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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 crest
10/11.01.1942 No. 40 Squadron Wellington IC X9824 P/O. Paul S. Sanders

Operation: Wilhelmshaven

Date: 10/11th January 1942 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 40 Squadron

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: X9824

Coded: BL-?

Base: RAF Alconbury

Location: Aircraft ditched in the North Sea near Rustersiel

Pilot: P/O. Paul Sampson Sanders 103042 RAFVR PoW No: 1438. Camp Stalag Luft Sagen and Belaria (Son of England Captain G.S. Sanders. RN, DSO)

Pilot 2: Sgt. Fred Pearson 1379640 RAFVR Age 30. Missing

Obs: Sgt. L.J. Benson 1375555 RAFVR PoW No: 90141. Camp: Stalag Hohen Fels

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Arthur Desmond Edwin St. C. Smithe 960672 RAFVR Age ? Missing.

Air/Gnr: Sgt G.W. Tode 1375355 RAFVR PoW No: 90142. Camp: Stalag Hohen Fels

Air/Gnr: Sgt. E.W. Wainwright 903679 RAFVR PoW No: 90140. Camp: Stalag Hohen Fels


Took off from RAF Alconbury at 1645 hours.

Nachtjagd Combat Archives The Early Years Part 2 - Theo Boiten records that the aircraft was coned by Scheinweferstaffel and II & III Zug 1/988 (Flakgruppe Ostfriesland). Hit by light Luftwaffe Flak Abt 762 and Stabsbatterie 1-3 & 5/Marine Flak Abt 226 (Nordeney) and 2/lei Res Flak Abt 988. The aircraft ditched in flames in the North Sea near Rustersiel at 2133 hours.

Those who died are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

P/O. Paul Sampson Sanders (coursesy of his nephew, Christopher Chave)

Left: Runnymede Memorial

Burial details:

Sgt. Fred Pearson. Runnymede Memorial Panel 91. Son of Ernest and Emily Pearson, husband of Mary Pearson, of Hyde, Cheshire, England.

Sgt. Arthur Desmond Edwin St. C. Smithe. Runnymede Memorial Panel 94. Next of kin details currently unavailable - are you able to assist?

With thanks to Christopher Chave. Thanks to John Jones for the Theo Boiten information. Other sources as quoted below.

RS 03.04.2019 - Update to include Nachtjagd Combat Archives The Early Years Part 2 - Theo Boiten information.

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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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