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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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201 squadron badge
12.06.1944 No. 201 Squadron Sunderland ML760 NS-S Sunderland shot down by U Boat all crew lost

Operation: Patrol

Date: 12th June 1944 (Monday)

Unit: No. 201 Squadron (Coastal Command)

Type: Sunderland III

Serial: ML760

Code: NS-S

Base: RAF Pembroke Dock, Wales (formerly at RAF Castle Archdale, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland)

Location: Bay of Biscay

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. William Dennys Butterworth Ruth DFC. and bar MiD. 33397 RAF Age 26. Missing (1)

Pilot 2: F/O. Colin John Griffith 130952 RAFVR Age 22. Missing

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. John Charles Leleux Humphrey 569195 RAF Age 24. Missing

Fl/Eng 2: Fl/Sgt. James William Hobson 1126971 RAFVR Age ? Missing

Nav: F/O. Peter Anthony Cavendish Hunt 126668 RAFVR Age 22. Missing

W/Op: F/O. Anthony Valentine Philp 134379 RAFVR Age 23. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Duncan Jamieson McCormick Currie DFM. 1365086 RAFVR Age 24. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Dennis Edward South DFM. 1334384 RAFVR Age 21. Missing

Mechanic/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Dennis Sharland 577586 RAF Age 21. Missing

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick Foster 1215785 RAFVR Age 24. Missing

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Jesse Robert French 536598 RAF Age 32. Missing

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Edwin Watson 1361241 RAFVR Age 38. Missing


On anti-submarine patrol over the Bay of Biscay.

Previously on the 7th June this crew attacked and sank U-955 off northern Spain - all 50 crew were understood to have been lost. This was their first operation.

Painting of Sunderland ML760 attacking U-955 by Michael Turner

Sunderland ML760 being flown by a relief captain (1) is reported to have been shot down from anti aircraft fire from U-333 although this cannot be confirmed. All crew bodies were never recovered and they are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

The Giant Plane That Wrecked U-boats

(1) Sq/Ldr Ruth was standing in for the usual pilot, Fl/Lt. Les H. Baverstock who was on leave following the death of his father.

Right: The captain of U-333, Peter-Erich Cremer survived the war dying in Hamburg 1992. He wrote the story of his career in the book 'U-Boat Commander: a periscope view of the Atlantic.'

Below: U-333 At her pens

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. William Dennys Butterworth Ruth DFC. and bar MiD. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 201. Son of William Richard Barrons Ruth and Constance Phyllis Ruth, of Wimbledon, Surrey, England.

F/O. Colin John Griffith. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 206. Son of Maurice John and Ruth Marion Griffith, of Harlech, Merionethshire, Wales.

Fl/Sgt. John Charles Leleux Humphrey. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 219. Son of John Gemmell Humphrey and Hilda Mary Humphrey, of Wick, Caithness-shire, Scotland.

Fl/Sgt. James William Hobson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 218. No further details as yet available.

F/O. Peter Anthony Cavendish Hunt. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 207. Son of Francis Cavendish Hunt, and Winifred Lilian Hunt, of Hornsey, Middlesex, England.

W/Op: F/O. Anthony Valentine Philp. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 208. Born in 1921 in Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, the eldest son of Paul Knighton Philp and Elsie Elizabeth (née Appleby).

Fl/Sgt. Duncan Jamieson McCormick Currie DFM. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 216. Son of Duncan Jamieson Currie and Ann McCormick Currie, of Thornliebank, Glasgow, Scotland.

Sgt. Dennis Edward South DFM. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 238. Son of Henry Edward and Patience Emily South, of Chislehurst, Kent, England.

Fl/Sgt. Dennis Sharland. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 222. Son of Herbert and Fanny Sharland, of Ardsley, Barnsley, Yorkshire, England.

Sgt. Frederick Foster. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 217. Son of Henry and Adelaide Foster, of Buttershaw, Bradford, Yorkshire, England, husband of Alice Elizabeth Foster.

Sgt. Jesse Robert French. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 229. Son of Edward and Florence French, of Harlow, Essex, England.

Fl/Sgt. Edwin Watson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 223. Son of Edwin F. and Margaret F. W. Watson, of Methil, Fife, Scotland, husband of Elizabeth S.S.M. Watson.

Researched for Gordon R. McFadzean, cousin of Fl/Sgt. Duncan 'Don' Currie and dedicated to all relatives of the crew. Also to Chris Goff whose wife is a distant cousin of F/O. Anthony Valentine Philp - he also sent in his photograph - May 2019. With thanks for further information to Ross Mcneill - 'Coastal Command Losses', Commonwealth 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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