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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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217 Squadron badge
11.10.1941 No. 217 Squadron Beaufort I AW197 Sgt. Perry crew loss

Operation: Gardening

Date: 11th October 1941 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 217 Squadron (Coastal Command)

Type: Beaufort I

Serial: AW197

Code: MW-E

Base: St. Eval, Cornwall. England

Location: English Channel

Pilot: Sgt. Kenneth William Perry 918534 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Nav/Bmr: Sgt. Carl Christian Thomsen R/60289 RCAF Age 31. Killed

W/Op: Fl/Sgt. F.J. Gornall 1051580 RAFVR (?) Prisoner of War No: 24340 Stalag Luft Heydekrug

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Charles Edward Earl 923291 RAFVR Age 35. Killed


Took off at 18.41hrs. for mine laying operations at Brest off the North West coast of France. It is thought that the Beaufort ditched into the sea in Brest Harbour. Fl/Sgt. Gornall became a Prisoner of War whilst the remainder of the crew lost with the aircraft.

Beaufort I MW-E lost in Brest harbour

RAF St. Eval, Cornwall

Memorial at RAF St. Eval (Courtesy Wikipedia)

Burial details:

Sgt. Kenneth William Perry Runnymede Memorial Panel 50.

Bill and Elsie Perry of Chattenden, Kent

Sgt. Carl Christian Thomsen Runnymede Memorial Panel 62.

Son of Niels and Anne Marie Thomsen; husband of Sigrid Thomsen (nee Nielson), of Kerteminde, Denmark.

Sgt. Charles Edward Earl Runnymede Memorial Panel 42.

Son of Charles James Earl and Louisa Earl, of Kentish Town, London.

Dedicated to the relatives of the crew - with the valued and dedicated assistance of Ray Peek, friend of the family of Sgt. Kenneth William Perry.

With thanks to the following: 

Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol 2, the CWGC

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
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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