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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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217 Squadron Crest
06.02.1940 No. 217 Squadron Anson I K8746 MW-O F/O. White

Operation: Convoy Patrol

Date: 06th February 1940 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 217 Squadron (Coastal Command - 15 Group)

Type: Anson I

Serial: K8746

Code: MW-O

Base: RAF St. Eval, Cornwall

Location: Celtic Sea off Bishops Rock, Scilly Isles

Pilot: F/O. John Arthur Charles White 39406 RAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed

Obs: P/O. Arthur Hugh Moncrieff Wright 41643 RAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: LAC. Herbert James Noel Marsden 528828 RAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: LAC. Edward Wilson 550920 RAF Survived - safe


Taking off at 07:40 hrs to escort a convoy - designated as that of OBM85G.

During a turn the plot apparently lost control and at 11:20 hrs whilst flying at just 350 ft the aircraft dived into the sea with the loss of three of the crew.

Above: As described - used with kind permission from the family.

Left: HMS Vimy - came though the war and was scrapped in 1948.

The survivor, LAC. Wilson was rescued by the crew of HMS Vimy. He survived the war and continued to serve post war.

In 1952 he was made a Flying Officer. We dont have any further details on him, perhaps you are a relative and are able to tell us more?

Burial details:

F/O. John Arthur Charles White. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 6. Son of Charles Lewis White, and of Ellen Elizabeth White, of Belleville, Ontario, Canada.

P/O. Arthur Hugh Moncrieff Wright. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 10. Son of Arthur Henry Moncrieff Wright and Winifred Gladys Wright, of Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand. Although a pilot, he was probably acting as the observer on this flight.

LAC. Herbert James Noel Marsden. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 23. No further details - are you able to assist further?

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY - 30.05.2018

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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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