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Mission: Heligoland

Date: 29th September 1939 (Friday)

Unit: No. 144 Squadron

Type: Hampden I

Serial: L4121

Code: PL-?

Base: Hemswell, Lincolnshire

Location: Sea - Between Heligoland and Wangerooge

Pilot: F/O. John Tulloch Burrill Sadler 40061 R.A.F. Age 24. Killed

Obs: Sgt. R.L. Galloway P.O.W. No: 5760 Stalag Luft Heydekrug (L6)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: A.C.1. James White Cummings 523342 R.A.F. Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Henry Stephens 580680 R.A.F. Age 20. 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 was 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. Oblt. Gunther Specht of 1./ZG26 is thought to have shot down this Hampden and also L4126.

144 Squadron Hampden

Others lost on this raid: 144 Squadron Hampden L4126 Flown by: F/O. Baughan (3 killed 1 P.O.W.) 144 Squadron Hampden L4127 Flown by: F/O. Beck (All 4 crew killed) 144 Squadron Hampden L4132 Flown by: P/O. Coste (3 killed 1 P.O.W.) 144 Squadron Hampden L4134 Flown by: W/Cmdr. Cunningham (3 killed 1 P.O.W.)

cccccccccccccccccccccccOblt. Gunther Specht - with crew.ccccccccccccccRunnymede Memorial Panel 1 (Courtesy Geoff Swallow) ccccccccccccccccc
(Courtesy Bundesarchive via Harrison)

Burial details:

F/O. John Tulloch Burrill Sadler. Runnymede Memorial Panel 1. Son of Bertie Tulloch Sadler and Emily Sadler, of East Devonport, Tasmania, Australia.

A.C.1. James White Cummings. Runnymede Memorial Panel 2. Son of James White Cumming and Lily Cumming, of Hamilton, Lanarkshire.

Sgt. William Henry Stephens. Runnymede Memorial Panel 2. Son of William Henry and Ellen Stephens.

Researched by Geoff Swallow / Bob Wilton for relatives of the crew. Acknowledgments: With thanks to the following: Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses", the superb work of the C.W.G.C.
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