12.09.1941 No. 55 Squadron Blenheim IV Z9588 W/Cdr. Russell D. Welland MiD.
Operation: Anti-submarine sweep
Date: 12th September 1941 (Friday)
Unit: No. 55 Squadron
Type: Blenheim IV
Code: Not known
Location: Mediterranean Sea
Pilot: W/Cdr. Russell Darby Welland MiD 37308 RAF Age 29. Missing - believed killed
Obs: F/O. James Dodds AUS/402014 RAAF Age 32. Missing - believed killed (1)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. James William Lucas 751653 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed
Passenger: Major Ivor Kingsley Whittaker VX24 Australian Army Intelligence Corps Age 20. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Aircraft left Beirut at 03:15 hrs. to carry out anti-submarine sweep along the coast to 10 miles east of the Suez Canal and return.
At 05:15 hrs a message was received that they were on the return trip and ordered 4 late breakfasts - nothing more was heard from them.
When established they were overdue a search was immediately carried out by four aircraft. The following day, two further searches were made by eight and three aircraft covering areas likely to be a forced landing area - no trace was found.
(1) The family were to lose another son during service. P/O. David Laing Dodds AUS/411243 RAAF - missing on the 03/04th September 1943 whilst with 156 Squadron. Lancaster JA681 had taken off from RAF Warboys at 1948 hrs. on an operation to Berlin - again all the 7 crew members were classed as Missing - believed killed.
W/Cdr. Russell Darby Welland MiD. Alamein Memorial. Column 239. Son of Arthur Alfred and M. L. Welland and husband of Helena Alison Welland. of Hessle, Yorkshire, England.
F/O. James Dodds. Alamein Memorial. Column 245. Son of James and Mary Harcus Dodds, of 15 Castlestead Street, Concord West, New South Wales, Australia.
Fl/Sgt. James William Lucas. Alamein Memorial. Column 242. Son of Percival Walter and Jane Mabel Lucas, of Fulking, Sussex, England.
Major Ivor Kingsley Whittaker. Alamein Memorial. Column 93. Son of Robert Charles and Muriel Ada Matilda Whittaker, of Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia.
Right: Mjr. Ivor Kingsley Whittaker
Researched for Kate Watts niece of F/O. James Dodds who contacted us in February 2017 and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources indicated below: