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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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142 Squadron Crest
28/29.07.1940 No. 142 Squadron Battle I L5584 P/O. Kirdy

Operation: Brussels

Date: 28/29th July 1940 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 142 Squadron 1 Group (motto: 'Determination')

Type: Fairey Battle Mk I

Serial: L5584

Code: QT-?

Base: RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire

Location: Lost without trace

Pilot: P/O. Matthew John Alexander Kirdy 36254 RAF Age 19. Missing - believed killed

Obs: Sgt. Norman Longcluse 747748 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert McGregor Hettle 645617 Age 19. Missing - believed killed


On an operation to bomb an airfield near Brussels, taking off at 00:05 hrs. Understood to have been hit by Flak, but lost without trace.

Also lost from the Squadron:

Battle I L5502 QT-D Flown by 20 year old, Fl/Lt. Robert Howard Edwards MiD x 2 42113 RAF shot down South West of Audembert. All three crew survived to be taken PoW. On the 26th September Fl/Lt. Edwards was shot and killed during an 'escape attempt'. Read more here.

Burial details:

P/O. Matthew John Alexander Kirdy. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 9. Son of Emmanuel and Ellen Jane Kirdy, of Mayfield, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Sgt. Norman Longclusey. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 16. No further details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Robert McGregor Hettle. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 15. Son of Ellen Hettle, and stepson of William Smith, of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Others mentioned:

Fl/Lt. Robert Howard Edwards MiD x 2. Poznan Old Garrion Cemeery. Grave 6.A.7. Son of Oliver Gilbert and Mary Emily Edwards, of Salford, Lancashire, England. Grave inscription reads: 'Late Of Sedbergh School, Yorkshire. "At Rest With Our Lord'".

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 27.03.2019

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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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