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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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RAF Crest
19.08.1940 No.14 OTU Hampden I P1305 P/O. William Euerby King

Operation: Training

Date: 19 August 1940 (Friday)

Unit: No. 14 Operational Training Unit

Type: Hampden I

Serial: P1305

Code: Not known

Base: RAF Cottesmore, Rutland

Location: Melchbourne, Bedfordshire.

Pilot: P/O. William Euerby King 81356 RAFVR Age 20 - Killed (1)

Pilot: Sgt. Stanley Britnor 754172 RAFVR Age 26 - Killed (2)

Pilot: Sgt. John Bishop 754664 RAFVR Age 20 - Killed (3)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Angus Jackson 651960 RAF Age 19 - Killed (4)

We appeal to relatives of the crew with further information and/or photographs to please contact us via the HELPDESK


Took off from RAF Cottesmore on a navigation exercise. The aircraft was observed to emerge from the cloud base, diving almost vertically and crashed and exploded near the Dower House at Melchbourne, Bedfordshire scattering wreckage over a wide area.

Some sources suggest that the pilot lost control whilst practising use of oxygen and changing seats.

On Monday 26 Aug 1949 a service was held followed by burial of the crew with full military honours at Cardington (St Mary) Church Cemetery, Bedfordshire.

Scale: 1" = 10km

Note: W.R. Chorley in Bomber Command Losses - Volume 7 states that the aircraft crashed at Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire


(1) P/O. William Euerby King was born 13 December 1919 at Nottingham the son of Thomas William King (a Draper) and Lillian Isabel King nee Lowrie of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. He was admitted to Nottingham High School in 1929 aged 9 when the family lived at 29 Mansfield Road, Nottingham. He left in 1931 when the family moved away. (Details courtesy of Nottingham High School Archives)

745223 Sgt. William Euerby King was granted a commission for the duration of hostilities as a Pilot Officer on probation on 25 June 1940 (London Gazette 23 July 1940)

He is commemorated on Nottingham High School War Memorial and the Beaconsfield War Memorial, Buckinghamshire

(2) Sgt. Stanley Britnor was born in 1914 at Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire the son of Harold Britnor and Gertrude Britnor nee Prescott. He married Frances Eileen Herbert at Birmingham in 1939: they later lived at Allerton, Leeds.

(3) Sgt. John Bishop was born in 1920 at Cheadle, Staffordshire the son of the Revd. Lewis Cornewall Bishop and Daisy Emma G. Bishop nee Hooper of South Kensington, London.

(4) Sgt. John Angus Jackson was born in 1921 at Sunderland the son of Angus Drummond Jackson and Margaret Jackson nee Gray of Sunderland, Co. Durham.


(1) P/O. William Euerby King was buried at Cardington (St Mary) Church Cemetery, Bedfordshire - Row R. Collective Grave 15

Epitaph reads:

For England

(2) Sgt. Stanley Britnor was buried at Cardington (St Mary) Church Cemetery, Bedfordshire - Row R. Collective Grave 15

Epitaph reads:

"Man's desperate folly

Was not theirs,

But theirs the sacrifice"

(3) Sgt. John Bishop was buried at Cardington (St Mary) Church Cemetery, Bedfordshire - Row R. Collective Grave 15

Epitaph reads:


Are the everlasting arms

(Photograph courtesy Bedfordshire Community Archives)

(4) Sgt. John Angus Jackson was buried at Cardington (St Mary) Church Cemetery, Bedfordshire - Row R. Collective Grave 15

Epitaph reads:

Greater love

Hath no man than this,

That a man lay down

His life for his friends

Researched by Aircrew Remembered researcher Roy Wilcock for Nottingham High School and all the relatives and friends of the members of this crew - April 2016

With thanks to the sources quoted below.

RW 20.04.2016

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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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