Operation: Puffin 2 Special Operations Executive (SOE)
Date: 08/09th November 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No.138 Squadron
Type: Short Stirling IV
Base: RAF Tempsford, Bedfordshire
Location: Unknown, probably North Sea
Pilot: P/O. Louis Alexander Ouellette J/92633 RCAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Arthur John Jeffery 1835953 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed
Navigator: P/O. Lloyd William Nelson J/95449 RCAF Age 22 Missing - believed killed
Air/Bmr: F/O. Sidney Harry Sharpe 153234 RAFVR Age 23 Missing - believed killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Alexander Frederick Birdseye 1395146 RAFVR Age 20 Missing - believed killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt: Robert Augusta Best R/221087 RCAF Age 19 Missing - believed killed
Air/Gnr: P/O. Peter Barnicke J/92693 RCAF Age 19. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Captain Ouellette and crew took off from Tempsford sometime between 23:00 and 00:30 hours on the night of Wednesday, 8 November 1944 together with 16 other Stirling aircraft from 138 Squadron.
Left: Louis Alexander Ouellette holding my dad, in Windsor, before he was shipped off for training at camp Borden (courtesy Troy Ouellette)
Under various code names, the aircraft were dispatched to drop supplies/agents to members of the Norwegian resistance.
Ouellette’s mission was code named “Puffin 2” with the object of dropping 12 containers and 6 packages at a pre-determined rendezvous point somewhere in Norway.
Although the local weather at take off was far from ideal with cold winds and rain, it was forecasted to improve enroute. However, out over the North Sea, it deteriorated further forcing the crews to abandon the operation and return to base.
All but two of the aircraft returned safely to Tempsford.
Ouellette’s H for Harry and M for Mike, flown by Fl/Lt. Frederick Ford, were not heard from again. Both aircraft and the 14 crew members all lost without trace. Also lost from Ford’s aircraft were two Norwegian agents, Peter Deinboll and Arne Gjestland.
Above L-R: P/O.Ouellette, Fl/Sgt. Best and P/O.Barnicke
Upon their return to Tempsford, the crew of U for Uncle reported that their Stirling had been struck by lightning. Such was the intensity of the flash it temporarily blinded the pilot, Sq/Ldr. Brogan, requiring the Bomb Aimer to take over the controls.Burial Details:
P/O Louis Alexander Ouellette. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom. Panel 252. Son of Philias Peter and Charlotte Amanda (née Maheux) Ouellette of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Sgt. Arthur John Jeffery. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom. Panel 232. Home town and next of kin unknown.
P/O Lloyd William Nelson. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom. Panel 252. Son of Scott and Cassie (nee Graham) Nelson of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
F/O. Sidney Harry Sharpe. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom. Panel 209. Son of Harry Ernest and Eva Ellen (née Lane) Sharpe of Sydenham, London, England.
Fl/Sgt. Alexander Frederick Birdseye. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom. Panel 215. Son of Priscilla Birdseye of Maldon, Essex, England.
Fl/Sgt: Robert Augusta Best. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom. Panel 254. Son of Edward and Dorothy (née Bullard) Best of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
P/O. Peter Barnicke. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom. Panel 249, Son of Harry and Lucy Barnicke of Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
Barnicke Island in Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, Ontario was named after P/O Barnicke in 1960
Researched and written by Colin Bamford for
Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the families of the crew of Stirling LK198.
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