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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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10 OTU Crest
25/26.06.1942 No. 10 OTU Whitley V BD201 ZG-L W/O. N. R. Parsons

Operation: Bremen

Date: 25/26th June 1942

Unit: No. 10 OTU (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Whitley V

Serial: BD201

Code: ZG-L

Base: RAF Abingdon

Location: Welvershoof, Holland

Pilot: W/O. Norman Rennison Parsons 1194935 RAF Age 20. PoW No: 347 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus (357)

Obs: W.O. James Glover Moriarty 656266 RAF Age 23. PoW No: 340 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus (357 - Also of L3/L6)

Air/Bmr: Sgt. George Ewen 522113 RAF Age 26. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Lt. Reginald Van Toen 48110 RAF Age 22. PoW No: 39675 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria (L3)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. G. Mcb. Harris 546817 RAF PoW No: 24990 Camp: Lamsdorf (344)


As part of the famous ‘1000 Bomber Raids’ Bomber Command had to muster every available aircraft. This included Operational Training Units. The operation was regarded as a success with large parts of the Focke-Wulf factory hit.

Above L-R: John D. Cardwell, F/O. Arthur John Garwell, Davidson, Hamilton, F/O. Ronald Frank Jessop, Fl/Lt. Van Toen, F/O. Ronald Robert Mitchell. Front: ?, ?, W/O. William Richard Samson, P/O. Arnold Stanley Meara DFC . (courtesy John Garwell)

Losses were acceptable for the main units but with a 11% loss form the OTU’s this was unsustainable. 10 OTU lost 4 aircraft, The other training unit: 11 OTU - 3, 12 - 4, 14 - 1, 15 - 2, 16 - 1, 18 - 3, 20 - 1, 20 - 2, 23 - 2, 24 - 3, 26 - 1 and 27 OTU - 1.

The others lost from 10 OTU this night:

Whitley V P4944 ZG-A Flown by Sgt. Eric Douglas Williams AUS/402687 RAAF - killed with all other 4 crew members.
Whitley V P5004 ZG-G Flown by P/O. William Wilson Colledge J/8207 RCAF - survived with all other crew after ditching in the North Sea - picked up by an Air-Sea Rescue launch. The pilot, then a Fl/Lt was awarded the DFC for his actions on this flight. (2)
Whitley V AD689 ZG-W Flown by Fl/Sgt. Norman maxwell Oulster R/56284 RCAF - killed with all 4 other crew.

Whitley V BD201 took off at 22:58 hours from RAF Abingdon in Oxfordshire in good weather conditions, the aircraft was shot down in just under 4 hours by the Luftwaffe ace Hptm. Helmut Lent (1) of Stab II./NJG2 - his 47th victory of the war. The Whitley crashed at 02:56 hrs at Welvershoof, Holland

(1) Hptm Helmut Lent - went on to claim 102 night fighter kills and a further 8 before on the 7th October 1944 he died after suffering injuries sustained during a crash landing on the 5th October 1944 during a crash landing in his Ju88 G-6 at Paderborn airfield following engine failure and subsequent collision with a high tension cable. His crew were rescued - injured from the crash. Walter Kubisch (radio operator) and Hermann Klöss (2nd radio operator) died the same day, Werner Kark (War correspondent and Air/Gnr) died the next morning.

(2) 01st July 1943: 25 year old, Fl/Lt. William Wilson Colledge DFC J/8207 RCAF from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - together with 28 year old, Fl/Lt. Kenneth Munro DFC and Bar AUS/408168 RAAF from Burnie, Tasmania, Australia were killed during a training exercise in Airspeed Oxford Mk I. X6858. Both whilst serving with Flying Instructors School. The aircraft crashed at Bishopwood, England - no further details as to cause.

Burial details:

Sgt. George Ewen. Bergen General Cemetery. Plot 1. Row C. Grave 13. Son of Donald and Cathleen Ewen, of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of the crew. With thanks to John Garwell for PoW photograph - January 2017. For further details our thanks to the following sources:

KTY 04.06.2016. Updated with PoW photo 14.01.2017

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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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