AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.
Check our Research databases: Database List


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

bomber command

Operation: Training

Date: 10/11th June 1940 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 12 Operational Training Unit. 6 Group

Type: Battle I

Serial: K9463

Code: -

Base: RAF Benson, Oxfordshire

Location: SW of airfield

Pilot: P/O. Basil Percy Thomson 36264 RAF Age 20. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Derek Joseph Craven 581207 RAF Age 25. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: LAC. Percival Arthur Lewis 547112 RAF Age 20. Killed


Taking off at 02:05 hrs on short cross country training.

Almost immediately after take off suffered engine failure. The pilot attempted to return to the airfield but entered a steep gliding high speed turn and started to spin. He managed to recover but the aircraft then dived into the ground and caught fire - killing all 3 crew members.

Burial details:

P/O. Basil Percy Thomson Basil Percy Thomson. Benson Churchyard Extension (St. Helen). Row F. Grave 7. Born on the 09th October 1919 at Whãngarei. Worked as a mechanic for Robertson Sewing Machine Company prior to service. Selected for a short service commission in June 1939. Awarded his pilots badge on the 12th September 1939. Joined 12 OTU on the 15th May 1940.Son of Adam Francis and Florence Beatrice Thomson (née Porter), of Whangarei, Auckland, New Zealand.

Sgt. Derek Joseph Craven. Benson Churchyard Extension (St. Helen). Row F. Grave 7. Son of Ernest Simpson Craven and Louisa Craven, of Cleveleys, Lancashire. Grave inscription: 'Abide With Me'.

LAC. Percival Arthur Lewis. South Stoneham Cemetery. Sec. H. 6. Grave 183. Son of Edwin Percival and Ada Lewis of Southampton, England

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, Stephen Potts for grave photo, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 16-03-2021

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
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.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2023
Last Modified: 16 March 2021, 18:34

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor