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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 16049
Last updated: 16 October 2021
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Type:Bristol Beaufort Mk I
Owner/operator:22 Squadron Royal Air Force (22 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L4465
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:North Sea off Spurn Head, East Yorkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF North Coates, Lincolnshire
Destination airport:
Bristol Beaufort Mk.I L4465 ("OA-G") 22 Squadron RAF: Ditched after engine failure after mine-laying in the River Elbe, off Wilhelmshaven, Germany. (Officially listed "Beaufort L4456 missing in air operations, mine laying in the River Elbe, 15/16 April 1940"). Aircraft believed ditched into the North Sea off Spurn Head, East Yorkshire. This was the the first successful "op" for 22 Squadron's Beauforts: on the night of 15-16/4/40 nine aircraft were tasked on a "Gardening" (minelaying) sortie. All crew of Beaufort L4465 lost:

Flying Officer Arthur R. Fordham, RAF 70220, age 27, missing presumed dead, commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial
Sergeant Gerald Greenwood, RAF 566263, age 23, killed in action, buried Donisthorpe Cemetery, UK
Aircraftman 1st Class Joseph Wells, RAF 617573, missing presumed dead, commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial
Leading Aircraftman (Air Gunner) Edmund W.J. Picot, RAF 364162, age 32, buried Easton-on-the-Hill (All Saints) Churchyard, Northamptonshire

L4465 Took off from North Coates at 19.39 hrs on 15/4/40. Ditched into the North Sea off Spurn Head with engine failure while on a mining operation off the river Elbe (Germany). The two missing men are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

The "op" took place on the night of 15-16/4/40; however, as the officially recorded date of death for the crew is 15/4/40, it is presumed that L4465 crashed before midnight


1. Air Britain RAF Aircraft L1000-L9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain 1978 p 27
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/148:
3. Coastal Command Losses of the Second World War by Ross McNeil (pages 28-29)

Revision history:

19-Mar-2008 09:44 JINX Added
17-Jun-2013 17:51 Nepa Updated [Operator, Source]
30-Apr-2018 18:48 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
09-Jun-2019 20:06 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Source, Narrative]

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