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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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138 Squadron crest
19/20.09.1943 No. 138 Squadron SOE Halifax V DG252 NF-B Sq/Ldr. Wilkin DFC. MiD. MC.

Operation: S.O.E. Operation "Catarh".

Date: 19/20th September 1943

Unit: No. 138 Squadron

Type: Halifax V

Serial: DG252

Code: NF-B

Base: RAF Tempsford

Location: North Sea - North of Frisians, Holland

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Richard Pennington Wilkin DFC. MiD. MC. J/6026 RCAF Age 23. Killed

Fl/Eng: P/O. George Alfred Berwick DFM. 51682 RAF Age 26. Killed

Nav: F/O. James Wilfred Henry Brown DFM. 136035 RAFVR Age 35. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Hugh Burke DFM. 129140 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Albert Hughes MC. 970899 RAFVR Age 23. Missing


The records shows that this Halifax V DG952 was using a 5 man crew and crashed into the sea at the location shown above. No German Night fighter claims have been made for this loss but it is thought that they were shot down. 


P/O. George Alfred Berwick D.F.M. also shown with his wife Betty. (courtesy Sandra Uden)

The Military Cross awarded to Sq/Ldr. Richard Wilkin and Fl/Sgt. Albert Hughes were awarded by the Czechoslavakian Airforce.



138 Squadron during World War II, was reformed in 1941, from No. 1419 Flight, as No. 138 (Special Duties) Squadron. It was based at RAF Tempsford, and was tasked with dropping agents and equipment of the Special Operations Executive inside occupied territory. It carried out this role until March 1945 when it was reassigned to Bomber Command, operating under No. 3 Group. 


Burial details:

S/Ldr. Richard Pennington Wilkin DFC. MiD. MC. Terschelling (West Terschelling) General Cemetery. Grave 109. Son of William Lewis Wilkin and Hilda Richardson Wilkin, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Born in August 1917, London, England.

P/O. George Alfred Berwick DFM. Barradeel (Pietersbierum) Protestant Churchyard. Row 29. Grave 2. Son of George Alfred and Hannah Berwick, husband of Elizabeth Berwick, of New Barnet, Hertfordshire, England.

F/O. James Wilfred Henry Brown DFM. Harlingen General Cemetery. Plot E. Row 4. Grave 15. Son of John and Elizabeth A. Brown, of Nottingham, England.

F/O. Hugh Burke DFM. Ameland (Nes) General Cemetery. Plot D. Row 11. Grave 24. Son of John William and Florence Burke, husband of Edith Burke, of Harworth, Yorkshire, England.

Fl/Sgt. Albert Hughes MC. Runnymede Memorial Panel 137. Son of William and Hannah Hughes, of Walton, Liverpool, England.

For further details our thanks to the following, Sandra Uden for the supply of the photographs of her Uncle, P/O. George Berwick. Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and  2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries (Updated 2014 version), Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Les Allison and Harry Hayward - 'They Shall Grow Not Old’.

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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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