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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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142 squadron crest
25/26.03.1942 No. 142 Squadron Wellington IV Z1321 QT-V Sgt. White

Operation: Essen

Date: 25/26th March 1942 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 142 Squadron

Type: Wellington IV

Serial: Z1321

Code: QT-V

Base: RAF Grimsby, Lincolnshire.

Location: Vlaardingen, Holland

Pilot: Sgt. David John White 1166180 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Pilot 2: Fl/Sgt. William Melville Pipher R/78467 RCAF Age 24. Killed

Obs: Fl/Sgt. Andrew Lennox R/77507 RCAF Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Eric Charles Groves 1375174 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alfred Jelly 1309716 RAFVR Age 29. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Harry Joseph Barrie 967059 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


Taking off at 20:26 hrs from RAF Grimsby, Lincolnshire to bomb Essen. 254 various types of aircraft took part in this operation with 181 crews reporting that they had hit the target.

However photographs proved that much of the bombing had fallen on Rheinberg, some 18 miles North West. Although visibility for the bombing was described as good, a decoy fire had been set in Rheinberg to good effect.

Reports from Essen state that 1 house was destroyed, 2 seriously damaged with 5 people on the ground killed, 11 injured.

The allies lost a total of 9 aircraft. 44 crew were killed, 5 taken pow, with a further 6 escaped after their Wellington IC of 103 Squadron ditched off the Suffolk coast and were picked up.

Wellington Z1321 was returning from the operation when it was shot down by flak and crashed on open grassland north east of Vlaardingen, Holland.

Memorial unveiling 2012 (courtesy Pieter Schlebaum - see acknowledgements)

At the memorial, although not all shown on these photographs, stone tablets are also bedded into the brickwork, with the name of each crew member lost.

On the 15th June 2012 a memorial was unveiled to the crew with one of the villagers, Mr. Hans van Ekelenburg supplying us with photographs of the event.

Wing Commander Sharp from the Royal Air Force unveiled the memorial which is placed Boerderijpad near the childrens farm, Park Holy-Noord in Vlaardingen.

The crew originally trained at 23 OTU with another pilot, Sgt. Stuart Laban Innes R/76578 RCAF who was killed (missing), with all his crew earlier (with 142 squadron) in Wellington IV Z1202 on a trip to Hamburg (30th November 1942).

Graves at The Hague (Westduin) General Cemetery - any relative who would like a high resolution of the graves please dont hesitate to contact us.

Burial details:

Sgt. David John White. The Hague (Westduin) General Cemetery. Row 1. Grave 20. Further information as supplied by his relative, Mr. Alva Maloney in April 2016: Son of Thomas Patrick White (served many years in Gibraltar, served in the Boer War and spent some time in China) and Jennie Jones. Thomas Patrick was born in the north of Ireland and was the son of Patrick Thomas White and Matilda Josephine Elliott. Patrick White was a Head Constable in the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and was born in Co Waterford in south east of Ireland. They had another son - my grandfather- and a daughter. After retirement, Patrick became a steward on the estate of Lord Gormanston in County Meath. The three children were born in different parts of Ireland as it was the policy of the RIC to move the staff around. My grandfather joined the RIC and enlisted in the British Army in 1916. He was posted to France and was killed on the first day of the last battle of the Somme. He married in 1912 and my mother was born in 1914. They had no other children. (with thanks to Alva Maloney for this information)

Fl/Sgt. William Melville Pipher. The Hague (Westduin) General Cemetery. Row 1. Grave 19. Son of Earl Melville Pipher and Mary Ester Pipher, of Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Andrew Lennox. The Hague (Westduin) General Cemetery. Row 1. Grave 18. Son of Andrew and Esther Lennox, of Innisfail, Alberta, Canada.

Sgt. Eric Charles Groves. Runnymede Memorial (Body not knowingly recovered). Panel 84. No further information as yet available - are you able to assist? (Runnymede panel photo kindly supplied by Hans van Ekelenburg - March 2021)

Sgt. Alfred Jelly. The Hague (Westduin) General Cemetery. Row 1. Grave 21. Son of Alfred and Lilian Mary Jelly, of Rochdale, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. Ronald Harry Joseph Barrie. The Hague (Westduin) General Cemetery. Row 1. Grave 22. Son of Ronald Stanley Barrie and Lily Florence Barrie, of Chester, England.

Researched for Hans van Ekelenburg who lives in the village and submitted some great information to assist us. Also, many thanks to Pieter Schlebaum who has covered out a great deal of research to this loss and is in contact with all of the relatives of the crew. He has recently also published a booklet on this particular loss who can be ordered via us or direct we understand from the Go2War website in Holland. Also to Jasper Donkervoort for bringing this to our attention. Many thanks also to Alva Maloney for detailed information on the pilot.

KTY - 01.11.2016 Page updated memorial photo

KTY - 28.03.2021 Runnymede panel added.

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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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