AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

• Kracker Archive
• Allied Losses
• Archiwum Polish
• Paradie Canadian
• Searchable Lists

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.

55 Squadron Crest
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

Serial: Z9588

Code: Not known

Base: Beirut

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


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.

Burial details:

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:

KTY - 25.02.2017

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 - 2024
Last Modified: 14 March 2021, 19:32

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