05/06.11.1941 144 Squadron Hampden I AE253 Sgt. Kidd
Date: 5th/6th November 1941 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: 144 Squadron (motto: 'Who shall stop us'), 5 Group
Type: Hampden I
Base: RAF North Luffenham, Rutland
Location: Spiekeroog, Frisian Islands, Germany
Pilot: Plt Off. Frederick Lawrance Kidd 88029 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Peter McLeod Reed 900332 RAFVR Age? PoW No. 24478 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Edgar Crowe 759081 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. James Blair Blackwood 1052240 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
Above: Believed to the crew of AE253 (Credit: Carl Knox-Robinson)
Sgt Edgar Crowe has been identified as being 1st from the left. The airman 4th from the left has the badge of a commissioned officer on his forage cap so if this was the crew of AE253 this airman was Plt Off. Kidd. The two airmen, 2nd & 3rd from the left would be Sgt. Reed & and Sgt. Crowe but in which order is not known at this time
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off with 5 others on an ant-shipping strike off the island of Terschelling. Each aircraft were carrying 4x500 and 2x250 lb. wing bombs.
They came under intense fire from the Vorpostenboote carrying the 88 mm medium-calibre guns some with heavier anti-aircraft guns. Luftwaffe night fighters were also on the scene.
Some hits were observed on the convoy by the squadron although no definitive claims.
The squadron lost three crews, the others:
Hampden I AE424 flown by Plt Off. Llewellyn Newton Evans 65534 RAFVR - all 4 crew missing believed killed after being hit by the marine flak crashed in the North Sea off Terschelling.
Hampden I AD846 flown by Plt Off. Donald Arthur Baker 80114 PoW No. 665 Stalag Luft Sagan along with Sgt. John Shaw Croddley 994885 PoW No. 24477 Stalag Kopernikus. One crew member killed and the other missing - believed killed. Also hit by the marine flak crashed in the North Sea off Schiermonnikoog.
AE253 was shot down by Uffz. Heinz Grimm of 5./NJG2 at 04:52 hrs with the aircraft crashing on the beach of Spiekeroog. All but one of the crew were killed.
Left: Uffz. Heinz Grimm. Born on the 18th April 1920 at Hornburg. This was his 2nd claim during the war. He went on to claim a total of 27 aircraft shot down before he was hit by German anti-aircraft fire on the 9th October 1943, he managed to bale out seriously injured. He died in the hospital at Bremen on the 13th October 1943. (Kracker Luftwaffe Archive)
The remainder of the squadron landed at Middleton St George in North Yorkshire after being diverted from RAF North Luffenham.
Plt Off. Frederick Lawrance Kidd. Sage War Cemetery. Grave 11. C. 10. Son of Albert Victor and Ada Winifred Kidd, of Bedhampton, Hampshire. Attended Portsmouth Grammar School pupils 1930 - 1934. Grave inscription: 'There's Some Corner Of A Foreign Field That Is For Ever England'.
Sgt. Edgar Crowe. Sage War Cemetery. Grave 11. D. 10. Son of Mrs. I. Crowe, of Benwell, Newcastle-on-Tyne. Grave inscription: 'Dearly Beloved Son Of I. Crowe. Deeply Mourned By His Loving Mother'.
Sgt. James Blair Blackwood. Sage War Cemetery. Grave 11. E. 3. Son of Ludovic and Margaret Blair Blackwood; husband of Christine Blackwood, of Brompton, London. Grave inscription: 'Never Forgotten, My Darling. You Will Live In Our Hearts For Ever. Mum, Dad And Chris'.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Theo Boiten and 'Nachtjagd Combat Arcivev The Early Years Part 2' (2020) Portsmouth Grammar School, Kracker Luftwaffe Archive, Thanks to Carl Knox-Robinson, whose great uncle was Sgt Edgar Crowe, for the crew photograph (Aug 2021). Other sources as quoted below: