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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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12th February 1943 263 Squadron Whirlwind I P7052 Sgt. Williams

Operation: Rhubarb 164

Date: 12th February 1943 (Friday)

Unit: No. 263 Squadron (motto: Ex ungue leonem - 'One knows the lion by his claws'). 10 Group

Type: Whirlwind I

Serial: P7052

Code: HE-?

Base: RAF Warmwell, Dorset

Location: English Channel - see map

Pilot: Sgt. David John Williams 1314587 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed


Taking off at 08:30 hrs together with F/O. Philip Harvey DFC (1) 102571. They attacked two trains with cannon fire and also bombed a railway siding at Port Bail.

P7052 was hit by flak from a train and was observed to ditch successfully on the water and was last seen organising his dinghy.

F/O. Harvey returned to RAF Warmwell at 10:00 hrs but insisted on escorting the Walrus that was detailed to make a rescue.

Sadly the weather had turned making it impossible for the Walrus. Despite a further attempt later in the afternoon no trace of the pilot was found.

(1) 23 year old, F/O. Philip Harvey DFC was listed as missing - believed killed on Saturday the 17th April 1943 flying Whirlwind I P7090 on a Rhubarb operation over Caens, France.

Burial details:

Sgt. David John Williams. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 170. Son of David John and Elizabeth Ann Williams, of Mountain Ash, Glamorgan, Wales.

F/O. Philip Harvey DFC. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 125. Son of the Right Revd. Thomas Arnold Harvey, D.D., Lord Bishop of Cashel, and Isabel Harvey, of Bishopsgrove, Waterford, Republic of Ireland and husband of Patricia Harvey (nee Watt), of Dunmore East, Co. Waterford. B.A.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Whirlwind Fighter Project, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 23-04-2021

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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: 23 April 2021, 11:49

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