Traces of World War 2 
RAF - 9 Squadron
10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

      home - latest update 7 April 2008

9 SQUADRON - Bomber, Vickers Wellington
Bomber Command

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In February 1939, 9 Squadron moved to Honington and received Wellingtons. It was with these that it was involved in anti-shipping sorties in the early stages of World War II. These were replaced in turn by the famous Lancaster bomber in September 1942 and the unit became part of Bomber Command's strategic offensive against German targets and was now based at Waddington.

For the first four months of the war, No. 9 Squadron conducted day-light anti-shipping sweeps over the North Sea, taking steadily increases loses, until 18 December 1939, when five aircraft were shot down by German fighters. After that the squadron concentrated on night time operations.

The main result of this was that No. 9 Squadron, like the rest of Bomber Command, had a relatively quite time until the spring of 1940. This ended in April 1940 with the German invasion of Norway. A detachment from No. 9 Squadron moved to Lossiemouth in Scotland, to support the allied expedition to Norway.

No. 9 played a full part in the strategic bombing offensive against Germany.

Wellington L4288, Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum

More than 11,400 Wellington bombers were produced by Britain in WW 2, more than any other bomber ever built in this country. Only two examples remain in museums. In 1982/3 the museum recovered considerable remains from Wellington I L4288 from marshland near the village of Sapiston, Suffolk (above). The wreckage held by the museum is thought to be the largest Wellington I remains in existence. The fuselage centre section, nacelles and wing spars make this an extremely substantial wreck. A complete Pegasus XVII radial engine and propeller were also recovered and have been stripped down and restored by museum staff. The L4288 remains now form the centrepiece of the new RAF Bomber Command display building at Flixton. L4288 was one of two Wellington aircraft from No.9 Squadron which crashed following a mid-air collision near RAF Honington on 30th October 1939. All nine crewmen were killed, and the graves of five can be seen at Honington Churchyard.

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

10-11/05/1940: Waalhaven, NL (-)
16-17/05/1940: Gelsenkirchen, D. 1 Plane lost
22-23/05/1940: Namur (Namen), B. 1 Plane lost
29/05/1940: accident, UK, 1 DOI
05-06/06/1940: Duisburg, D. 1 Plane lost, 2 KIA, 4 POW
13-14/06/1940: Pont-de-l'Arche, F.
1 Plane lost, 6 KIA
18-19/06/1940: Leverkussen, D. 1 Plane lost, 6 MIA
21-22/06/1940: Bremen, D. 1 Plane lost

KIA = Killed in Action; MIA = Missing in Action; DOI = Died of Injuries; POW = Prisoner of War

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

Flight Lieutenant Edward R. Berrill, RAF 34206, 9 Sqdn., age unknown, 08/03/1940, Brookwood Military Cemetery, UK
Corporal Roy Jackson, RAF 532409, 9 Sqdn., age 23, 08/03/1940, Brookwood Military Cemetery, UK
Aircraftman 1st Class Leonard L.J. Mackenzie, RAF 621783, 9 Sqdn., age 19, 08/03/1940, East Sheen Cemetery, UK
Sergeant (Obs.) Cornelius T. Murphy, RAF 580800 (Ireland), 9 Sqdn., age 20, 08/03/1940, Cork (St. Finbarr's) Cemetery, Ireland

Sergeant James D. Aitchison, RAF 563022, 9 Sqdn. age 25, 12/04/1940, missing - Runnymede Memorial
Sergeant William L. Balmer, RAF 564120, 9 Sqdn. age 27, 12/04/1940, missing
Sergeant Charles R. Bowen, RAF 562025, 9 Sqdn. age 27, 12/04/1940, missing
Leading Aircraftman Ralph J. Lamb, RAF 536874, 9 Sqdn., age 27, 12/04/1940, missing
Aircraftman 1st Class Percy F. Ricketts, RAF 540110, 9 Sqdn., age 22, 12/04/1940, missing
Leading Aircraftman John L. Wilkin, RAF 534598, 9 Sqdn., age 19, 12/04/1940, missing

Aircraftman 1st Class Frederick G. Settle, RAF 624835, 9 Sqdn., age 23, 07/05/1940, Bolton (Heaton) Cemetery, UK

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10-11/05/1940: Waalhaven, NL

During the late evening and the night several bomber flights from the RAF paid a visit to Waalhaven. These 36 Wellington medium bombers dropped a total of 58 tonnes of bombes [each plane dropped 18 off 200 lbs bombs] on the airfield itself and the direct surroundings. The only enemy opposition they faced was the light FLAK that had been flown in during the 10th [2 cm AA]. The majority of the planes operated from an altitude of 2,000 - 2,500 feet - well within the range of the FLAK. The raids started around 2230 hours and lasted until about 0400. No aircrafts were shot down and only one crew member returned home wounded [from shrapnel].

