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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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75 crest
75 Squadron Wellington III BK341 Sgt. Charles John Shalfoon

Operation: Gardening

Date: 11/12th October 1942 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 75 Squadron (motto: Māori: Ake ake kia kaha - 'For ever and ever be strong')

Type: Wellington III

Serial: BK341

Code: AA-?

Base: RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk

Location: Esbjerg Harbour Esbjerg Harbour

Pilot: Sgt. Charles John Shalfoon NZ/413897 RNZAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Obs: Sgt. Harold Wolfenden 1237318 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Sydney Posner 1078313 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Algernon Parsons 1196149 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Roy Harold Scott R/137578 RCAF Age 20. Killed


Bomber Command sent out 80 aircraft, including 9 from 75 Squadron, which left from Mildenhall in Suffolk, on the night of Sunday 11/Monday 12 October 1942. They were to go “Gardening”, their slang term for laying mines in many areas. Three aircraft were lost.

Wellington III BK 341 took off at approximately 18:00-18:10 hrs, to lay mines in the Kattegat and Little Belt. It was brought down over the Danish Coast by 1.Zug 2./lei . Res Flak, crashing at 23:39 hrs. between the island of Langi and the Skallingen, north of the main entrance to Esbjerg Harbour. All five crew lost their lives.

Burial details:

Sgt. Charles John Shalfoon. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 118. Born on the 04th December 1919 at Opotiki. Employed as a shop assistant in the family grocery and hardware business, Shalfoon and Francis Ltd. 06th July 1941 found Charles Shalfoon in Levin, with the Royal New Zealand Air Force Initial Training Wing, to train as an Airman Pilot. He moved on to No. 2 Elementary Flying School on the 16th of August 1941, before embarking for Canada, on the 20th of October 1941, for further experience. He was attached to the Royal Canadian Air Force, on the 04th November 1941, working at the Service Flying Training School. he was awarded his Pilots Badge and promotion to Sergeant on the 27th February 1942, in Nova Scotia. He then embarked to the United Kingdom, on the 14th of March 1942, to be attached to the Royal Air Force. 5 Arriving at the Personnel Reception centre on the 28th March 1942. He was then posted to the Pilots Advanced Flying Unit, on the 20th May 1942. By the end of the following month, he was flying Wellingtons at an Operational Training Unit. He joined 75 Squadron on the 22nd of September 1942 and flew three air operations. Son of Anthony (died 13th August 1945, age 66) and Amine (died 24th February 1972, age 92) Shalfoon, of Opotiki, Auckland, New Zealand.

Sgt. Harold Wolfenden. Esbjerg Cemetery (Fourfelt). Grave AIII. 9. 16. Son of Harold and Mary Elizabeth Wolfenden, of Hull, England. Grave inscription: 'God Be With You Till We Meet Again'.

Sgt. Sydney Posner. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 91.Son of Mr. and Mrs. Simion Posner, of Cheetham, Manchester, England.

Sgt. Algernon Parsons. Esbjerg Cemetery (Fourfelt). Grave AIII. 9. 15. Son of Harry Fredrick and Mary Ann Parsons, of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England. Grave inscription: 'To Live In Our Hearts Is Not To Die'.

Sgt. Roy Harold Scott. Esbjerg Cemetery (Fourfelt). Grave AIII. 9. 14. Born on the 10th November 1921 at Cobalt. Worked as a moulder prior to service. Trained at Camp Borden, Canada. Son of Daniel R. and Annie B. Scott, of Cobalt, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription: 'His Cheery Smile And Heart Of Gold No Dearer Son This World Could Hold. Mum & Dad'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Sonia Edwards, and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1942 The Early Years part 3, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 18-04-2022

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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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