Operation: Hamburg, Germany
Date: 9th/10th November 1941 (Sunday/Monday)
Unit: 9 Squadron
Type: Wellington III
Base: RAF Honington, Suffolk
Location: East of Heligoland in the Waddenzee off Vlieland
Pilot: Plt Off. Hugh Vincent Wilgar-Robinson 63492 RAFVR Age 30 Killed
2nd Pilot: Sgt. Robert Bamber Fielding 1001686 RAFVR Age 27 Killed
Obs: Sgt. Reginald Burchell How 959988 RAFVR Age 25 Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. George Herbert Dartnall 917066 RAFVR Age 22 Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. William Smithson 935541 RAFVR Age 24 Killed
Air Gnr: Sgt. Kenneth Quick 1161595 RAFVR Age 21 Killed
Above: Flt Sgt. William Smithson. (Courtesy of Ian Winterburn)REASON FOR LOSS:
Wellington Mk III (courtesy Imperial War Museum) RAF Honington airfield (courtesy Fold3)
Seven aircraft from the Squadron took off from RAF Honington on this operation to Hamburg. Wellington X3280 took off at 17:30 hrs and attacked the target at 19:52 hrs. An SOS call was sent at 21:09 hrs, but was then cancelled and a last message was heard from the aircraft.
Wellington X3280 was picked up searchlights of 1. M.Flak Sgt. at 21:27 hrs and hit by Marine Flak of 1. Mar. Flak Rgt. The aircraft crashed in the sea 2 km west of Hamburger Hallig at 22:04 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (13 July 1941 - 29 May 1942) The Early Years Part 2 - Theo Boiten)
A map showing the area of the crash site
Of the five remaining Squadron aircraft that took off that night. Wellington X3352 took off at 17:31 hrs and while in the target area was hit by flak in the port engine but the pilot Sgt. Pendleton managed, on a single engine to bring his crew back. While trying to land at RAF East Wretham, Norfolk crashed at 22:10 hrs in a wood near the airfield. All the crew were injured and taken to hospital
Wellington X3287 landed back at base having completed the operation and was being dispersed for the night when Flight Mechanic AC2 Davis 1148222 a member of the ground crew was hit by an airscrew and severly injured. He was taken to the West Suffolk General Hospital, Bury St. Edmunds and a few days later was taken off the DI list (dangerous ill)
Runnymede Memorial, Surrey and Vlieland General Cemetery
Headstone pictures for Plt Off. Hugh Vincent Wilgar-Robinson. A family headstone in All Hallows Church for Sgt. Robert Bamber Fielding and Sgt. George Herbert Dartnall (courtesy Michel Beckers for Plt Off. Wilgar-Robinson and Sgt. Dartnall and Sgt. Fielding courtesy Charles Sale)
Plt Off. Hugh Vincent Wilgar-Robinson. Vlieland General Cemetery, Holland Grave Ref: Grave 37. Son of Hugh and Annie Wilgar-Robinson of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Hugh Vincent Wilgar-Robinson was granted commission for the duration of hostilities as Pilot Officer 17th April 1941 and is remembered on the Queen's University War Memorial, Belfast
Sgt. Robert Bamber Fielding. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 43. Son of John Robert and Mary Jane Fielding of Blackpool. Lancashire, England.
Sgt. Fielding is remembered on a family headstone in All Hallows Church burial ground, Bispham, Lancashire. His last known address was The Knowle, Devonshire Road, Blackpool
Sgt. Reginald Burchell How. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 45. Son of James William and Emily Ada How. Husband of Mary Una How of Ipswich, Suffolk
Sgt. Dartnall is buried in Lemvig Cemetery (courtesy Euro-T-Guide and Flt Sgt. Smithson is remembered on the Batley Carr War Memorial (courtesy Gordon Hodgson )
Sgt. George Herbert Dartnall. Lemvig Cemetery, Denmark. Grave Ref: Grave 714. Son of George Herbert Lanworth Dartnall and Ellen Elizabeth Datrnall. No further information.
Above: Memorial to Flt Sgt. Smithson gate at Batley Carr Holy Trinity Church, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire (courtesy Gordon Hodgson) and Runnymede Panel 37 (courtesy Ian Winterburn - taken by his father who was a former 22 Sqn Beaufort WOp/Air Gnr in 1960)
Flt Sgt. William Smithson. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 37. Son of Albert and Ellen Smithson of Batley Carr, Dewsbury, Yorkshire, England
Sgt. Kenneth Quick. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 50. Son of Arnold and Ethel Quick of Velindre, Port Talbet, Glamorgan, Wales.
Kenneth is remembered on the Port Talbot Roll of Honour
Researched by Kate Tame of Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew (Jun 2016). With special thanks to Michel Beckers, Charles Sale - Gravestone Photographic Resources, Gordon Hodgson - Yorkshire Indexers,British Newspaper Archives, Find a Grave ABD48, Euro-t-guide. Thanks to Ian Winterburn for the photograph of his uncle and the Runnymede panel, Flt Sgt. Smithson. (Mar 2022).
Other sources as indicated below:
RS 10.03.2022 - Updated and addition of photograph of Flt Sgt. Smithson
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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