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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 229669
Last updated: 11 October 2021
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Time:16:30 LT
Type:Bristol Beaufort Mk I
Owner/operator:42 Squadron Royal Air Force (42 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L4501
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:North Sea off Bergen -   Norway
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:RAF Wick, Caithness, Scotland
Destination airport:RAF Wick, Caithness, Scotland
Bristol Beaufort Mk.I L4501 (AW-A) 42 Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) when lost (Failed To Return) from combat operations over Norway. All four crew killed. According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/976): "Beaufort L4501 failed to return from attacking enemy shipping off the Norwegian coast, 21 June 1940. Aircraftman 1st Class G E Tanner, Leading Aircraftman D Gow, Pilot Officer A G Rigg and Pilot Officer M A Phillips: missing presumed dead".

Take off at RAF Wick, Caithness, Scotland, at 14.25 hours. Target: the German Battle cruiser Scharnhorst in Trondheim Harbour, Norway. L4501 was one of three 42 Squadron Beauforts assigned to attack the Scharnhorst (L4486, L4501, and L9810).

L4501 successfully bombed the target, and was then last seen in a steep climbing right hand turn. It was attacked by two Bf 109s of II./JG 77; an engine burst into flames and the aircraft crashed into the sea off Bergen, Norway. As stated above, all four crew killed, and were posted as "missing, presumed killed in action"

Crew of Beaufort L4501:
Pilot Officer Marcel Adrian Philips, RAF 44259, age 27, posted 21/06/1940, as missing, presumed killed in action
Pilot Officer Alan George Rigg, RAF 41067, posted 21/06/1940, as missing, presumed killed in action
Leading Aircraftman Denholm Gow, RAF 532923, posted 21/06/1940, as missing, presumed killed in action
Aircraftman 1st Class George Edward Tanner, RAF 625471, age 19, posted 21/06/1940, as missing, presumed killed in action

As no trace of Beaufort L4501 or its crew of four was ever found, they are Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-L9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1978)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/976:

Revision history:

02-Oct-2019 20:25 Dr. John Smith Added
04-Oct-2019 06:27 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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