- 6 Wellingtons No.9 Sq. Afb. Honington [S/L Peacock, KIA 06/06/1940]
- 3 Wellingtons No.37 Sq. Afb. Marham [jointly with 75 Sq., S/L Glencross]
- 6 Wellingtons No.38 Sq. Afb. Marham [F/L MacFadden]
- 3 Wellingtons No.75 [NZ] Sq. Afb. Feltwell [jointly with 37 Sq., S/L Glencross]
- 6 Wellingtons No.99 Sq. Afb Newmarket [S/L Bertram]
- 6 Wellingtons No.115 Sq. Afb. Marham [unknown]
- 6 Wellingtons No.149 Sq. Afb. Mildenhall [S/L Harrie]

Source: War over Holland

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16-17/05/1940: Gelsenkirchen, D

Type: Wellington Mk.1A
Serial number: N3015, WS-?
Operation: Gelsenkirchen, D
Lost: 17/05/1940
F/O J.R.T.Smalley
Sgt Wood
Sgt Smith
Sgt Finch
P/O Peace
Sgt Taylor
Airborne 2045 16May40 from Honington. Strayed off track on return and ditched off Granville (Manche), France. The crew escaped injury and returned to Honington within a few days of the incident.

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22-23/05/1940: Namur (Namen), B

Type: Wellington Mk.1A
Serial number: L7777 (L7779 on Lost Bombers), WS-?
Operation: Communications, Namur (Namen), B
Lost: 23/05/1940
F/O K.H.V. Day
P/O Kaye
Sgt Cook
Sgt Read
Sgt McMahon
Sgt Bowen
Airborne from Honington. Crash landed 01.50 hrs on Abingdon airfield after straying off track on the return flight. No crew injuries.

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29/05/1940: Shooting accident, UK

Aircraftman 2nd Class William E. Middleton, RAF 613210, 9 sqdn., age unknown, 29/05/1940, Selby Cemetery, UK
AC2 W.E. Middleton was accidentally shot and died of his injuries. Location: Honington

Sources: CWGC and Gordon Thorburn, 'Bombers First and Last', 2006, with thanks to Errol Martyn.

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05-06/06/1940: Duisburg, D

Type: Wellington Mk.1A
Serial number: P9232, WS-M
Operation: Duisburg, D
Lost: 06/06/1940
Squadron Leader (Pilot) George E. Peacock, RAF 33067, 9 Sqdn., DFC, age 26, Geervliet (Simonshaven) Protestant Churchyard, NL
P/O B.A.James PoW
Sergeant (Obs.) Ronald C. Hargrave, RAF 580775, 9 Sqdn., DFM, age 26, 06/06/1940, Geervliet (Simonshaven) Protestant Churchyard, NL
Sgt A.K.Griffiths PoW
P/O S.W.Webster PoW
LAC C.Murton PoW
Airborne from Honington. Shot down by Flak soon after crossing the Dutch coast. Crashed near Simonshaven (Zuid Holland) in the commune of Geervliet, 16 km SW of Rotterdam, Holland.

B.A. James: 'I was shot down over the Dutch coast in 1940 over Holland. I was the pilot of a Wellington, operating in 9 Squadron from Honington, Suffolk.
We were caught in a searchlight cone at about 10,000 feet and shot down by heavy anti-aircraft fire.

I walked all night and tried to get to the coast but at that time it was full of Germans. They invaded as everybody knows on 10th May, so I was caught in the morning and taken to various places and interrogated.'

Sgt A.K.Griffiths was interned in Camp 357, PoW No.500. P/O B.A.'Jimmy' James in 2A/L1/L3/21B/L3, PoW No.2263. Was 39th out in the Great Escape from Sagan (L3). Completed a Home Run, Awarded MC, 17May46. LAC C.Murton in Camps 12A/L1/8B/L3/L6/357, PoW No.52562. P/O S.W.Webster in Camps 12A/2A/L1/L3, PoW No.2253.

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13-14/06/1940: Pont-de-l'Arche, F.

