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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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500 squadron badge
26.05.1941 No. 500 Squadron Anson I N9732 Sgt. Polden

Operation: Filming

Date: 26th June 1941 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 500 Squadron (Coastal Command)

Type: Anson I

Serial: N9732

Base: RAF Bircham Newton, Norfolk

Location: Mingay Farm off Holt Road Cawston, Norfolk

Pilot: Sgt. Ernest William John Polden 754618 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Pass 1: Otto W. Kanturek 20th Century Fox Film Production Team Age 42. Killed

Pass 2: John Arthur Parry 20th Century Fox Film Production Team Age 44. Killed


During filming various flying sequences for the film 'A Yank in the RAF.' (1) the Anson collided with a Hurricane IIB Z3391 from 257 Squadron based at RAF Coltishall.

Anson I restored at IWM Duxford

All occupants of the Anson were killed in the mid air collision that took place 3 miles South West of Aylsham, just after midday at 12.05pm.

No details can be found regarding the identity of the Hurricane pilot, but it seems that he managed to bale out and survive. 

Note: Discovered it was a P/O. Hone, took off from RAF Coltishall at 11.55 hrs. He did bale out successfully and survived. The Hurricane Z3391 crashed at Quebec Farm in Aylsham, Norfolk. The other pilot involved with the mock attacks during the filming was that of P/O. Pearson flying Hurricane Z3164.

Otto Kanturak was a director of Photography with many years experience in this field, John Parry his assistant, also an experience airiel photographer.

(1) 'A Yank in the RAF.' is a 1941 black-and-white war film directed by Henry King, and is considered a typical early - World War II film. Originally titled The Eagle Squadron, it is based on a story by "Melville Crossman", the pen name for 20th Century Fox studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck. It follows an American pilot who joins the Royal Air Force (RAF) during a period when the United States was still neutral. Starred Tyrone Powere, Betty Grable, John sutton with many others. Still available from Amazon  and others (courtesy Wikipedia)

Burial Details:

Sgt. Ernest William John Polden. Branksome Park (All Saints) Churchyard, Poole. Sec E.1. Grave 9. Son of Henry Richard and Minnie Elizabeth Anne Polden, of Parkstone, England. Husband of Edith Grace Polden, father to Jennifer (It is understood that Edith Polden died giving birth, two months after the crash) Jennifer was then adopted by family friends.

Otto W. Kanturek. Scottow Cemetery, Norfolk. Husband of Edith Maria Lucia Beatrix Kanturek, of 79 Charlbert Court, St. John's Wood, London, England. formerly of Czechoslovakia arriving on the ship Hektoria on 31st May 1941 berthing at Liverpool.

Otto's grave pictured left. Visited by Aircrew Remembered in March 2012

John Arthur Parry. Son of Edward Templar Parry and Annie Parry (formerly McIntosh), husband of Jane (Jean) Parry (nee Jago) of 20, Broadwalk Court, 44 Palace Gardens Terrace, London W8, England.

Researched for relatives of the pilot and the passengers. With thanks to the following for further information supplied Ross Mcneill - 'Coastal Command Losses Vol 1', The Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Internet Movie Data Base. 

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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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