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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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50 Squadron Crest
25/26.08.1940 No. 50 Squadron Hampden I P2070 VN-X P/O. Robert D. Wawn

Operation: Berlin

Date: 25/26th August 1940 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 50 Squadron

Type: Hampden MkI

Serial: P2070

Code: VN-X

Base: RAF Lindholme

Location: Lautersheim Germany

Pilot: P/O. Robert David Wawn AUS/41505 RAAF Age 23. PoW No: 1255 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria

Obs: Sgt. J. Scholfield 580741 RAF PoW No: 227 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. R.H.L. Smith 538519 RAF PoW No: 228 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. H.J. Bushell 904757 RAFVR PoW No: 206 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug


During a training exercise on the 13th April 1940, the pilot of this aircraft flying Anson I N5193 with 50 Squadron crash landed whilst out of fuel at 23:35 hrs south of Grimsby, England.

They were undertaking a search for Hampden L4064 which had come down in the North Sea some 120 miles East of Newcastle. It was understood that the crew had taken to the dingy, but despite a concentrated search, nothing was found of 28 year old P/O. John Bartlett Bull AUS/40599 RAAF of Norwood, South Australia and his other 3 crew members.

During the crash landing P/O. Robert Wawn was injured as were all 3 other crew, one of these, the then Corporal R.H.L. Smith was also a member of this crew. All recovered to continue service.

On this operation to Berlin (the first attack on the German capital of the war) they took off at 21:58 hrs from RAF Lindholme.

At 04:12 hrs, whilst being monitored by RAF Heston, they requested a QDM (magnetic bearing back to base) it is understood to have force landed - out of fuel Lautersheim, Germany shortly after this. The crew were captured and sent to various PoW camps, where they remained until war end.

Above and below, Hampden P2070 after forced landing.

Burial details:

None - all crew survived as PoW. P/O. Wawn released as Fl/Lt. Sgt’s Schofield, Smith and Bushell as W/O’s.

Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered - June 2015. Photographs kindly supplied by Michel Beckers.

KTY 08.06.2015 New

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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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