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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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211 Squadron Crest
07.12.1940 No. 211 Squadron Blenheim L4926 F/O. Paul B. Pickersgill

Operation: Shipping strike

Date: 07th December 1940

Unit: No. 211 Squadron (Saturday)

Type: Blenheim

Serial: L4926

Base: RAF Menidi, Greece

Location: Larnia hlls, Greece.

Pilot: P/O. Paul Bernard Pickersgill 41057 RAF Age 21. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Harry Taylor 745958 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alfred Norman Hallett 650433 RAF Age ? Killed


During the day the squadron mounted two operations to the same target. The first leaving at 07.10 hrs - one large vessel claimed to have been hit.

The second 9 aircraft taking off at 13.00 hrs, each loaded with 250 lb. bombs. 

The conditions over the day had greatly changed regarding the weather - low cloud base, severe icing. Two of the squadrons 9 aircraft sent were the only ones to have reached the target, although they were intercepted by Luftwaffe fighters they managed to return. 5 others never reached the target and returned for various reasons. 

211 Squadron Blenheims at RAF Menidi, Greece taken later in 1941.

The other two, L1535 Blenheim, flown by P/O. Guy Jerdein together with L4926 crashed into the hills surrounding Lamia during the outbound flight - all crew of both aircraft were killed.

Note: We strongly recommend looking at Don Clark’s 211 Squadron website for further research into the squadron.

Crew graves at Phaleron - taken for Aircrew Remembered in December 2014 by our Greek researcher friend, Antonelos Athanasios - any relative who would like a higher resolution of any of the graves please contact us - courtesy Antonelos.

Burial details:

P/O. Paul Bernard Pickersgill. Phaleron War Cemetery. Grave 5.C.13. Son of Frederick Oliver Pickersgill, O.B.E., and Ethel Mary Pickersgill, of Sturry, Canterbury, England. His father was made  asistant Regional Controller, Ministry of Labour and National Service during the Second World War, for which he was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1947. 

Sgt. Harry Taylor. Phaleron War Cemetery. Grave 5.C.14. Son of Harry William Taylor, and of Frances Kathleen Mary Taylor, of Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.

Sgt. Alfred Norman Hallett. Phaleron War Cemetery. Grave 5.C.12. No further details, are you able to assist?

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to David Gunby and Pelham Temple - 'Bomber Losses Middle East and Mediterranean Vol. 1', 211 SquadronCommonwealth War Graves Commission

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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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