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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 204187
Last updated: 22 October 2021
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Date:06-JUN-1942
Time:02:45 claim
Type:Short Stirling Mk I
Owner/operator:149 (East India) Squadron Royal Air Force (149 (East India) Sqn RAF)
Registration: R9314
MSN: OJ-T
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 6
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:off the Belgian coast -   Belgium
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Lakenheath
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Takeoff at 23:46 hrs for an operation against the steel-producing town of Essen in Germany.
Homeward-bound, the aircraft was attacked by the night fighter crew of Oberleutnant Heinrich Petersen & Feldwebel Ludwig Leidenbach of the 6./NJG 1, who were flying a Bf 110 E-2 from St Trond (Sint-Truiden) airfield.
The two aircraft collided which resulted in the Messerschmitt slicing off the rear turret of the Stirling. Sgt Roderick who was the rear gunner was killed. The aircraft was ditched off the coast of Belgium at 03:15. The survivors were spotted later at 14:00. An Air Sea Rescue launch from Ramsgate rescued them at 18:15 (High Speed Launch 127/27 ASRMCU, captained by Flt Lt David Jones). The crew of the 110 baled out with injuries.

On 15 June, playing children found the decomposing body of an aviator in a cornfield. The person was lying on his back on which the unopened parachute hung. In his pockets a small prayer book was found, containing his name, a whistle and a 10 shilling note. Around his neck he wore a red silk neckerchief with white balls. The victim, Sgt Keith Roderick, the missing tail gunner, was buried in the cemetery of Rijkevorsel - today he rests at Langemark in West-Vlaanderen.

Pilot:1060042 Flt Sgt Eric William Whitney
Flight Engineer: Sgt R R Shields
Observer:NZ/403606 Flt Sgt Frank Colwyn Jones RNZAF
Wireless Operator:932830 Sgt Brian Geoffrey Cheek
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner: Sgt W L Martin
Air Gunner:927348 Sgt Keith Roderick - Cement House Cemetery Belgium XVII. B. 5.

Sources:

CWGC
Bomber Command Losses 1942
Nachtjagd Combat Archive The Early Years part three
www.luchtvaartgeschiedenis.be
Shot down in the Drink Book
Google Maps


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
11-Jan-2018 17:43 Red Dragon Added
18-Oct-2018 13:47 Nepa Updated [Operator, Destination airport, Operator]
25-Apr-2020 15:42 TigerTimon Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
25-Apr-2020 15:43 TigerTimon Updated [Location]

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