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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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149 squadron crest
18/19.09.1940 No. 149 Squadron Wellington IC R3160 OJ-E P/O. Pay

Operation: Le Havre

Date: 18/19th September 1940 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 149 Squadron

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: R3160

Code: OJ-E

Base: Mildenhall, Suffolk

Location: English Channel

Pilot : P/O. John Sydney Pay 42877 RAF Age 19. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: P/O. Donald Ralph Tuppen 81339 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Air/Bmr: P/O. David Spencer Cox 80848 RAFVR Age 19. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Roy Pope 966654 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Henry Herbert Harrison 538889 RAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. George Reginald Michael Ford 79236 RAFVR Age 30. Missing - believed killed


Took off from Mildenhall, Suffolk at 19:25 hrs. To join 174 aircraft for the majority to bomb the Channel ports - the remainder to attack German railway targets. No details are available on this loss except that it is thought to have come down in the English Channel. No night fighter claims have been made for this so it is thought that it was probably hit by flak.

Above 149 Squadron Wellington, with insert P/O. David Cox (courtesy Sherborne School Archives)

Left: Sgt. William Roy Pope (courtesy Roy Pope

A costly night for Bomber Command with the loss of 9 aircraft and all the crews being killed/missing:

58 Squadron Whitley V P5008 GE-M Shot down by German night fighter - Sgt Albert A. E. Crossland and 4 other crew members killed.
77 Squadron Whitley V N1425 KN-E Shot down by German night fighter - P/O. Peter E. Eldridge and 4 other crew members killed.
77 Squadron Whitley V P4992 KN-T Crashed into the sea off Belgian coast - P/O. Ronald P.Brayne and 4 other crew members killed.
83 Squadron Hampden I P1183 OL-E Shot down by Flak - P/O. James A. Pitcairn Hill D.S.O. D.F.C. and 3 other crew members killed.
99 Squadron Wellington IC P9242 LN-B Shot down by Flak - P/O. Michael C. A. Linden and 5 other crew members killed.
105 Squadron Blenheim IV L9339 GB-? Lost without trace - P/O. Sgt. Cyril Bowles and 2 other crew members killed.
106 Squadron Hampden I P1259 ZN-? Shot down by Flak - F/O. Eric T. Watkin and 3 other crew members killed.
107 Squadron Blenheim IV T1852 OM-? Lost without trace - F/O. Cyril Preston and 2 other crew members killed.
149 Squadron Wellington IC R3160 OJ-E Lost over channel - P/O. John S. Pay and 2 other crew members killed.
Above: Houlgate (Beuzeval) Communal Cemetery. The grave of Sgt. Pope is on the extreme left of the row. (courtesy Barbara and Stuart Lewis via Roy Pope)

Burial details:

P/O. John Sydney Pay. Runnymede Memorial Panel 9. Son of the Revd. Sydney S. Pay, and of Edith R. Pay, of Cambridge, England.

P/O. Donald Ralph Tuppen. Runnymede Memorial Panel 10. Son of Edward Browne Tuppen and Helena Augusta Tuppen, of Rugby, Warwickshire, England.

Left: Sherborne School, Dorset - Any further information that you are able to assist them with fallen former pupils from all wars, we would be pleased to pass onto them.

P/O. David Spencer Cox. Runnymede Memorial Panel 7. Further information (courtesy Sherborne School Archives) Born 15 March 1921, son of Spencer Cox and Grace Leslie Cox of Earl's Court, London (formerly of Grey Garth, Budleigh Salterton). Attended Bigshotte School, Wokingham, Berkshire. Attended Sherborne School (Abbeylands) September 1934-July 1937; scholar; 6th form. Chartered accountancy.

Above: Sgt. William Roy Pope (courtesy Roy Pope - relative)

Sgt. William Roy Pope. Houlgate (Beuzeval) Communal Cemetery. Spec Mem. Plot 10. Grave 13. Eldest son of William Aaron and Olive Blanche Pope of Pontrhydyfen, Glamorgan, South Wales.

Sgt. Henry Herbert Harrison. Runnymede Memorial Panel 15. Son of Henry and Annie Harrison, of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

P/O. George Reginald Michael Ford. Runnymede Memorial Panel 8. Son of Charles Bell Eustace and Mary Emily Ford.

Researched for Bill Dolan (Nephew of Sgt. Harrison) and relatives of the other crew members. With thanks to Roy Pope - the nearest surviving relative of Sgt. William Roy Pope who contacted us in November 2015. Also to Barbara and Stuart Lewis for visiting Houlgate Cemetery and taking the photographs for us.

With thanks to Sherborne School Archives for additional information as well as other sources used as shown below.

KTY 23.11.2015 - Further details added to Sgt. William Pope - courtesy Roy Pope.

KTY 30.07-2021 - New photo added courtesy Roy Pope

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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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