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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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24th April 1940 220 Squadron Hudson I N7286 P/O. Petrie

Operation: Escort French Destroyers

Date: 24th April 1940 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 220 Squadron (motto: Καθορωμεν Αιστοι - We Observe Unseen). 18 Group. Coastal Command

Type: Hudson I

Serial: N7286

Code: NR-Z

Base: RAF Thornaby, Yorkshire

Location: North Sea

Pilot: P/O. Murray Charles Petrie NZ/40425 RNZAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Pilot: P/O. Ronald Owen Lawry NZ/41301 RNZAF Age 20. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: AC.1 Kenneth Cyrus Maddocks 624355 RAF Age 19. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: AC. Percy Wilson 514613 RAF Age ? Missing - believed killed


After a diversionary landing away from base the previous evening, N7286 took off at 04:32 hrs on the morning of the 24th April 1940, from Leuchers, Fifeshire, with two other Hudsons to escort destroyers.

The formation was intercepted by two enemy Bf 109s shortly after 07:46 hrs. N7286 was attacked by the second Bf 109 and was last seen being pursued at sea level by the German fighters, trailing black smoke from one engine. The aircraft was reported to have crashed near 3 French destroyers, but the four crew were lost without trace.

The Hudson was claimed as shot down at 08.05 hrs. by Lt. Heinz Hans Demes of 4./JG77 (shown right - courtesy Kracker Archives)

Burial and personal details:

P/O. Murray Charles Petrie. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 9. Born on the 30th November 1918 at Foxton. Worked as a clerk for Gordon and Goton Limited of Wellington prior to service. Selected for a RAF short service commission by 26th July 1937. Embarked for England on the 23rf September 1937. Trained with No. 12 Elementary refresher Flying Training School on the 28th September 1937. To No. 2 Flying Training School on the 22nd January 1938. Pilots badge awarded on the 03rd March 1938. Attached to 220 squadron on the 28th August 1938.

Son of William and Hilda Fanny Petrie (née Collins), of Wellington, New Zealand. A total of 621 flying hours logged and completed 38 operational sorties.

P/O. Ronald Owen Lawry. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 9. Born on the 05th aMarch 1920 at Reefton. Worked as a law clerk for W.P Collings of Wellington prior to service. Selected for a RAF short service commission by 23rd May 1938. Embarked for England on the 06th July 1938. Trained with No. 12 Elementary refresher Flying Training School on the 29th August 1938. To No. 10 Flying Training School on the 15th November 1938. Pilots badge awarded on the 13th May 1939. Attached to 220 squadron on the 25th June 1939.

Son of Herbert Percival Lawry (magistrate - died April 1948), and of Bertha Catherine Lawry (née Jansen - died 1969), of Fendalton, Christchurch, New Zealand. A total of 392 flying hours logged and completed 29 operational sorties.

AC.1 Kenneth Cyrus Maddocks. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 25. (Served as Kenneth Cyrus Merrick). Son of Mrs. M. E. Hughes, of Maida Vale, London, England.

AC. Percy Wilson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 24. Son of William Henry and Elizabeth Wilson; husband of Rosamond Ada N. Wilson, of Fakenham, Norfolk, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, Kracker Archives, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 19-09-2021

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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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