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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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51 Squadron Crest
16/17.08.1940 51 Squadron Whitley V P4986 MH:F Flt Lt. John S. Scott

Operation: Böhlen

Date: 16th/17th August 1940 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: 51 Squadron

Type: Whitley V

Serial: P4986

Code: MH:F

Base: RAF Dishforth, Yorkshire

Location: Essinghausen, East of Peine

Pilot: Flt Lt. John Stanley Scott 37484 RAF Age 24. Killed

2nd Pilot: Sgt. Frederick Allen Beale 741185 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Roy Desmond Edward Clarke 580869 RAF Age? Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Peter Duncan Salmon 551589 RAF Age? Killed (1)

Air Gnr: Sgt. Harry Haggett 626994 RAF Age 19. Killed


Taking off at 20:10 hrs to bomb Böhlen. No. 4 Group sent a total of 49 aircraft on long distance raids to Augsburg - aircraft factory, Böhlen - synthetic oil refinery/power stations, and Jena - Zeiss Works.

Seven bombers failed to return from a force of 150 aircraft dispatched to bomb a wide range of targets in Germany and the Netherlands. Five of the aircraft were lost to Flak.

P4986 was hit by flak from 2./Res. Flak Abt. 801 and exploded bewteen Essinghausen and Duttenstedt near Peine at 02:38 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (1939 - 12 July 1941) The Early Years Part 1 - Theo Boiten).

The pilot was extremely experienced - served since December 1935 - obtaining his wings whilst at 7 FTS in Peterborough, England.

Mr. Hans van Ekelenburg has been trying to arrange a memorial to this crew, but the local Mayor of Peine has not been very supportive of the idea.

(All photographs courtesy of Edgard L. Fuss)

(1) Sgt., then AC1, Peter Salmon survived an earlier crash in Whitley K9039 when after an attack to Norway on the 30th April 1940 the Whitley ran out of fuel on return and crashed on Burnside Fell, near Slaidburn - Yorkshire Pennines. The pilot, Plt Off. Edward Cotton 43417 RAF survived but the 2nd pilot, Plt Off. John Martin Gilmer 41690 RAF and Observer Sgt. Walter Richard Coveney 580764 RAF were killed. The air gunner, AC1 Maylin 626629 RAF also survived.

Burial details:

Flt Lt. John Stanley Scott. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave: 5.G.12. Born on the 16th September 1915 in Hertfordshire. Son of William Major and Nellie (née Chattell) Scott from Northampton, England

Sgt. Frederick Allen Beale. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave: 5.G.9. Son of Joseph and Eliza Beale of Clapham, Bedfordshire, England.

Sgt. Roy Desmond Edward Clarke. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave: 5.G.11. Son of Samuel Charles and Emily (née Proctor) Clarke from from New Providence Street, West Ham, London.

Sgt. Peter Duncan Salmon. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave: 5.G.8. No further details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Harry Haggett. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave: 5.G.10. Son of George and Florence Haggett, of Stafford, Staffordshire, England.

Researched by Edgard L. Fuss for Aircrew Remembered - November 2016. Page dedicated to the relatives of this crew. Thanks to Martin Gillard for the NoK details for Sgt. Clarke (Jun 2021). Thanks to sources as shown below.

RS 06.06.2021 - Addition of NoK details for Sgt. Clarke and other updates.

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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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