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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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No 9 Squadron
10/11.08.1941 No 9 Squadron Wellington Ic W5729 WS-J Sgt. Stanley Cyril Retter

Operation: Koln (Cologne)

Date: 10/11th July 1941 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No 9 Squadron

Type: Wellington Ic

Serial: W5729

Code: WS-J

Base: RAF Honington Suffolk

Location: Near Pihen-les-Guined in the Pas-de-Calais region France

Pilot: Sgt. Stanley Cyril Retter 905812 RAFVR Age 21 Killed (1)

2nd Pilot: Sgt. Hugh Thomas Martland Ainscough 916333 RAFVR Age 20 Killed

Air/Obs: Sgt. James Edward Drew R/67544 RCAF Age 23 Injured (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Wilfred John Tidey 952281 RAFVR Age 19 Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Pryde 990458 RAFVR Age? POW No 39328 Camps: Stalag IXC - Muhlhausen, Stalag 357 - Fallingbostel

Air/Gnr: Sgt. D R Greig 937418 RAFVR Age? POW No 52 Camps: Stalag IIIE - Kirchhain. Stalag Luft III - Sagan and Belaria, Stalag Luft VI - Heydekrug, Stalag 357 - Fallingbostel


RAF Honington (courtesy Fold3) Wellington Ic aircraft of No 9 Squadron (courtesy National Library of New Zealand)


Wellington W5729 took off from RAF Honington at 00.05hrs some fourteen minutes later than the 12 other aircraft from the Squadron, due to slight problems with the rear turret. A signal was acknowledged at 04.14hrs which placed the aircraft 10 miles S.W. of Charleroi, Belgium. A further fix placed the aircraft approximately 20 miles West of Lille but nothing further was heard from the aircraft. The aircraft may have been shot down by enemy fighters or hit by flak. The aircraft crashed near Pihen-les-Guined in the Pas-de-Calais region

A total of 98 Wellingtons and 32 Hampdens were dispatched on this operation to bomb two key areas in the city of Cologne and to the Humboldt engineering works with a total loss of two aircraft. All the other aircraft from the Squadron returned to base safely


Stalag Luft III - Sagan and Belaria (courtesy of Imperial War Museum) Stalag 357 - Fallingbostel (courtesy National Library of New Zealand)  


Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery and Pihen-Les-Guines Communal Cemetry (both courtesy of CWGC)

Burial details:

Sgt. Stanley Cyril Retter. Pihen-Les-Guines Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Grave Ref: Row A. Grave 12. Son of Sidney Henry and Henrietta Mary Retter of Ottery St. Mary, Devon. (1) Stanley gained his Aviators Certificate on the 4th July 1939 at Exeter Aero Club

Sgt. Hugh Thomas Martland Ainscough. Pihen-Les-Guines Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Grave Ref: Row A. Joint Grave 11. Son of Sir Thomas Martland Ainscough, Kt., C.B.E., M. Com., F.R.G.S., and Lady Ainscough (nee Lincolne) of Southbourne, Bournmouth, Hampshire 

The Globe and Mail 20 January 1942 (courtesy Canadian War Museum)

Sgt. James Edward Drew. Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Grave Ref: Plot 9. Row C. Grave 1. Son of Clifford and Gladys Drew. Husband of Jeanne Drew of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. (2) James was found in a critically injured state and died later in hospital. James was born on the 20th September 1917 in Toronto

Sgt. Wilfred John Tidey. Pihen-Les-Guines Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Grave Ref: Row A. Joint Grave 11. Son of William Albert and Florence Maud Tidey of Leicester

Researched by: Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew. London Gazette Archives, FlightGlobal, National Archives Air 27/126

For further detailed accounts we recommend the following publications: Oliver Clutton-Brock - Footprints on the Sands of Time ISBN 1 904010 35 0

Pages of Outstanding Interest
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CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
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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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