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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
11/12.01.1941 No. 9 Squadron Wellington IC R1244 WS-? Sgt. Stuart Martin Parkeshouse Parkes

Operation: Torino, Italy

Date: 11/12th January 1941 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 9 Squadron

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: R1244

Code: WS-?

Base: RAF Honington, Suffolk

Location: Forced landed near Miserieux, Vichy, France

Pilot: Sgt. Stuart Martin Parkeshouse Parkes. 742649. RAFVR. Age 21. Interned (1)

2nd Pilot: Sgt. Lionel Richard Willis. 742172. RAFVR. Age?. Interned (2)

Obs: Sgt. Leslie Dennis Goldingay. 968161. RAFVR. Age 23. Interned (3)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Harold William Bratley. 755503. RAFVR. Age? Interned (4)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Vivian. 905339. RAFVR. Age? Interned (5)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Reginald William Blaydon. 755395. RAFVR. Age 26. Interned (6)


Wellington R1244 took off from RAF Honington at 17.39hrs for an operation on Torino, Italy. Ten aircraft took off that night from the Squadron. Wellington R1244 made a forced landing in unoccupied France and the crew were interned by the authorities. The uninjured crew made their escape but were interned again. Five of the crew finally made it back to the UK by June 1941 and resumed their duties with the RAF. The last to return to the UK was Sgt. Willis who was awarded the Military Medal for his evasion


Wellington IC of No. 9 Squadron and a Wellington being refuelled (courtesy Imperial War Museum)

                                                              Map showing the area of the forced landing at Miserieux, Vichy, France

(1) Sgt. Stuart Martin Parkeshouse Parkes was interned in France but made his escape returning to the UK by June 1941. He returned to duties on the night of the 4/5th July 1941 and continued flying. Squadron Leader Stuart Martin Parkeshouse Parkes DSO was killed in action on the 26th August 1944. For further details (see Lancaster PB398)

(2) Sgt. Lionel Richard Willis was interned in France but made his escape returning to the UK by late 1941. Awarded the Military Medal in 1942 for his evasion.  

(3) Sgt. Leslie Dennis Goldingay was interned in France but made his escape returning to the UK by June 1941. He returned to duties on the night of the 4/5th July 1941 and continued flying. Flight Lieutenant Leslie Dennis Goldingay was killed in action on the 28th April 1944. For further details (see Lancaster JB676)

(4) Sgt. Harold William Bratley. Born on the 31st October 1907 in Louth, Lincolnshire. was interned in France but made his escape returning to the UK by June 1941. He returned to duties on the night of the 4/5th July 1941 and continued flying. Mentioned in Dispatches 13th March 1942. 755503 Harold William Bratley (145716) was appointed to commission as Pilot Officer on probation 3rd April 1943 as per London Gazette 29th June 1943. Confirmed as a Pilot Officer and appointed to the rank of Flying Officer 7th October 1943 as per London Gazette 8th October 1943. Awarded the DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) in 1942 Acting Flight Lieutenant Harold William Bratley (145716) while serving with No 7 Squadron. Promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant 7th April 1945 as per London Gazette 4th May 1945. F/Lt Bratley DFC relinquished his commission with effect 10th February 1954. Harold William Bratley DFC died on the 10th April 2003

(5) Sgt. Ronald Vivian was born on the 22nd September in Bournemouth and in August 1939 completed and passed his flying certificate in De Havilland Gipsy Moth at the Bournemouth Flying Club. Awarded the DFM (Distinguished Flying Medal) as per London Gazette 26th May 1942. The citation reads "Sgt. R. Vivian No 9 Squadron - One night in August 1941, this airman was the rear gunner in a Wellington aircraft detailed to bomb a target at Hanover. The aircraft was attacked by a Junker 88 and the rear turret was rendered unserviceable by cannon fire. Sgt. Vivian although almost blinded by search light succeeded in operating his guns by hand and eventually drove the enemy aircraft off. On another occasion he probably destroyed an enemy fighter over the English coast when on his way to bomb Frankfurt" Sgt Vivian DFM was Appointed to Commission as Pilot Officer (161475) on probation on the 14th October 1943 and was promoted to the rank of Flying Officer on the 8th September and relinquished his Commission on the 25th September 1950 retaining his rank. Flight Lieutenant R. Vivian DFM extended his service for a further two years with effect from 25th September 1955. Ronald Vivian DFM died in 2000 aged 85

(6) Sgt. Reginald William Blaydon was awarded the DFM (Distinguished Flying Medal) for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations as per London Gazette 11th August 1942. Granted a commission as Pilot Officer on probation 755395 Reginald William Blaydon (169133) as per London Gazette 25th January 1944 and was confirmed as a Pilot Officer and appointed to the rank of Flying Officer 29th February 1944 as per London Gazette 19 May 1944. Flying Officer Reginald William Blaydon DFM was killed in action on the 8th August 1944. For further details (see Lancaster ND817)

Researched by: Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew. With special thanks to Commonwealth War Graves Commission, W R Chorley - Bomber Command Losses 1941, Gordon Thorburn - Bombers First and Last, National Archives - Air 27/126, Oliver Clutton-Brock - RAF Evaders, London Gazette archives

For further detailed accounts we recommend the following publications: Bombers First and Last by Gordon Thorburn. ISBN 10: 86105 946 0, ISBN 13: 9 78161 059468. RAF Evaders by Oliver Clutton-Brock ISBN 13: 9781906502171 or Digital Edition ISBN 9781908117717. 

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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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