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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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44 squadron badge
44 Squadron Hampden I AE196 W/Cdr. Misselbrook

Operation: Gardening - 'Jellyfish' area

Date: 13th December 1941 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 44 Squadron

Type: Hampden I

Serial: AE196

Code: KM-?

Base: RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire

Location: Celtic Sea area, but lost without trace.

Pilot: W/Cdr. Sidney Trevor Misselbrook DSO. 34050 RAF Age 28. Missing

Obs: Fl/Sgt. Arthur Howard Gumbley NZ/402865 RNZAF Age 24. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leonard Dalton Leggett DFM. 989819 RAFVR Age ? Missing

F/O. Harry Jeffrey Jeffcoat 79240 RAFVR Age 32. Missing


Left RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire at 13:00 hrs on a gardening operation to Brest.

44 Squadron Hampden AE196 during service with 408 Squadron

10 Hampdens left for this operation, 6 to bomb targets at Brest which was abandoned, the remaining 4 to lay mines. Two aircraft were lost, the other, AE921 Hampden from 144 Squadron flown by 25 year old P/O. David McLaren, also missing with all his crew.
AE196 was lost without trace after being shot down by Lt. Harry Mayer (1) of 1./JG-2 in a Bf109F-4 at 18:03 hrs. The target area was 'Jellyfish' which was the approaches to Brest Harbour.

(1) Lt. Harry Mayer was killed on the 20th June 1942 in a crash near St. Omer.

Burial details:

W/Cdr. Sidney Trevor Misselbrook DSO. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 28. Son of Sidney Godolphin Misselbrook and Ethel May Misselbrook, of West Malling, Kent, England.

Fl/Sgt. Arthur Howard Gumbley. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 63. Born on the 14th September 1916 at Tauranga, the son of Ernest Arthur and Caroline Gumbley (née Warren), of Avondale, Auckland, New Zealand. Prior to enlistment on the 01st September 1940 worked as a storeman for Guinness Brothers. A total of 305 flying hours logged and on his 8th operational sortie. Although a qualified pilot, he was flying as an observer on this operation with his commanding officer in the pilot seat.

Sgt. Leonard Dalton Leggett DFM. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 47. No further details available as yet, are you able to assist? DFM awarded for gallantry and devotion to duty - with effect from 12th December 1941.

F/O. Harry Jeffrey Jeffcoat. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 30. Son of Harry and Dora Minnie Jeffcoat, of Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire, Wales. Also remembered on the Droitwich Spa Memorial, as he also lived in Victoria Road, Droitwich with his mother and stepfather.

Researched for relatives of the crew with thanks for additional information to Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol. 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Tom Kracker for the enormous data base 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

KTY Updated 21.11.2019

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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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