Traces of World War 2 
RAF - 44 Squadron
10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

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44 SQUADRON - Bomber - Handley Page Hampden

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Commanded at the outbreak of the Second World War by Wing Commander JN Boothman of Schneider Trophy fame, the squadron's early operations consisted mainly of North Sea sweeps, security patrols and minelaying. There followed raids on land communications, on Hitler's concentrations of invasion barges in the Channel and North Sea ports, on Luftwaffe airfields and naval targets, as well as the first raids on German industrial centres.

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Operations and losses 10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

Only operations with losses are listed

15/05/1940: Breda, NL. 1 Plane lost, 4 KIA
23-24/05/1940: Communications, D. 1 Plane lost, 4 KIA
03-04/06/1940: Emmerich, D. 1 Plane lost, 3 MIA

11-12/06/1940: Battle Area, F. 1 Plane lost, 4 KIA

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Losses 01/01/1940 - 09/05/1940 (incomplete)

Sergeant James Munn, RAF 580698, 44 Sqdn., age 19, 09/02/1940, Dalnottar Cemetery, UK

Sergeant Alfred A.G. Dowle, RAF 514307, 44 Sqdn., age 28, 16/02/1940, Cardiff Western Cemetery, UK

Sergeant Raymond W. Cross, RAF 581037, 44 Sqdn., age 21, 26/03/1940, missing
Aircraftman 1st Class Anthony C. Hamman, RAF 551348, 44 Sqdn., age unknown, 26/03/1940, missing
Sergeant Albert R. Jones, RAF 566191, 44 Sqdn., age 23, 26/03/1940, missing
Sergeant Stephen A. Williams, RAF 580191, 44 Sqdn., age 23, 26/03/1940, missing

Corporal Harold D. Brown, RAF 613213, 44 Sqdn., age unknown, 12/04/1940, missing
Corporal John H. Evans, RAF 532819, 44 Sqdn., age 22, 12/04/1940, missing
Corporal William H.G. Evans, RAF 566421, 44 Sqdn., age 24, 12/04/1940, missing
Sergeant William J. Ison, RAF 580659, 44 Sqdn., age 18, 12/04/1940, missing
Flying Officer Kenneth J.A. Johnstone, RAF 40229, 44 Sqdn., age 24, 12/04/1940, missing
Flying Officer (Pilot) Harry W. Robson, RAF 39759, 44 Sqdn., age 22, 12/04/1940, Frederikshavn Cemetery, Denmark
Flying Officer William G. Taylor, RAF 40155, 44 Sqdn., age 23, 12/04/1940, missing
Sergeant Joseph R. Tonkiss, RAF 564502, 44 Sqdn., age unknown, 12/04/1940, missing

See: Airwar over Denmark, Hampden I P1173

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15/05/1940: Breda

Type: HP52 Hampden Mk.B.1
Serial number: P4286 KM-?
Operation: Breda, NL
Lost: 15/05/1940 (4 KIA)
Flying Officer (Pilot) Leslie J. Ashfield, RAF 40198, 44 Sqdn., age 22, 15/05/1940,Oosterhout Protestant Cemetery, NL
Pilot Officer (Pilot) Charles D. Crawley, RAF 41380, 44 Sqdn., age 24, 15/05/1940, Oosterhout Protestant Cemetery, NL
Sergeant (Obs.) Francis W. McKinlay, RAF 581187, 44 Sqdn., age 23, 15/05/1940, Oosterhout Protestant Cemetery, NL
Corporal (W. Op./Air Gnr.) Frank Preston, RAF 551160, 44 Sqdn., age 20, 15/05/1940, Oosterhout Protestant Cemetery, NL
Airborne from Waddington. Crashed at Oosterhout (Noord-Brabant), 8 km NE of Breda, Holland.

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23-24/05/1940: Communications, D

Type: HP52 Hampden Mk.B.1
Serial number: L4171, KM-?
Operation: Communications, D
Lost: 24/05/1940
Squadron Leader (Pilot) Charles E. Johnson, RAF 37290, 44 Sqdn., age unknown, 24/05/1940, Rheinberg War Cemetery, G
Pilot Officer (Pilot) David C. Barker, RAF 42043, 44 Sqdn., age 19, 24/05/1940, Rheinberg War Cemetery, G
Sergeant (Obs.) Harold G. Collins, RAF 517528, 44 Sqdn., age 26, 24/05/1940, Rheinberg War Cemetery, G
Corporal (W. Op. [Air]) William Crook, RAF 532528, 44 Sqdn., age 23, 24/05/1940, Rheinberg War Cemetery, G
Airborne from Waddington to attack rail communication in tactical support of the BEF, France. Hit by Flak and crashed near Aachen, Germany.

