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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 Crest
25.08.1944. 640 Squadron Halifax III NA578 Plt Off. White

Operation: Watten, France

Date: 25th August 1944 (Friday)

Unit: 640 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: NA578

Code: C8:?

Base: RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire

Location: Thought to be in the Éperlecques area, France

Pilot: Plt Off. Cyril Arthur White 179590 RAFVR Killed

Flt Eng: Sgt. Harry Ward 2221266 RAFVR age 21. Killed

Nav: Flt Sgt. Stanley Jenkins 1451229 RAFVR Killed

Bomb Aimer: Flt Sgt. James Douglas Duffin R182129 RCAF Age 28. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Geoffrey Edward Warren 2201288 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air Gnr: Sgt. Arthur John Alden 1850102 RAFVR Killed

Air Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Albert John Bosworth 1807185 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Flt Sgt. James Douglas Duffin from his service record. (courtesy John Jones)


Taking off from RAF Leconfield in Yorkshire at 18:30 hrs on a daylight operation. 161 aircraft taking part - 140 Halifaxes, 16 Lancasters and 5 Mosquitoes to bomb various German V1 Launch sites and storage depots.

No details on how Halifax NA578 was brought down but strongly suspected to be a victim of anti-aircraft fire. One of 4 aircraft lost. 2 Lancasters and 2 Halifaxes with another Halifax managing to return with flak damage and subsequently written off. 19 aircrew were killed, 2 evaded capture, 3 others injured.

Plaque at Éperlecques (sent into Mr. Geoffrey Gillon source unknown)

Incidentally this was also the day that the French 2nd Armoured Division along with the US 4th Infantry Division liberated Paris from the occupying German forces.

Above: As described (Main photo CWGC, Insert Mr. Geoffrey Gillon)

Burial details:

Plt Off. Cyril Arthur White. Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery (St. Omer). Plot 6. Row C. Collective Grave 2. Born on the 29th April 1921 in Wantage, Berkshire. Son of Arthur Edward and Daisy Gladys (née Goddard) White from Feltham, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. Harry Ward. Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery (St. Omer). Plot 6. Row C. Collective Grave 2. Son of James Alfred and Emily Ward and husband of Dorothy Irene Ward, of Stourbridge, Worcestershire, England.

Flt Sgt. Stanley Jenkins. Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery (St. Omer). Plot 6. Row C. Collective Grave 2. No further details - we welcome any additional information.

Plt Off. James Douglas Duffin. Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery (St. Omer). Plot 6. Row C. Collective Grave 2. Born on the 20th January 1914 in Toronto, Ontario. Son of James Arthur and Olive Janet (née Brack) Duffin from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His mother predeceased him in March 1921.

Commissioned and promoted to Plt Off. (J92131) with effect 24th August 1944.

Sgt. Geoffrey Edward Warren. Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery (St. Omer). Plot 6. Row C. Collective Grave 2. Son of Charles Alfred and Bessie Elvina Warren, of West Hartlepool, Co. Durham, England.

Sgt. Arthur John Alden. Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery (St. Omer). Plot 6. Row C. Collective Grave 2. No further details - we welcome any additional information.

Sgt. Ronald Albert John Bosworth. Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery (St. Omer). Plot 6. Row C. Collective Grave 2. Grave inscription reads: "AND AS THE SUN GOES DOWN AND IN THE MORNING WE SHALL REMEMBER HIM". Son of Jesse John and Kathleen Francesca Bosworth (née Begine), brother of Doreen Violet Bosworth of St. David's, New Bath Road, Sonning, Berkshire, England.

His mother wore her son’s wings on her blouse every day for the rest of her life.

Researched and placed for our friend and fellow researcher Mr. Geoffrey Gillon - relative of Ronnie Bosworth and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Geoffrey. Thanks to John Jones for the photograph of Plt Off. Duffin (Sep 2021). Other sources as quoted.

RS 01.09.2021 - Addition of Plt Off Duffin photograph and NoK details updated

Pages of Outstanding Interest
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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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