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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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414 Squadron Crest
05.11.1943 No. 414 Squadron Mustang I AMIII Sq/Ldr. Herbert P. Peters DFC

Operation: Ranger - South Holland / Belgium

Date: 5th November 1943

Unit: No. 414 Squadron

Type: Mustang I

Serial: AM111

Base: RAF Gatwick, England

Location: English Channel off the Dutch coast

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Herbert Peter Peters DFC J/3512 RCAF Age 25. Missing


Taken from the ORB’s for the Squadron:

‘The squadron were called out on 12 operational sorties this day. Weather was described as cloudy and foggy for the entire day with visibility between 500 - 1000 yards. Sq/Ldr. Peter and F/O. Wonnacott carried out a ranger in the area described above. They damaged trains and several pylons. When leaving the Dutch coast 

Left: Sq/Ldr. Herbert Peter Peters DFC (courtesy Christopher Clarke and Esther Jones - daughter of Sq/Ldr. Peters)

Sq/Ldr. Peters attacked a small vessel just off-shore. He encountered heavy flak and was hit in several places. The aircraft started to burn - climbed steeply and then lost height quickly. Sq/Ldr. Peters was seen to jettison the hood and jump from about 20 ft from the mud bank into which his aircraft also crashed.

F/O. Wonnacott circled the spot and saw the body of the C.O in the mud. He was not sure if he was alive or dead, but since the report he was classed as ‘missing - believed killed’. The C.O was very popular with the boys and everyone had hoped for the best and that he had been made a PoW.

A bad day for the squadron!’

Burial Details:

Sq/Ldr. Herbert Peter Peters DFC. Runnymede Memorial Panel 172. Son of Peter and Esther Peters, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, husband of Joan Peters (née Rowell)

With thanks to Mr Christopher Clarke in Canada and also Esther Jones (née Peters), the daughter of Sq/Ldr. Peters DFC for the supply of information and photographs.

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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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