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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
23.04.1941 No 18 OTU Anson I R3408 Sgt. John Bernard Molony

Operation: Training

Date: 23rd April 1941 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 18 OTU (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Avro Anson I

Serial: R3408

Base: RAF Bramcote, Warwickshire

Location: Walsgrave on Sowe, West Midlands.

Pilot: Sgt. John Bernard Molony 740943 RAFVR Age 28. Killed (1)

Obs: F/O. Oskar Benedykt Sablik P-1438 PAF Age 29. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr/Mech: W/O. Sidney Ripley 363472 RAF Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Robert Hanson 966859 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edmund Kosznik 780477 PAF Age 21. Survived - wounded (2)

Obs: Sgt. Jerzy Rudlicki 780347 PAF Age 20. Killed


On a night navigation exercise when they strayed some 20 miles off course. They entered the Midlands marriage balloon protection area and struck a cable. The aircraft came down on Stole House in Walsgrave on Sowe killing all the crew.

Researched for the Wimbledon College Roll Of Honour - pilot, Sgt. John Molony having been a former pupil.

(1) The CWGC have the death of Sgt. John Bernard Molony listed as 23rd March 1941 - clearly a mistake.

(2) Not known how Sgt. Edmund Kosznik survived this incident - did he bale out, perhaps you are able to assist? He lost his life later on the 24th June 1944 whilst serving with 300 squadron. Lancaster EE124 BH-M. Crashed near Lissington, Lincolnshire on return from an operation to Les Hayone.

Above: Graves of some of the crew. Also showing top right: Sgt. Jerzy Rudlicki. Lower: F/O. Oskar Benedykt Sablik

Burial details:

Sgt. John Bernard Molony. Wimbledon Cemetery (Gap Road). Plot S.A. Grave 8. Son of the Right Hon. Sir Thomas Francis Molony, Bt., P.C., K.C., M.A., LL.D., Vice Chancellor of the University of Dublin, and of Lady Molony (née Rispin), of Wimbledon, husband of Marjory Molony (née Higgs). Won the Victor Ludorum at Wimbledon College in 1931, London, England.

Above: grave photo of pilot Sgt. Malony (courtesy Rob Pearson)

F/O. Oskar Benedykt Sablik. Nuneaton Cemetery (Oaston Road) War Graves Plot. Sec. H. Joint Grave 99. Next of kin details not available - are you able to assist? Born Born 08th October 1921.

W/O. Sidney Ripley. Hambleton Cemetery (St. Andrew). SE of church. Husband of Mary Ann Ripley, of Burley in Wharfedale, Yorkshire, England. Had joined service as a boy in 1923.

Fl/Sgt. Robert Hanson. Liverpool Cemetery (Anfield) Sec. 21. Grave 878. Son of Robert and Mary Hanson, of West Derby, Liverpool, England.

Sgt. Jerzy Rudlicki. Nuneaton Cemetery (Oaston Road) War Graves Plot. Sec. H. Joint Grave 99. Next of kin details not available - are you able to assist? Born 25th December 1912 in Czechowice, Poland

Researched for the Wimbledon College Roll Of Honour - Aircrew Remembered have offered to provide basic information for the school records. Also to Rob Pearson for grave photographs. For further details our thanks to the following sources shown below.

KTY 12.05.2016 grave photo added

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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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