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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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158 Squadron Crest
10/11.09.1942 No. 158 Squadron Halifax II W7745 NP-K Sq/Ldr. Robinson DFC

Operation: Düsseldorf

Date: 10/11th September 1942 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 158 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: W7745

Code: NP-K

Base: RAF East Moor, Yorkshire

Location: North Sea

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Peter Bettley Robinson DFC. 36274 RAF Age 22. Killed

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Anthony John Sutton 1290835 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Geoffrey Archie Smith 569386 RAF Age ? Missing - believed killed

Nav: P/O. William Albert Thomas 130101 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. James George Edward Davis 1375106 RAFVR Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Gordon Leroy Ellsworth R/66341 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Philip Silverman 908638 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Arthur Howard Hanson DFC. 117148 RAF Age ? Killed


With the great research carried out by Errol Martyn on the Royal New Zealand Airforce losses we have been able to compile this page. If you have further information and or photographs we would welcome contact from you.

Taking off from RAF East Moor in Yorkshire at 20:16 hrs. According to the Lagebericht für die Woche (7-13.9.1942) the aircraft was shot down at 2.50 am due to Flaktreffers 20 km South West of Vlissingen in the mouth from the Westerschelde (= at the waterway of the Wielingen).

This statement can be traced , among other things, to the notification of the General command LXXXIX Armeekorps and - partly based on this data - presupposes that the proposition that the crew was homeward bound and bailed out, not realising that the coastline had already been reached. The German guard posts have observed parachutes and were searching for the parachutists.
The question remains where the Flak damage occurred. Because notifications from both the Flak commander and the General command do not refer to Flak although it is likely that the aircraft was hit by flak over the target area. (Summarised from Wings to Victory No 185)

The body of Flt.Sgt. Sutton was washed up at Dijksterburen on the 12th October 1942. The body of Plt.Off. Thomas was washed up on the Belgium coast, date unknown and the three missing are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

Above: Course No 9 Pilot training course New Zealand. Tragically all seven pilots were to lose their lives, 5 of them within months of this photo being taken! Rear L-R: P/O. Eric Orgias 36272 RAAF - killed 25th September 1940, P/O. William David Finlayson 36268 RAF - killed 24th May 1940, P/O. Herbert Gregory Ballantyne 36265 RAF - killed 14th August 1940, Front: P/O. Peter Knox Sigley 36276 RAF - killed 24th May 1940, Sq/Ldr. Peter Bettley Robinson 36274 RAF - killed 10th September 1942, F/O. Noel Carrol Pettit 36273 RAF - killed 28th August 1941, P/O. William Oscar George Krogh NZ/2521 RNZAF - killed 22nd July 1940.

Above: Acting pilot officers who have completed training in the ninth course at Wigram Training School passed out on Saturday. Standing, from the left, P/O. Herbert Gregory Ballantyne 36265 RAF - killed 14th August 1940, P/O. Allan Bridson 36267 RAF killed 14th March 1940, P/O Clive King Saxelby, J.L. Bicker-Uke, P/O. Charles William Miller 36270 RAF - killed 11th July 1942, P/O. Eric Orgias 36272 RAF killed 25th September 1940. Seated, P/O. William Henry Hodgson 36269 RAF - killed 13th March 1941, F/O. Noel Carroll Pettit 36273 RAF - killed 28th August 1941, P/O. Peter Knox Sigley 36276 RAF - killed 24th May 1940, P/O. William Oscar George Krogh NZ/2521 RNZAF - killed 22nd July 1940, H.O Newman, G.N. Fitzwater, Sq/Ldr. Peter Bettley Robinson 36274 RAF - killed 11th September 1942. Acting P/O. Allan Bridson and P/O. Krogh are remaining for service with the RNZAF in the Dominion.

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. Peter Bettley Robinson DFC. Oostende New Communal Cemetery. Plot 9. Row 5. Grave 10. Son of Lucy Jamison Robinson and stepson of John Noel Arnold, of Auckland City, New Zealand.

Fl/Sgt. Anthony John Sutton. Harlingen General Cemetery. Grave Plot E. Row 3. Grave 10. Son of George William and Audrey Pearl Sutton, of Blackheath, London, England. Grave inscription reads: "In Peace Among Our Dutch Friends Whose Freedom He Helped To Save".

Sgt. Geoffrey Archie Smith. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 93. No further details - are you able to assist with further information?

P/O. William Albert Thomas. Adegem Canadian War Cemetery. Grave I. E. 5. Son of Albert Edward and Annie Thomas, of Maesteg, Glamorgan, Wales and grandson of Edith Thomas, of Maesteg, Wales. Grave inscription reads: "May The Pleasures You Missed On Life's Journey Be Yours In God's Garden Of Love".

Fl/Sgt. James George Edward Davis. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 74. Son of James William and Rose Emily Davis, of Tooting, Surrey, England.

Fl/Sgt. Gordon Leroy Ellsworth. Oostende New Communal Cemetery. Plot 9. Row 4. Grave 39. Son of Roy Mac. Ellsworth and Marietta Ellsworth, of Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "Not For Himself But For His Country".

Fl/Sgt. Philip Silverman. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 76. No further details - are you able to assist with further information?

P/O. Arthur Howard Hanson DFC. Middelkerke Communal Cemetery. Grave Row B. Grave 21. Of Fairfield Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, also to our Kate Tame for Newspaper clipping, also thanks to John Jones for the Wings to Victory No 185 information, other sources as quoted below:

RS 05.08.2019 - Update on the fate of the aircraft/crew

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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', 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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