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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 422 Squadron
20.11.1943 422 Squadron Short Sunderland W6031 Fg Off. Ulrichsen

Operation: Convoy Patrol

Date: 20th November 1943 (Saturday)

Unit No: 422 Squadron

Type: Short Sunderland III

Serial: W6031

Code: DG:G

Base: RAF St. Angelo, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

Location: Atlantic Ocean, West of Portugal

1st Pilot: Fg Off. Jan David Butler Ulrichsen J15656 RCAF Age 30. MiA

2nd Pilot: Fg Off. Wilfred Sydney Johnson J13060 RCAF Age 28. MiA

3rd Pilot: Fg Off. Charles Gordon Gorrie J23996 RCAF Age 19. MiA

Nav: Fg Off. Robert Harry Strauss J9328 RCAF Age 31. MiA

Gun Officer: Flt Sgt. Robert Aird Park 1349760 RAFVR Age 31. MiA

1st WOp/Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. Norman Barrett R144281. RCAF Age 22. MiA

2nd WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Walter McKay 1313578 RAFVR Age 22. MiA

W/Op M/Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. Bruce Goulden Burton 571183 RAF Age 22. MiA

Flt Eng: Sgt. Norman Percival Cook. 1296208. RAFVR Age 21. MiA

Flt Eng/Air Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Montague Fisher 1625511 RAFVR Age 19. MiA

Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. Noel Neil Lewis 1437141 RAFVR Age 21. MiA

Above Left to Right: Fg Off. Wilfred Sydney Johnson, Fg Off. Charles Gordon Gorrie, Fg Off. Robert Harry Strauss (Library & Archives Canada)

Above Left to Right: Flt Sgt. Norman Barrett (Courtesy Veteran Affairs Canada), Sgt. Norman Percival Cook (courtesy Alan Sable)

After 70 years Sgt. Ronald Montague Fisher's war medals have been found and we would like to pass these on to his relatives. We would ask relatives to make contact

Update 4th May 2017 relative made contact - further information hopefully follows!


Sunderland W6031 took off from RAF St. Angelo at 11.45 hrs for a Convoy Patrol. At approx. 11:47hrs a U-Boat sighting report was received at Gibraltar. At 19:10 hrs a SoS message was intercepted at Malta, believed to be from Sunderland W6031.

The Giant Plane That Wrecked U-boats (Courtesy DarkSkies via YouTube)

Nothing was heard from this aircraft after this. The aircraft was attacked by U-648 but fought off this attack and travelled some 150 miles towards Gibraltar, where it had been due to land when a distress call was sent saying it was going to ditch. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft. An extensive search could find no sight of the aircraft or crew and no further information was received

Sgt. Ronald Montague Fisher's war medals (courtesy of David Johnson) A Short Sunderland III

Air Casualties published in the Globe and Mail 4th January 1944 (Courtesy of Democracy at War) Details about Charles Gorrie (Courtesy of Yvonne Oakes niece of Sgt. Lewis)

Burial Details:

Above The Runnymede memorial, Surrey

Fg Off. Jan David Butler Ulrichsen. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 175. Born on born on the 27th June 1913 in York, Ontario, Canada. Son of Jan Ulrichsen and Caroline Theresa Frances Ulrichsen.

Fg Off. Wilfred Sydney Johnson. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 174. Born on the 12th August 1915. Son of Sydney Munnings Johnson and Marie Adelaide Johnson. Husband of Sarah Ruth Johnson.

Fg Off. Charles Gordon Gorrie. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 173. Born on the 20th January 1924 in Wawanesa. Son of Charles C. and Evelyn Gorrie of Wawanesa, Manitoba, Canada.

He is remembered on the Wawanesa War Memorial (courtesy of Gordon Goldsborough)

Gorrie Lake , Manitoba is named after Fg Off. Gorrie

Fg Off. Robert Harry Strauss. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 175. Born on the 6th February 1912. Son of Reuben J. and Sarah Nagal Strauss. Husband of Mildred Strauss of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

He is remembered on a family headstone in Greenhill Cemetery, Essex County, Ontario, Canada (Courtesy of Doug Gammon)

Strauss Island, Georgian Bay, Ontario is named after Fg Off. Strauss

Flt Sgt. Robert Aird Park. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 138. Son of John A. and Jessie A. Park. Husband of Hannah Park of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland.

Flt Sgt. Norman Barrett. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 181. Son of Albert and Ethel Barrett of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (5) Norman was born on the 9th December 1921 in Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Walter McKay. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 158. Son of Walter Alexander McKay, and of Margaret Ann McKay, of Godalming, England.

Above family memorial headstone for the brothers McKay © WMR-99182 (David Ayling)

His brother Sgt. Ronald Alexander McKay, 1351466 RAFVR was the Mid Upper Gunner aboard Avro Lancaster I NN695, PG:X was KiA when his aircraft was shot down by a Luftwaffe intruder when returning from an attack on Duisburg on 21st/22nd May 1944.

Flt Sgt. Bruce Goulden Burton. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 135. Son of Thomas and Doris Muriel Burton. Husband of Ethel Margherite Burton of East Allington, Devon, England.

Sgt. Norman Percival Cook. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 146. Son of Frederick Percival Cook and Kate Cook of Burnham, Buckinghamshire.

At the time of his death Norman's address was Roslyn Byways, Hitcham, Buckinghamshire, England. Prior to joining the RAF he had served with the Burnham Fire Brigade where his photo hung until it closed in 1996.

Sgt. Ronald Montague Fisher. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 149. Son of Reginald Walter and Grace Fisher of Torrisholme, Lancashire. The family lived at 23 Kayswell Road, Torrisholme, Morecombe, Lancashire, England.

Ronald is remembered on the Morecombe War Memorial

Sgt. Noel Neil Lewis. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 156. Son of Alfred Alexander Lewis and Gwendoline Elizabeth Lewis.

Sgt. Lewis has one sister who is still with us (at time of posting) aged 96 and a niece both living in the USA with many relative living in Wales

Researched by: Kate Tame for Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew. With special thanks to Nick Mattock who contacted us in October 2013 hoping to trace relatives of Sgt. Fisher. Also to David Johnson for contacting BBC Radio Lancashire appealing for relatives. Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Gordon Goldsborough - Manitoba Historical Society, Doug Gammon - Canada Gen Web Cemetery Project, David Johnson, Yvonne Oakes neice of Sgt. Lewis, Alan Sable who sent photo and information on Sgt. Norman Cook. (Aug 2020). Thanks to Richard Maddox for the additional information about Sgt. Walter McKay and his brother and for the Memorial headstone notification (May 2023)

Other sources listed below:

RS 26.05.2023 - Update to Next-of-Kin details for Sgt. McKay and narrative.

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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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