Operation: Anti-shipping strike
Date: 26th August 1941 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 21 Squadron
Type: Blenheim IV
Base: RAF Watton, Norfolk
Location: Bergen - aan - Zee, Holland
Pilot: Sgt. Alex Stanley Oman 1378580 RAFVR Age ? Killed - missing
Obs: Sgt. Thomas Parkinson 955962 RAFVR Age 24. Killed - missing
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Hamilton 977049 RAFVR Age 24. Killed - missing
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took-off from RAF Watton at 11:55 hrs. on a Anti-shipping strike off the coast of Holland, hit by flak the aircraft crashed into the North Sea off Bergen - aan - Zee, Holland, there were no survivors and all crew members are missing.
Sgt. Thomas Parkinson (courtesy Ian M. Jenkins)
Here is an extract from Thomas's last letter home dated 24th August 1941, two days before he died:
"Last week, we bombed St Omer aerodrome, (Northern France), another aerodrome in Northern Holland, near Alkmaar, and did a shipping sweep off the Frisian Islands, which lasted 4 1/2 hours, very boring indeed, as we never saw anything, except about 2 dozen very small fishing boats, not worth bombing. Needless to say, at St Omer, we were hit again by Flak, one piece going through the petrol tank, which, fortunately is self-healing, having a rubber inside.
"At Alkmaar, we didn't get any serious Flak, but as we came out to sea from the target, I saw six Me110s passing in formation beneath us. I told Lex (Alex Oman), and he waggled his wings, as a signal to the long-range Spits, accompanying us, to go down and attack them. They did, putting two out for the count. Then the 110s ran away, and we were attacked by quite a large formation of Me109s.
The first I saw of them, was when one 109 dived down, past us, onto a Spitfire down below. Ron (Ronald Hamilton) let off a few bursts, but he was going too fast to notice whether we hit him anywhere. He got on the tail of the Spit, and let go with all he had. The Spit just turned over and went under the water, and I'm afraid the pilot must have been killed before he hit the water. However, shortly afterwards, we saw a couple of 109s going down, so we felt better. Actually the point of these raids of ours, is to fetch their fighters up, so that our boys can knock them down again. We're the bait, and, as our Group Captain puts it, We're 'bits of cheese dragged round on a piece of string. We don't mind so much, as long as the fighter boys are on their toes, ready to attack anything which comes for us."
Left: Tom Parkinson, Jack Wood, Cyril Penn, Jeff Ranson, Jarris (Gerry) Burlridge, Dennis Macalister, Ernie (Grace) Beattie and John McDonald. (courtesy Ian M. Jenkins)
No. 4 AONS at Ansty 24th August 1940 (courtesy Ian M. Jenkins) - anyone recognise others?
The family of Sgt Parkinson received a letter sent by P/O. Stanley Gunnis describing the action of this day. Sadly P/O. Gunnis was killed the day after he wrote this. "Link"
Sgt. Alex Stanley Oman. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 49. No further details as yet - can you help?
Sgt. Thomas Parkinson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 50. Son of Fred and Winifred Parkinson, of Anchorsholme, Blackpool, Lancashire, England.
Sgt. Ronald Hamilton. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 44. Son of William M. and Ada E. Hamilton, husband of Barbara N. Hamilton, of Jerbourg, Guernsey, Channel Islands, England.
Researched for Ian Jenkins - great nephew of Sgt. Thomas Parkinson. With thanks to Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol. 2", Graham Warner - "The Bristol Blenheim", Commonwealth Graves Commission.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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