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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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408 Squadron Crest
19.07.1942 408 Squadron Hampden I AT227 EQ-L P/O. Edward Swatton

Operation: Moling

Date: 19th July 1942 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 408 Squadron RCAF

Type: Hampden I

Serial: AT227

Code: EQ-L

Base: RAF Balderton, Nottinghamshire

Location: North Sea, 50 km. North West Vlieland

Pilot: P/O. Edward William Swatton 112365 RAFVR Age 29. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Roland Henry Burley 1159995 RAFVR Age 32. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edward Haville 113420 RAFVR Age 26. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Harold Pierce 111490 RAFVR Age ? Missing


Took off at 08:40hrs. from RAF Balderton, Nottinghamshire on a daylight operation using cloud cover to attack various ground targets in occupied territories and Germany. 35 aircraft took part in this operation and four were lost.

Hampden AT227 is understood to have collided at between 11:33 - 11:56 hrs with a Bf110 F-4 R4-GN night fighter from 5./NJG2 the pilot, Ufz. Roman Brejzek (1) and crew member, Wolfgang Benna were also killed.

Both aircraft crashed into the North Sea some 50 km. North West of Vlieland

The body of the pilot, P/O. Swatton was found on Lild Strand beach on the 9th September and buried on the 11th September 1941 at Frederikshavn Cemetery. The remainder are commemorated on the Runnymede memorial.

Further information courtesy John Jones - July 2019:

'The Dutch-based NZHRM lifeboat ‘Brandaris’ (II), was sent out from the harbour at West-Terschelling, probably following a 'Meldung' (alert) from German military authorities after radio contact had been lost with their Messerschmitt.

It searched for several hours, in an area believed to be North of the neighbouring isles of Vlieland and Texel, until darkness fell, but found no survivors or debris from the two aircraft.

Right: Ufz. Roman Brejzek (courtesy Gabriela Brejczek via John Jones)

The Dutch skipper Mr. Douwe Tot's ‘Strandingsrapport’ of that search of Sunday the 19th of July, has been catalogued and archived at the NZHRM office (Amsterdam)1942, and is numbered 687.

The beautiful old lifeboat ‘Brandaris’ is in the harbour of Terschelling again now. Completely restored and run by volunteers, it is used as a historical museum boat and makes short sea trips with sponsors and paying guests'.

A wintry scene at Balderton, Nottinghamshire 20th January 1942, as aircrew return from a flight in a Hampden of No. 408 (Goose) Squadron, RCAF. (courtesy I.W.M.)

(1) This was the single claim credited to Ufz. Roman Brejzek. (Information courtesy Kracker Archives on this website)

Burial details:

P/O. Edward William Swatton. Frederikshavn Cemetery Allied Plot. Grave 23. Son of Herbert William. and Martha Swatton, husband of Catherine Mary Swatton, of West Ashling, Sussex, England.

Sgt. Roland Henry Burley. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 79. Son of Walter James Burley and Beatrice May Burley.

Sgt. Edward Haville. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 85. Son of Edmund John Nixon Haville and Eliza Haville, of Benwell, Northumberland, England.

P/O. Harold Pierce. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 71. Next of kin details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Researched for Jonathan Raine, great nephew of Sgt. Edward Haville. Remembrance Page dedicated to the relatives of the crew. With thanks to John Jones for additional information, Gabriela Brejczek for photo of the Luftwaffe pilot. Also to Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', ‘Airwar over Denmark’, Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol. 3", I.W.M, Commonwealth Graves Commission.

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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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