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03-04/06/1940: Emmerich, D

Type: HP52 Hampden Mk.B.1
Serial number: P1340, KM-?
Operation: Emmerich, D
Lost: 04/06/1940 (3 MIA)
Sgt E.J. Spencer
Pilot Officer Reginald W. Roots, RAF 36202 (NZ), 44 Sqdn., age 20, 04/06/1940, missing
Sergeant Albert G. Kendrew, RAFVR 624417, 44 Sqdn., age 20, 04/06/1940, missing
Sergeant Samuel P. Connell, RAF 580913, 44 Sqdn., age unknown, 04/06/1940, missing
Airborne from Waddington. Crashed into the River Orwell near Harwich, Essex, after colliding with a barrage balloon cable. The Hampden was abandoned but only the pilot was saved. He owes his life to Petty Officer B. Driver RN, who heard his cries for help and who dived into the river and found Sgt Spencer clinging to a buoy. The bodies of his crew were never recovered from the water. Their names are recorded on the Runnymede Memorial.

When the author of the book 'The Hampden File', the late ex-Sgt Observer Harry Moyle, (which forms the basis for this Hampden history) heard that the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Co, were intending to extend the dock facilities, he approached them and advised them that their dredging activities couls well disturb a war grave. They proved most sympathetic to his concerns and undertook to take great care when in the area of the crash site and to keep him appraised of any findings.

It was at this point that Harry Moyle approached the Transco representative (previously known as British Gas) whose dutied required him to fly over the Harwich/Felixstowe Docks on a regular basism as part of the aerial safety patrol of the high pressure gas pipelines. He was able to provide Harry with a series of photographs of the site wherein it was believed lay the Hampden wreck. It also helped to keep him aware of how close the extension to the docks was getting. Eventually the dredger brought up items of wreckage, which were identified by Harry Moyle as belonging to P1340.

In recognition of the sacrifice of the three lost crew members, The Felixstowe Dock and Railway Co. commissioned a Memorial to be placed in the newly created public viewing area on the seaward side of the docks at Felixstowe. The memorial was duly dedicated earlier this year (1999) and is located near to a temporary display showing the developement of the docks.

Source: Bomber Command Association' Newsletter, Oct. 1999, via Lost Bombers

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11-12/06/1940: Battle Area, F

Type: HP52 Hampden Mk.B.1
Serial number: P1325, KM-?
Operation: Battle Area, F
Lost: 12/06/1940 (4 KIA)
Flight Sergeant (Pilot) Cyril L. Sumpster, RAF 564422, 44 Sqdn., age 26, 12/06/1940, Le Paradis War Cemetery, Lestrem, F
Sergeant (Pilot) William Jeffrey, RAF 564866, 44 Sqdn., age 27, 12/06/1940, Le Paradis War Cemetery, Lestrem, F
Sergeant Jack F. Sandall, RAF 516159, 44 Sqdn., age 28, 12/06/1940, Le Paradis War Cemetery, Lestrem, F
Sergeant James Simpson, RAF 526079, 44 Sqdn., age 25, 12/06/1940, Le Paradis War Cemetery, Lestrem, F
Airborne from Waddington. Crashed near Le Paradis (Pas de Calais), 7 km N of Béthune, France. Le Paridis War Cemetery is the cemtery where 95 officers and men of the 2nd Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment rest, who were murdered by No. 4 Company of the 1st Battalion of the 2nd S.S. Totenkopf (Deathshead) Regiment, on 27/05/1940.

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44 Squadron Casualties
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Lost Bombers
The Royal Air Force, 1939-1945
RAF History - Bomber Command - 44 Squadron
RAF History - 44 Squadron
RAF Museum: British Military Aviation in 1940
War over Holland

Books and articles

'44 Squadron: anniversary publication newspaper' (Lincolnshire Echo 1992)
Bomber Command Association' Newsletter, Oct. 1999
W.R. Chorley, Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War, Volume 1, 1939/40, Midland Counties Publications, ISBN 0 904597 85 7
Cecil Lewis 'Sagittarius Rising' (RFC) (Peter Davies 1936)
Chris Ward '44 Squadron' (Bomber Command Profile no. 13)
A N White '44 (Rhodesia) Sqn RAF on operations' (White 1977)


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
HMS Cavalier
CWGC Cemeteries Germany
CWGC Cemeteries Netherlands
Czechoslovak airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
Danish WW2 Pilots

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)
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
De Slag om de Grebbeberg
Warbird Alley
War over Holland
World War II Aircraft wrecksites in Norway
North East Diary 1939-1945
Wartime Leicester and Leicestershire

The Aerodrome - Aces and Aircraft of World War 1

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This page is dedicated to the men of 44 Squadron.

© Bart FM Droog / Rottend Staal Online 2007. Permission granted for use of the data gathered here for non commercial purposes, if this source is mentioned with a link to