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Mission: Heligoland

Date: 29th September 1939 (Friday)

Unit: No. 144 Squadron

Type: Hampden I

Serial: L4132

Code: PL-?

Base: R.A.F. Hemswell, Lincolnshire.

Location: Between Heligoland and Wangerooge

Pilot: P/O. R.M. ' Gonga" Coste R.C.A.F. POW No: 20 Camp (1)

Pilot/Obs : Fl/Sgt. Siriol Williams 366471 R.A.F. Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: A/C. 2. Stanley Isherwood 621052 R.A.F. Age 19. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Charles George Williams 580687 R.A.F. Age 19. Killed


Took off at 06.40 hrs. Hemswell, Lincolnshire to bomb German warships in the Heligoland area. 11 Hampdens were sent in two formations - the first 6 attacked 2 destroyers but missed the target, the second wave of 5 were intercepted and every one shot down by Luftwaffe Me. 109's that were now in place and waiting. 16 aircrew were lost and another 4 made P.O.W.'s.

A disastrous day for 144 Squadron, losing 4 other aircraft and crews:
Hampden L4121 Flown by: F/O. John T.B. Sadler (Killed with 3 crew, 1 made p.o.w.)
Hampden L4126 Flown by: F/O. Baughan (3 killed, with the pilot a p.o.w.)
Hampden L4127 Flown by: F/O. Norman C. Beck (All 4 crew killed)
Hampden L4134 Flown by: W/Cmdr. James C. Cunningham (3 killed, 1 p.o.w.)

This Hampden L4132 was thought to have been shot down at 10.03 hrs by Uffz. Pollack (2) of I./ZG26 flying an Me109.

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A/C. 2. Stanley Isherwood 2nd row from the top, fifth man from left. (courtesy Bill Gould)

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The famous castle at Spangenberg where many early R.A.F. prisoners including P.O. Coste were held.

(1) P/O. Coste broke his right leg and suffered severe cuts to both knees during his escape from the aircraft. He was treated for 5 weeks at the German Navy hospital at Wilhelmshaven. Imprisoned in the following camps; Oflag Spangenberg, Germany, Oflag Thorn-Podgorz, Poland, Oflag Dosel bei Warburg, Oflag Schubin bei Bromberg, Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria and Stalag Luft SaganBad Sulza/Mühlhausen. Later promoted to Fl/Lt. Sadly he died in 1963.
(2) Uffz Werner Pollack missing 6th November 1943.

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Sage War Cemetery 2012

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Siriol Williams. Sage War cemetery Grave: 4.E.6.
Husband of Florence Maud Williams

A/C. 2. Stanley Isherwood. Sage War cemetery Grave: 4.E.4.
Son of Stanley and Catherine Isherwood, of Tong Moor, Bolton, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. Charles George Williams. Sage War cemetery Grave: 4.E.5.
Son of Charles and Evelyn Williams, of Westbury-on-Trym, Gloucestershire, England.

Researched for Bill Gould and his wife, relatives of Stanley Isherwood and dedicated to all the crew.
With thanks to: Oliver Clutton-Brock - "Footprints On The Sands Of Time", Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol. 1", Tom Kracker for the enormous data base "Kracker Luftwaffe Archives", Commonwealth Graves Commission.
The British Library is preserving this site for the future in the UK Web Archive at All Aircrew Remembered on our Remembrance pages, are therefor not just remembered here, but also subsequently remembered and recorded as part of our nation’s history
and heritage at The British Library.