Type: Wellington Mk.1A
Serial number: L7787, WS-J
Operation: Pont-de-l'Arche (south of Rouen) , F
Lost: 14/06/1940
Sergeant (Pilot) Robert Hewitt, RAF 521236, 9 Sqdn., age 24, 13/06/1940, Drosay Churchyard, F
Sergeant (Pilot) Frank R. Edwards, RAFVR 741487, 9 Sqdn., age 21, 13/06/1940, Drosay Churchyard, F
Sergeant (Obs.) Leonard W. Routledge, RAF 580737, 9 Sqdn., age 22, 13/06/1940, Drosay Churchyard, F
Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Frederick D. Hardy, RAF 624501, 9 Sqdn., age 19, 13/06/1940, Drosay Churchyard, F
Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Selwyn F. Youngson, RAF 632041, 9 Sqdn., age 22, 13/06/1940, Drosay Churchyard, F
Sergeant (Air Gnr) Cecil B. Kircher, RAF 515103, 9 Sqdn., age 27, 13/06/1940, Drosay Churchyard, F
Airborne from Honington. Crashed at Drosay (Seine Maritime) 7 km NNW of Doudeville, France, cause not established, early am.

Sources: CWGC; Peter D. Cornwell, The Battle of France, Then and Now, 2008;
W.R. Chorley, Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War, Volume 1, 1939/40

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18-19/06/1940: Leverkussen, D

Type: Wellington Mk.1A
Serial number: N2897, WS-P
Operation: Leverkussen, D
Lost: 19/06/1940
Pilot Officer Francis C.J. Butler, RAFVR 76576, 9 Sqdn., age 25, 19/06/1940, missing
Sergeant Raymond G. Elliott, RAFVR 740509, 9 Sqdn., age 24, 19/06/1940, missing
Sergeant Alan T. Legg, RAFVR 902217, 9 Sqdn., age unknown, 19/06/1940, missing
Sergeant Kevin B. Brennan, RAF 549506, 9 Sqdn., age 19, 19/06/1940, missing
Sergeant Charles Naylor, RAF 581407, 9 Sqdn., age 20, 19/06/1940, missing
Sergeant Ian M. McCulloch, RAFVR 901582, 9 Sqdn., age 23, 19/06/1940, missing
Airborne 2150 18Jun40 from Honington. Crashed in the North Sea. Cause not established. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

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21-22/06/1940: Bremen, D

Type: Wellington Mk.1C
Serial number: L7807, WS-J
Operation: Bremen, D
Lost: 22/06/1940
F/O G.W.N.Nicholson
P/O N.E.Canton
Sgt G.W.Watt
Sgt J.P.Rayne Inj
Sgt J.McIntyre
P/O S.Crawford-Marks
Airborne 2015 21Jun40 from Honington. Hit by Flak and eventually forced to ditch in the North Sea 0505 22Jun40, close to a convoy of four ships. The crew were rescued by a trawler and taken into Yarmouth, Norfolk, where Sgt Rayne received treatment for his face and hand injuries.

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IX Squadron Association
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Lost Bombers
Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum - Vickers Wellington
Rickard, J (24 March 2007), No. 9 Squadron (RAF): Second World War
Royal Air Force - 9 Squadron
RAF Bomber Command - 9 Squadron
RAF Museum: British Military Aviation in 1940
The Royal Air Force, 1939-1945
War over Holland, May 1940


Jim Brookbank 'Before the dawn - poems & impressions' (Self published)
Jim Brookbank 'The Moon Shines Bright' (Bomb aimers story) (1984)
Peter D. Cornwell, The Battle of France, Then and Now, 2008
W.R. Chorley, Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War, Volume 1, 1939/40, Midland Counties Publications, ISBN 0 904597 85 7
See: for updates.
Cecil Lewis 'Sagittarius Rising' (RFC 1915) (Peter Davies 1936)
Mason '9 Sqn RAF - history' (Beaumont 1965)
Clayton Moore 'Lancaster crew'
Clayton Moore 'Lancaster Valour'
Gordon Thornburn 'Bombers First and Last' (WW2 history) (Robson Books 2006)
Chris Ward '9 Squadron' (Bomber Command Profile no. 2)
Fred Whitfield 'We sat alone'


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

Abbreviations used in the Royal Air Force
Code Names & RAF Vocabulary

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
Biplane Fighter Aces from the Second World War
The Bristol & District Blitz War Memorial - A register of those who lost their lives due to enemy action in Bristol and surrounding districts, 1940-1944
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
'High flight', poem by John Gillespie Magee
Holocaust Memorial Day and Channel Islands Occupation Memorial
I Remember (in Russian and English)
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
Order of Liberation (in French/English/Spanish) aircraft of WW2
Polish Air Force 1940-1947 Operations Record Books
RAF Battle of Britain
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De Slag om de Grebbeberg (Dutch)
Test Flying Memorial
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 9 Squadron.

© Bart FM Droog / Rottend Staal Online 2007-2008. Permission granted for use of the data gathered here for non commercial purposes, if this source is mentioned with a link to