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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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40 Squadron badge
05/06.05.1944 No. 40 Squadron Wellington LP191 BL-R W/O. Royle

Operation: Cîmpina, Romania

Date: 5/6th May 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 40 Squadron

Type: Wellington

Serial: LP191

Code: BL-R

Base: Foggia Main, Italy

Location: Valea Lunga, Romania.

Pilot: W/O. Donald Herbert Royle 640834 RAF Age 24. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. James Arthur Smith 123112 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. George Walter Ward 644866 RAF Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. Allen Brown 1354371 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alfred Richard Wood 1755414 RAFVR Age 18. Killed


48 Bombers set out to attack the Steaua Refinery. This plant was one of the largest in Romania and the marshalling yards were a vital part of the factory. The purpose of the raid was to destroy rolling stock and any installations at the marshalling yards.

Reports state that direct hits were made with the bombing in a concentrated area. Enemy aircraft taking to the defence consisted of Me210s and some single engine fighters were also observed.

Wellington LP191 was a victim of air combat with Me110s and was shot down over Valea Lunga - all the crew were killed.



Left and above, Bucharest War Cemetery as visited by Aircrew Remembered researchers in 2012

Burial details:

W/O. Donald Herbert Royle. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 1.E.2-5. Son of Alfred and Lucy Ann Royle, of Didsbury, Manchester, England.

Fl/Sgt. James Arthur Smith. Bucharest War Cemetery. Grave 1.E.2-5. Son of Mrs. E. A. Smith, of Foston, Derbyshire, England.

Sgt. George Walter Ward. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 1.E.2-5. No further details as yet.

W/O. Allen Brown. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 1.E.2-5. No further details as yet.

Sgt. Alfred Richard Wood. Bucharest War Cemetery. Grave 2.E.5. Son of Alfred William and Ethel Wood, of Liverpool, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of the crew. With thanks to the following, Patrick Macdonald - 'Through Darkness To Light', Commonwealth 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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