Date: 01st August 1940 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 59 Squadron (Coastal Command)
Type: Blenheim Mk IV
Base: RAF Thorney Island, Sussex
Location: English Channel off Cherbourg, France.
Pilot: Wg/Cmdr. Reginald Gilbert Squarey Morgan-Weld-Smith MiD 05224 RAF Age 29. Killed
Obs: P/O. David Henry Davis AFM MiD (x2). 44271 RAF Age 27. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Peter Pryde 551852 RAF Age 19. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Following reports of enemy aircraft build up over the Channel at Cherbourg. 59 Squadron were ordered to bomb the Luftwaffe airfield at Querqueville in three waves.
Taking off at 15:00 hrs along with 12 others from the squadron. 236 Squadron were ordered to act as escort.
Anti-aircraft fire was immense and two fighters from 236 squadron were shot down. Bf109s also managed to take off and were seen to enter the battle. No claims have been verified on who claimed the 59 Squadron loss.
59 Squadron were unaware that their Commanding Officer and his crew failed to return with them.
Right: P/O. David Henry Davis (courtesy Paul Brooker - see below)
The bodies of the crew were washed up on French beaches and buried at various French cemeteries.
Graves of two of the crew as photographed by our Kate Tame in 2011.
Wg/Cmdr. Reginald Gilbert Squarey Morgan-Weld-Smith MiD, St. Pierre-en-Port Communal Cemetery. Son of Reginald and Mita Drinkwater Morgan-Weld-Smith, husband of Joan Margaret Morgan-Weld-Smith, of Strathblane, Stirlingshire, Scotland.
P/O. David Henry Davis AFM MiD (x2), St. Valery-en-Caux Franco-British Cemetery. Grave A8. Son of Albert Edward and Harriette Bertha Davis, of Smarden, Kent, England.
Sgt. Peter Pryde. Veules-les-Roses Communal Cemetery. Row 3. Grave 8. Son of Arthur Henry and Lucy Leonora Pryde, of Trowell, Nottinghamshire, England.
Researched for relatives of these crews with thanks for additional information to Kate Tame, Graham Warner - 'The Bristol Blenheim', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'.
With thanks also to Paul Brooker, who has researched the losses on his village war memorial in Smarden, Kent, England and supplied us with the photo of P/O. Davis.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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