further details known as yet. - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Frederick Ernest Arthur Box. He was initially buried on the Island of Juist, New cemetery, Section E, Grave 95 before being reinterred at the Sage War Cemetery. Grave 5.B.14. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Henry Box and husband of Ethel Dora Box, of Southsea, Hampshire, England.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the relatives of the crew. With thanks to sources as shown below. Thanks also to John Jones for a copy of the report on crashed or exploded aircraft, plaque crosses, multiple burials - AMO 682/45 and also for the Nachtjagd War Diaries - Vol 1, Dr. Theo E W Boiton information.

RS 01.10.2019 - Addition of Nachtjagd War Diaries - Vol 1, Dr. Theo E W Boiton information

Pages of Outstanding Interest
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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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