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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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Coastal Command Crest
08/09.07.1944 No 524 Squadron Wellington XIII MF375 7R-F F/O. Reen

Operation: Armed Recce

Date: 8/9th July 1944 Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 524 Squadron (Coastal Command)

Type: Wellington MkXIII

Serial: MF375

Code: 7R-F

Base: RAF Docking, Norfolk

Location: North Sea

Pilot: F/O. Geoffrey David Reen 137999 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

2nd Pilot: F/O. Joseph Adelard Roland Belanger J/24828 RCAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Nav: F/O. Geoffrey Frederick Abbott 159432 RAFVR Missing - believed killed

Nav: W/O. Reginald Russell AUS/410789 RAAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Joseph Cochran 171208 RAFVR Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick Hubert Brock 1317333 RAFVR Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Iselin Howitt 1561613 RAFVR Age 23. Killed


Taking off at 00:18 hrs from RAF Docking in Norfolk on an armed reconnaissance patrol off the Dutch coast. At 00:59 hrs they reported sighting 4 vessels.

Shortly afterwards at 02:00 hrs two aircraft from 415 Squadron, on the same patrol witnessed in the position of MF375 intense flak from both sea and land flak positions. (position recorded as 4322 North - 0455 East)

Understood to have been shot down by Night Fighter, Oblt. Daborer of III/NJG.1 with the Wellington crashing into the North Sea near Schiermonnikoog Holland

Burial details:

F/O. Geoffrey David Reen. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 208. Son of Daniel and Ada Elizabeth Reen, of Wealdstone, Middlesex, England.

F/O. Joseph Adelard Roland Belanger. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 245. Son of Elphege and Annette Lanoue Belanger, of Bagot, Province of Quebec, Canada.

F/O. Geoffrey Frederick Abbott. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 204. No further details - are you able to assist?

W/O. Reginald Russell. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 259. Born on the 20th March 1923, the son of Jack and Elsie Russell, of Mundarra, Princess Highway, West Colac, Victoria, Australia.

F/O. Joseph Cochran. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 205. No further details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Frederick Hubert Brock. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 225. Son of Mr. and Mrs. G. Brock, of Easton, Wells, Somerset, England.

Sgt.William Iselin Howitt. Schiermonnikoog Cemetery (Vredenhof). Grave 110. (Washed up 23 Jul 1944) Son of Thomas and Janet Noble Iselin Howitt and husband of Agnes Barr Millar Howitt, of Strathaven, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Researched for Aircrew Remembered and submitted by Michel Beckers - February 2018. All images from the Michel Beckers collection. Page dedicated to relatives of the crew with others sources as quoted below.

MB - 01.02.2018

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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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