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19th July 1944

Handley Page Halifax Mk V (LL387 code NF-P)
In the sea off Saint-Pair sur Mer (50)

(contribution : Bob Body from the website "The Tempsford Special Duties Squadrons" - Jimmy TUAL)


Handley Page Halifax Mark V
© IWM (CH 11529) public domain

Crew (138 Squadron RAF):

- Flying Officer Nigel Leslie St George PLEASANCE 25 years old, RAF Volunteer Reserve
Panel 208 RUNNYMEDE Memorial

- Sergeant (gunner) John ALLISON, 21 years old, RAF Volunteer Reserve
II. M. 16 BAYEUX WAR CEMETERY

- Flight Lieutenant Herbert Denis BINNS, 21 years old, RAF Volunteer Reserve
Panel 201 RUNNYMEDE Memorial

- Sergeant (gunner) William Logan DALGLISH, 20 years old, RAF
IX. F. 1. BENY-SUR-MER CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY, REVIERS

- Sergeant Thomas FERGUS, 29 years old, RAF Volunteer Reserve
Panel 229 RUNNYMEDE Memorial

- Sergeant Eric Richard HEARN, 21 years old, RAF Volunteer Reserve
Panel 231 RUNNYMEDE Memorial

- Sergeant (Radio Operator - gunner) Raymond Leslie LEE, 21 years old, RAF Volunteer Reserve
VIII. C. 17 BAYEUX WAR CEMETERY

Halifax mk v ll387 crew 1
The crew of Halifax LL387 : Nigel Pleasance centre. The others are Raymond Lee, Herbert Binns, Thomas Fergus, Eric Hearn, William Dalglish and John Allison
Photo © The Tempsford Special Duties Squadron

THE STORY

The aircraft of no 138 (Special Duties) Squadron had taken off from the Tempsford base to drop equipment to the Resistance in Chauvigny (Haute-Loire). It disappeared during the night of July 18 to 19, and the wreckage was not found but we may think that the aircraft fell off Saint-Pair-sur-Mer (50), during its return flight.

But why presenting an aircraft that fell off Normandy coasts in the ABSA 39-45 website ? Just because of the three bodies that were found, two were found on the Normandy coast and the third in Ploubalay, in the Côtes d'Armor (Brittany). This 3rd body was discovered on August 15, 1944 in a stream connecting to the sea at La Roche en Lancieux and was identified by American soldiers as being a British airman. The American soldiers took away the papers found on the body, leaving only an identity plate with the following inscriptions: 1.614. 168 CE - RL L. EE. This plate was left at the town hall of Lancieux.

Shipwright 9 pleasance hw
Debriefing report for the operation stating that the Halifax was missingPhoto © The Tempsford Special Duties Squadron

Halifax mk v ll387
Document mentioning that the mission was a success (material delivered) but we do not know whether the Halifax LL387 could deliver the material. The remark regarding the operation "Shipwright 9" of the F / O Pleasance says : "The Field (understand the Resistance) acknowledges the success of this operation. They do not state how much material was received and so it cannot be determined whether the missing aircraft (our Halifax) was successful or not."
Photo © The Tempsford Special Duties Squadrons

We would like to thank Bob Body from the website "The Tempsford Special Duties Squadrons" for his valuable information and documents.

 

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