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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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88 Squadron Crest
23/24.05.1940 88 Squadron Battle I P2356 Plt Off. Bert Wickham

Operation: Bingen-on-Rhine

Date: 23rd/24th May 1940 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: 88 Squadron (75 Wing, Advanced Air Striking Force)

Type: Fairey Battle I

Serial: P2356

Code: RH:?

Base: Les Grandes Chappelles, France

Location: Springen, Germany

Pilot: Plt Off. Albert Edgar Wickham 36200 RAF Age 22. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Edward Hibbert 564863 RAF Age 26. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: AC2. Matthew Whelan 630351 RAF Age 19. Killed


Taking off from the airfield at Les Grandes Chappelles to attack Bingen-on-Rhine - understood to have been hit by flak and aircraft exploded in the air.

Various sources quote that the target area was where they were shot down, others state that they came down at the village of Springen - both marked on the map.

Burial details

The Graves Concentration Report recorded that the three crew members were initially interred in the Springen Civilian Cemetery. They were reburied at the Durnbach War Cemetery on the 13th September 1947.

Plt Off. Albert Edgar Wickham. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.B.17-19. Son of Richard Edgar and Ruth Wickham, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. A total of 243 flying hours logged.

Sgt. Edward Hibbert. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.B.17-19. No further details - are you able to assist?

AC2. Matthew Whelan. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.B.17-19. Grave inscription reads: "IN HEALTH AND STRENGTH HE LEFT HIS HOME, THE GOOD LORD BIDDING HIM COME".Son of Matthew and Mary Elizabeth Whelan, of Waterloo, Liverpool, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew. Thanks to John Jones for the Graves Concentration information (Nov 2021). Thanks to sources indicated below.

RS 20.11.2021 - Addition of initial burial details.

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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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Last Modified: 20 November 2021, 14:28

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