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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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236 Squadron badge
01.08.1940 No 236 Squadron Blenheim IV R2274 P/O. McDonough

Operation: Escort

Date: 01st August 1940 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 236 Squadron (Coastal Command)

Type: Blenheim IV

Serial: R2274

Code: FA-N

Base: RAF Thorney Island, West Sussex, England

Location: Querqueville, France.

Pilot: P/O. Bryan Martin McDonough 42137 RAF Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick Arthur Percy Head 902546 RAFVR Age ? Killed


Took off at 15:05 hrs on escort duty to 59 Squadron on a raid to Cherbourg.

At around 11:45 hrs 236 Squadron ground crews were loading up the Blenheims with the required loads.

From 15:00 hrs Blenheims from 236 Squadron started taking off to rendezvous with 59 Squadron prior to the French coast and to commence strafing Cherbourg airfield. Conditions had been forecast as fine with good visibility, but that proved to be totally inaccurate with low cloud cover and some of the aircraft missing the area.

15:40 hrs. the first of the 59 Squadron Blenheims near the coast - a brief break in the clouds enable them to identify the target and they commenced their bombing run. Two Blenheims from 236 Squadron approached very low at below 100 ft and commenced strafing the airfield and the anti aircraft batteries.

Left: Oblt. Ernst Düllberg went on to claim a massive 45 victories. He survived the war and died in Essen, Germany on the 27th July 1984 age 71. (see Kracker Luftwaffe Archive on this site)

A number of the Bf109's from III/JG27 managed to take off and intercept the allied aircraft. It is reported that R2274 may have been shot down by Oblt. Ernst Düllberg, other reports state the aircraft was hit by flak.

The Blenheim is understood to have crashed at around 17:15 hrs.

Another Blenheim from 236 Squadron was also lost at around the same time. Blenheim IV N3601 FA-K. Flown by Sq/Ldr. Peter E. Drew killed with his Air/Gunner F/O. Ben Nokes-Cooper.

A 59 Squadron Blenheim IV also failed to return, L8792 TR-A. Flown by W/Cmdr Reg Morgan-Weld-Smith, his observer P/O. Dave Davis and their air gunner Peter Pryde were all killed.

Burial details:

P/O. Bryan Martin McDonough. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 9. Son of John Martin McDonough and Nellie McDonough. From Ulverstone, Tasmania. Moving later to Victoria, Australia. Joining the RAF and left Australia in 1939 on a short service commission.

Sgt. Frederick Arthur Percy Head. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 15. No further details as yet, but we are in contact with who, we understand, is a relative. Awaiting further information.

Researched for Brian Nourse and relatives of the crew. With thanks for additional information supplied by: Graham Warner - 'The Bristol Blenheim', Ross Mcneill - 'Coastal Command Losses', Winston G. Ramsey - 'Battle of Britain Then and Now', Commonwealth Graves Commission.

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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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