Traces of World War 2 
RAF - No. 12 Operational Training Unit
10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

      home - latest update 8 February 2008

No. 12 OTU - Fairey Battle I
Bomber Command

History | Operations and losses | Sources | Links | Books | Questions and/or remarks

52, 63 and 207 Squadron were re-formed as No 12 Operational Training Unit in April 1940.

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Operations and losses 10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940
Not all operations listed; those with fatal losses are.

24/05/1940: training?, UK. 1 Plane lost, 2 KIA (+1 unidentified)
11/06/1940: training?, UK 1 Plane lost, 1 KIA
20/06/1940: ?, UK. 1 Plane lost, 1 MIA

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24/05/1940: ?, UK

Fairey Battle I
Serial number: L4977, -?
Operation: ?
Lost: 24/05/1940
Pilot Officer (Pilot) William D. Finlayson, RAF 36268 (NZ), [12 Operational Training Unit], age 25, 24/05/1940, Ford Park Cemetery (formerly Plymouth Old Cemetery) (Pennycomequick), UK
See his page on the Cenotaph database for a photo.
Pilot Officer (Pilot) Peter K. Sigley, RAF 36276 (NZ), age 25, 24/05/1940, Ford Park Cemetery (Formerly Plymouth Old Cemetery)(Pennycomequick), UK
See his page on the Cenotaph database for biography and photos.
This plane, flying in low cloud and poor visibility, crashed into a hill at Bowd Croff in Devonshire at 1120 hrs, resulting in the death of all three crew. The name of the third crew member is (yet) unknown, but he must be one of the men of unknown units who died on 24/05/1940.

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11/06/1940: ?, UK

Type: Fairey Battle I
Serial number: ?, -?
Operation: ?
Lost: 11/06/1940
Pilot Officer Basil P. Thomson, RAF 36264 (NZ), age 20, 11/06/1940, Benson (or Bensington) (St. Helen) Churchyard Extension, UK
Pilot Officer Thomson was the pilot of a Battle aircraft which took off in the early morning for a short cross-country flight. It suffered engine failure immediately after take off and crashed and burned near Benson.
Fate of other crew member unknown by the editor of this page.
See his page on the Cenotaph database, where his date of death is incorrectly mentioned as 6 November 1940.

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20/06/1940: ?, UK

Fairey Battle I
Serial number: K9420, -?
Operation: ?
Lost: 20/06/1940
P/O Denman, 42595
Name second crew member unknown
Third crew member likely to be: Sergeant Frederick L. Anderson, RAFVR 743074, age 22, 20/06/1940, missing
Ditched off Seaton, Devon. 'Three fishermen rowed quickly to the spot and rescued two airmen. The third had been jammed in the fuselage and had gone down with the aeroplane, which had sunk within a few minutes of crashing. - Rewards, £2 5s' (RNLI Records of Service 1939-46)
(source: RafCommands)

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Air of Authority
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database
Australian War Memorial
Bail-outs for 1940
Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
RAF - Campaign Diary - The Battle of France (May-June 1940)
RAF Museum: British Military Aviation in 1940
RAF Order of Battle, France, 10th May 1940
Royal Air Force History Section
The Royal Air Force, 1939-1945
The Second World War - a day by day account
The War in France and Flanders, 1939-1940, by Major L.F. Ellis, 1954

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W.R. Chorley, Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses. Volume 7: Operational Training Units 1940-1947: Operational Training Losses 1940-1947 v. 7, Midland Publishing, 2002
Jack Dickinson 'The time of my life: life with 218 & 623 Sqns'
Bill Randle 'Blue skies & dark nights'
D Reader 'A village in wartime: the story of RAF Chipping Warden' (1995)
Albert & Ian Smith 'Mosquito Pathfinder' (Crecy Publishing 2004)

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Discussion Groups
Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum
RAF Commands Forum

Abbreviations used in the Royal Air Force
Air Aces
Airwar over Denmark
Allied World War II Casualties in the Netherlands
Armée de l'Air - Order of Battle, 10th May 1940
Australian Wargraves
Axis History Factbook
De Belgen in Engeland 1940-1945 (in Dutch)
Belgian Aviation History Association Archaeological Team
British Aircraft Directory
British Aviation Archaeological Council - Books and research links
Canada's Air Force History
HMS Cavalier
Ciel de Gloire (in French) RAF Squadrons
CWGC Cemeteries Germany
CWGC Cemeteries Netherlands
Czechoslovak airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
Danish WW2 Pilots

Dutch Pilots in RAF Squadrons
Eagles Squadrons (American pilots in the RAF)
Foreign Aircraft Landings in Ireland 1939-1946
Håkans aviation page (from Sweden, in English)
'High flight', poem by John Gillespie Magee
An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, poem by W.B. Yeats
Jagdgeschwader 27 (in German)
Luchtoorlog ('Arial War', in Dutch, with many photos)
Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth
The Luftwaffe, 1933-1945
Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum
The National Ex-Prisoners of War Association
Nordic Aviation during WW2 aircraft of WW2
Polish Air Force 1940-1947 Operations Record Books
RAF Battle of Britain
RAF Upwood
De Slag om de Grebbeberg
Warbird Alley
War over Holland
World War II Aircraft wrecksites in Norway

Aircraft crashes on the North Yorkshire Moors, England
The Lancastershire Aircraft Investigation Team
Luftfahrt-Archäologie in Schleswig Holstein (in German)
North East Diary 1939-1945
Wartime Leicester and Leicestershire

The Aerodrome - Aces and Aircraft of World War 1
WW1 Cemeteries

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This page is dedicated to the men of No. 12 Operational Training Unit

© Bart FM Droog / Rottend Staal Online 2008. Permission granted for use of the data gathered here for non commercial purposes, if this source is mentioned with a link to