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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. 7 Squadron
16/17.06.1942 7 Squadron Short Stirling I R9324 MG:X Flt Sgt. Thomas Templeman

Operation: Essen, Germany

Date: 16th/17th June 1942 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit No: 7 Squadron

Type: Short Stirling I

Serial: R9324

Code: MG:X

Base: RAF Oakington, Rutland

Location: St. Remy-du-Nord, France

Pilot: Flt Sgt. Thomas Templeman R61012 RCAF Age 26. Evader (1)

Flt Eng: Sgt. Leonard Clinton Fenton 571254 RAF Age 21. KiA

Obs: Flt Lt. Henry Hayden 'Hap' Haszard 3615 RAF Age 28. PoW No 2532 * (2)

Bomb Aimer: Sgt. Kempton Richard Cooper 1177659 RAFVR Age? PoW No. 314 (3)

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. John Storey Duckworth 1051597 RAFVR Age? PoW No. 25104 (4)

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. John Edwin Thomas 168838 RAF Age? PoW No. 363 **

Air Gnr (Mid Upper): Plt Off. Donald 'Don' White 111485 RAFVR Age 30. KiA

Air Gnr (Rear): Flt Sgt. Thomas 'Tommy' Watkins Rayment 1258093 RAFVR Age 28. KiA

* Stalag Luft 3, Sagan-Silesia, Germany, now Żagań in Poland. (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser, Bavaria).

** Stalag 357, Thorn (Toruń) in Poland. Moved in September 1944 to the loosely named Stalag 357 Fallingbostel, Lower Saxony, Germany. Officially the designation was Stalag 357 (Oerbke).


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Short Stirling from 7 Squadron 1942 (mouse over image)

Wigram Aerodrome, Christchurch, New Zealand where Thomas Hayden 'Hap' Haszard trained. (courtesy of National Archives, Christchurch City Library, New Zealand)

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off from RAF Oakington at 23:37hrs. with five other 7 Sqn Short Stirlings to attack Essen. 106 aircraft took part in this raid with the loss of 8 aircraft. Nothing further was heard from Flt Sgt. Templeman's aircraft after takeoff.

R9324 was claimed by Hptm. Wilhelm Herget, his 18th Abschuss, from Stab II./NJG4 800 m west of Limont-Fontaine at 3.500 m, at 02:14 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (30 May - 31 December 1942) The Early Years Part 3 - Theo Boiten)

The aircraft crashed at St-Remy-du-Nord near Maubeuge, France.

(1) Flt Sgt. Templeman woke his ankle on landing but evaded solo to Spain with spells in various prisons, returning to England via Gibraltar on the 5th October 1942. The story of his journey can be found in "RAF Evaders" by Oliver Clutton-Brock (pp. 92-93) ISBN: 978-1-906502-17-1.

In 1940 before enlisting in the RCAF Thomas was working as a plumber in Edmonton, Canada. Flt Sgt.

He was awarded the DFM whilst with 7 Sqn: Citation" "This airman was captain of an aircraft which attacked an objective in the Rhineland one night in June 1942. On the return flight his aircraft was attacked by two Junker 88's and severely damaged. In most hazardous circumstances which followed, this airman displayed great fortitude and determination in keeping with the highest traditions of the Royal Air Force. Throughout Flight Sergeant Templeman has proved himself to be an outstanding captain, who has set an exceptionally high standard by his courageous example and extreme devotion to duty". (London Gazette, 4th December 1942).

Above: Kempton Cooper visiting the graves of his friends from the crew (courtesy Richard Cooper)

(2) Henry Hayden 'Hap' Haszard enlisted in the RAF on the 1st July 1937 and reported to Wigram Aerodrome for training on 1st September 1937.

In January 1938 Henry was promoted to the temporary rank of Plt Off. and in July 1938 had completed his flying training and sailed for the UK on the 15th July arriving in Southampton on the 22nd August 1938.

On the 6th September 1938 he was granted a short service commission and promoted to Plt Off. with effect from 23rd August 1938. In 1939 Henry was serving with 207 Sqn based at RAF Cottesmore. Plt Off. Haszard was promoted to Fg Off. as of 23rd March 1940 and to Flt Lt. on 23rd March 1941.

Henry Hayden Haszard married Ruth Compigne Guilford in Cottesmore parish church in 1940.

The Auckland Star dated 14th June 1945 reported that Flt Lt. Haszard, previously a PoW was now safe. Flt Lt. Haszard retained his rank as Flt Lt with effect 8th April 1957.

(3) Sgt. Cooper was held at Stalag 334, transferred to Stalag Luft 6 then to Stalag Luft 3.

(4) Sgt. Duckworth evaded capture in France from 17th June 1942 - 4th July 1942. He exchanged identity with Guardsman A.E. Potts PoW No.80006 and attempted escape from a working party while at Sosnowitz PoW Camp (Sub-camp to Auschwitz), Germany. John S. Duckworth may have served with No. 142 (City of Worcester) Squadron in 1941.

Burial details:

Above: Avesnes-Sur-Helpe Communal Cemetery, Nord, France.

Above Graves of the crew that were sadly killed (courtesy Richard Cooper)

Sgt. Leonard Clinton Fenton. Avesnes-Sur-Helpe Communal Cemetery, Nord, France. Row AA. Grave 10. Grave Inscription: "BELOVED YOUNGER SON OF LT.COL. AND MRS. L.S.FENTON. HIS NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE". Son of Lieut-Col. Lionel Schofield Fenton and Katharine Clara Fenton of Winchester.

Plt Off. Donald 'Don' White. Avesnes-Sur-Helpe Communal Cemetery, Nord, France. Row AA. Grave 9. Grave Inscription: "IN PROUD AND LOVING MEMORY OF OUR DEAR DON. THE SUPREME SACRIFICE". Son of Robert and Jean White. Husband of Ivy White of Nuttall, Nottinghamshire.

Flt Sgt. Thomas 'Tommy' Watkins Rayment. Avesnes-Sur-Helpe Communal Cemetery, Nord, France. Row AA. Grave 11. Grave Inscription: "HE LIVED IN DAYS UNQUIET, AND LOVER OF ALL BEAUTY TROD THE HARD PATH OF DUTY". Son of Herbert John Rayment J. P. and Louise Rayment of Beecroft, New South Wales, Australia.

Tommy Rayment had worked at Kew Garden from 1938 - 1940 in the Tropical and Decorative departments and enlisted in the RAF in July 1940.

Researched by Kate Tame from Aircrew Remembered dedicated to all the relatives and friends of the crew. With special thanks to Richard Cooper (son of Sgt. Cooper). Thanks to John Jones for the information re: German night fighter claim (May 2019). Review and update to narrative (Jul 2022).

Other sources listed below:

RS 10.07.2022 - Update to narrative

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Acknowledgements
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', 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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