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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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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

REASON FOR LOSS:

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

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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', 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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Last Modified: 16 March 2021, 18:34

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