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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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RAF Crest
30.08.1943 No. 29 OTU Wellington III BJ967 'F' Sgt. Wilder

Operation: Special Task (Foret d'Eperlecques)

Date: 30th August 1943 (Monday)

Unit: No. 29 OTU (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Wellington III

Serial: BJ967

Code: 'F'

Base: RAF Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire

Location: English Channel

Pilot: Sgt. Terrence Archie Wilder 1338963 RAF Rescued. (1)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Alexander Denholm Trotter 1546300 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Nav: Sgt. John (Johnny) Scott 1550748 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Albert William Raggett 1391333 RAFVR Age 19. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Albert Joseph Oakes 1040150 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Harold McDonald AUS/418760 RAAF Age 20. Missing - believed killed


Wellington BJ967 took off from RAF Bruntingthorpe to bomb an ammunition dump in the Foret d'Eperlecques north of St. Omer, France. The aircraft was returning home when a fire broke out in the starboard engine.

It is believed that the aircraft ditched at 22:30hrs off Newhaven. This was the first time during 1943 that OTU's had supplied crews for bombing operations, but these crews were confined to targets in Northern France. This was a successful operation and large explosions were seen

(1) Sgt. Wilder was rescued the following day at 10:30hrs having managed to get into the aircraft's dingy

Third row from the back LAC William Harold McDonald at No. 4 Initial Training School RAAF, at Victor Harbour, South Australia. Sgt. John (Jonny) Scott

Construction work at the Watten site 1944. Aerial view of the V-2 site near Watten, France.

Runnymede Memorial. Sgt. John Scott is remembered on the Lossiemouth War Memorial

Burial details:

Sgt. Alexander Denholm Trotter. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 167. Son of Alexander Denholm Trotter and Christina Trotter of Felton, Northumberland. Alexander is remembered in the Duke's Middle School Book of Remembrance, Alnwic, England.

Sgt. John (Johnny) Scott. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 164. Stepson of John and Margaret Scott of Lossiemouth, Morayshire. Born in 1921 Johnny had lived at 9 Kinneddar Street and is remembered on the Lossiemouth War Memorial, Scotland.

Sgt. Albert William Raggett. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 162. Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Raggett of Tottenham, Middlesex, England.

Fl/Sgt. Albert Joseph Oakes. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 138. Son of John and Alice G. Oakes of Hanley, Staffordshire, England.

Sgt. William Harold McDonald. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 196. Son of Jonathan and Annie May McDonald of St. Arnaud, Victoria, Australia. William was born on the 26 September 1922 in St.Arnaud and enlisted in Melbourne. William did part of his training at No. 4 Initial Training School RAAF, Victoria Harbour, South Australia/

Researched by: Kate Tame for Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew

Acknowledgements: With special thanks to Commonwealth War Graves Commission, W. R. Chorley - Bomber Command Losses Operational Training Units 1940-1947, Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - Bomber Command War Diaries 1939-1945, Donald Stewart - Lossiemouth Book of Remembrance, Australian National Archives, Australian War Memorial.

KTY Updated 16.11.2019

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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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