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4th April, 1941

Armstrong Whitworth Whitley MkV (Z6556 - code MH-Q)
Trébeurden (22)

(contributors : Vincent Sévellec/ABSA 39-45 - Commonwealth War Graves Commission)


A Royal Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bomber in flight, circa 1940 © RAF public domain

Crew

- Flight Lieutenant (pilot) HARRINGTON, JAMES (K.I.A.)
51 SQN. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
- Sergeant (pilot) PURDON, JOHN KIRKWOOD (K.I.A.)
51 SQN. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
- Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.) FARMER, DANIEL GILFILLAN (K.I.A.)
51 SQN. Royal Air Force
- Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.) CALVERT, CECIL (K.I.A.)
51 SQN. Royal Air Force
- Sergeant (Obs.) KNIGHTON, THOMAS HALFORD (K.I.A.)
1 SQN. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

THE STORY

Mission on the Bay of Brest between 9:25 pm and 10:55 pm, 90 aircrafts attacked without any real success the ships based in the harbor. 12 Whitley V of 51 Squadron used for the mission, one of them was shot down by mistake on the British territory, a second one crashed in Trebeurden. Two other aircrafts crashed around midnight on the way back.

12 Whitley V of 51 Sqdn

13 Whitley V of 77 Sqdn

1 Whitley V of 78 Sqdn

1 Stirling of 57 Sqdn

11 Blenheim IV of 101 Sqdn. Blenheim coded N3552 was missing in action. A second one crashed on the way back in England (code T2439).

1 Whitley V of 102 Sqdn

51 Wellington of 40, 57, 75, 115, 214, 218 Squadrons. Wellington R1470 was shot down in England by a Junkers Ju 88.

IN MEMORIAM

The crew is buried in Trebeurden communal cemetery :
Flight Lieutenant HARRINGTON, JAMES - Grave 2
aged 28, native of Clontarf Castle - County of Dublin, Ireland
Sergeant PURDON, JOHN KIRKWOOD - 
Grave 1
aged 20, native of Bridlington, coastal city of east Yorkshire, in Northern England.
Sergeant FARMER, DANIEL GILFILLAN - 
Grave 5
aged 23, native of Glasgow, Scotland
Sergeant CALVERT, CECIL - 
Grave 3
aged 19, native of the city of Sunderland, County of Durham, England
Sergeant KNIGHTON, THOMAS HALFORD - Grave 4
aged 26, native of the city of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England

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