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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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10 Squadron Crest
16/17.01.1941 No. 10 Squadron Whitley V T4220 ZA-S F/O. Skyrne

Operation: Wilhelmshaven

Date: 16/17th January 1941 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 10 Squadron

Type: Whitley V

Serial: T4220

Code: ZA-S

Base: RAF Leeming, Yorkshire

Location: Lost without trace

Pilot: F/O. Henry Beaucourt Skyrme 41213 RAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed

Obs: Sgt. John Eustace Rowlett 741334 RAFVR Age 27. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Charles Sandland 581191 RAF Age ? Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Eric Downing Polkinghorne 632893 RAF Age 32. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leonard Peter Brookman 974126 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

We would appreciate any further details on this crew, in particular Sgt. Eric Downing Polkinghorne where another relative is keen to make contact.


Taking off from RAF Leeming in Yorkshire at 18:32 hrs.

Above: Area of operation with insert of F/O. Henry Beaucourt Skyrme

Very few details are available as Whitley T4220 was last heard of through a wireless transmission at 21:15 hrs when all seemed to be fine. It is thought probable that they were brought down by flak and crashed into the North Sea.

Burial details:

F/O. Henry Beaucourt Skyrme. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 30. Born on the 8th October 1917 in Bexhill-on-Sea, the son of Major and Mrs.Theophilus Garfield Skyrme and husband of Georgina Alexandra Skyrme (née Bellanti), of Glenageary, Co. Dublin, Republic of Ireland. His middle name may refer to Beaucourt-sur-l'Ancre on the Somme, where his father was wounded during the First World War, subsequently losing his leg.

Sgt. John Eustace Rowlett. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 51. Son of Eustace and Ethel Rowlett of Ombersley, Worcestershire, England.

Sgt. George Charles Sandland. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 51. Son of F. Sandland, and of Annie Sandland, of Sparkbrook, Birmingham, England.

Sgt. Eric Downing Polkinghorne. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 50. Son of Edwin and Elizabeth Merrifield Polkinghorne and husband of Gwendoline Mary Polkinghorne, of Hornchurch, Essex, England.

Sgt. Leonard Peter Brookman. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 40. Son of George and Alice Brookman, of Liverpool, England.

Researched for Simon Bray, relative of Sgt. Eric Downing Polkinghorne. For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.

KTY - 18.09.2017

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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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