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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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138 Squadron Crest
02/03.12.1944 No. 138 Squadron Stirling IV LK143 NF-B F/O. G.F. Nichols

Operation: SOE - Operation ‘Tablejam’

Date: 02/03rd December 1944 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 138 Squadron

Type: Stirling IV

Serial: LK143

Code: NF-B

Base: RAF Tempsford, Bedfordshire

Location: North Sea off Søndervig, Denmark

Pilot: F/O. George Frederick Nichols 175089 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Arthur Cecil Butler 1836613 RAFVR Age 25. Missing - believed killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Joseph Albert Golding 945043 RAFVR Age 25. Missing - believed killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. John George Harris 1399950 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Leslie William Poulson AUS/424680 RAAF Age 20. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick Albert Walter Filer 1337166 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Charles Edward Terrell 188483 RAFVR Age 24. Missing - believed killed


Taking off from RAF Tempsford in Bedfordshire at 00:35 hrs on an operation to drop supplies to the Danish resistance (Operation “Tablejam”) They were detailed to drop some 12 containers and 1 ‘package’ to each of the drop zones as marked on the map.

Reports from the Danish Resistance stated that they never made these drops. It is reported in the nightfighter war diaries that they were ‘probably’ shot down by Luftwaffe ace, Ofw. Herbert Giesecke (1) of 3./NJG3 some 50 km WNW of Søndervig at 04:49 hrs. The Stirling was flying at just 30 ft at the time to avoid radar.

On the 31st August 1949 the Missing Research and Enquiry Service concluded that all efforts to trace the aircraft and the bodies of the crew were exhausted and so the case was then closed classifying the crew as missing without trace - probably over the North Sea.

(1) This was the final claim from Ofw. Herbert Giesecke of the war from which he survived. (Information courtesy of Tom Krackers archive on our site)

(2) RAF Tempsford is a former Royal Air Force station located 2.3 miles (3.7 km) north east of Sandy, Bedfordshire, England and 4.4 miles (7.1 km) south of St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, England.

The airfield was perhaps the most secret airfield in the Second World War. It was home to the Special Duties Squadrons, No. 138, which dropped Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents and their supplies into occupied Europe, and No. 161, which specialised in personnel delivery and retrieval by landing in occupied Europe. (information courtesy Wikipedia)

Burial details:

F/O. George Frederick Nichols. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 208. Son of Frederick James Nichols and Frances Hannah Nichols, of Dorking, Surrey, England.

Sgt. Arthur Cecil Butler. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 226. Son of Thomas S. and Emma H. Butler, of Cwm, Monmouthshire, South East Wales.

Fl/Sgt. Joseph Albert Golding. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 218. Son of Mark and Honor Golding and husband of Pauline A. Golding, of Ipswich, Suffolk, England.

Fl/Sgt. John George Harris. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 218. Son of John and Annie Minnie Jessie Harris, and husband of Doris Harris of Bexley, Kent, England.

Fl/Sgt. Leslie William Poulson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 261. Born on the 16th July 1924, the son of William George Poulson, and of Violet Ethel Poulson, of 118 Bruce Street, Cook's Hill, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

Sgt. Frederick Albert Walter Filer. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 229. Son of Frederick Alfred Rich Filer and Sarah Hannah Filer and husband of Violet Maud Filer, of Winslow, Buckinghamshire, England.

P/O. Charles Edward Terrell. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 212. Husband of Patricia Terrell.

Researched for Joanne Lavender relative of Fl/Sgt. Joseph Albert Golding and dedicated to all the other relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown below. We welcome contact from other relatives are able to contribute any new information / photographs. With thanks to Paul Hamer who aided us with personal details for P/O. Terrell, his Grandfather - October 2017.

KTY - 14.09.2017

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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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