27th June, 1942

Hawker HURRICANE Mk IIc - BN231 (code ZY-E )
"Toull ar Lann" - Saint Agathon (22)

(contributors : Philippe Dufrasne - Memorial Gen Web-22)

Hawker hurricane mkiic zy e
Hurricane Mk IIc - BN231 © Jean-Marie Guillou

Pilot :
Warrant Officer Class II (Pilot) WHITE, ALLAN RENE

247 sqn raf
No. 247 (China-British) Squadron (RAF)?

THE STORY

Sent on a night intruder mission over Morlaix and Saint-Brieuc, Warrant Officer Allan White takes off at 0.10 am from Exeter RAF base. The target is the railway. His Hurricane registered Mk IIc BN231 is reported missing.

Saturday June 27th 1942. Saint Agathon. Côtes d’Armor

Crash of the Hawker Hurricane MK II c BN 231 code ZY n° 247 (China-British) Squadron (RAF).

247th Squadron had been based at Exeter (RAF) in Devon (at the tip of British Cornwall) since May 17th 1942. This squadron was known as China-British. As far back as the beginning of WWII many air units from RAF had received financial backing from the Commonwealth of Nations (i.e. the former British colonies and protectorates). This squadron had been trained along the Chinese coast as early as August 1st 1940 and was immediately operational. It chose the name Chu Feng (in Chinese characters) which means fierce wind; its motto was “Rise in the East”. The squadron had a most important part to play in U.K air defense that was repeatedly attacked by its stark enemy. As early as December 24th 1940 the squadron’s former aircraft (Gloster Gladiator) was replaced by fighter Hawker Hurricane as the previous biplane had become obsolete in comparison to German planes. The missions would be launched night and day to make a reconnaissance of enemy sites of all kinds and attack them (and whatever they were connected with).
Warrant Officer White took off from Exeter airfield at 0.10 on Saturday 27th 1942 aboard his Hurricane M K. II c (a fierce fighter well-equipped with 4 guns (each having 20 mm Hispano-Suiza). His mission was called intruder; its aim was to spot enemy targets on the ground and destroy them. The pilots who flew at night were selected for their visual acuity and their ability to move in the dark. 

Bundesarchiv bild 101i 621 2944 26a
Photo of a Flak wagon unit that could be used on the railway line
© Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-621-2944-26A / Doege / CC-BY-SA 3.0

The Canadian pilot must have been the victim of Flak firing as he was flying along the Saint-Brieuc/ Guingamp railway. He crashed in a place known as “Toull ar Lann” in Saint Agathon, 200 m away from the railway. He died instantly. Warrant Officer White was 31. He was born in Amhurst, Nova Scotia on October 6th 1911; he used to live there before enrolling. Amhurst is located in Cumberland (along the Atlantic coast of Canada). He rests in the western cemetery in Saint-Brieuc, in the military section.

Jean Michel Martin ABSA 39-45. January, 2013

 

Raf allan white at trenton Raf rene allan white                                                     .
Allan at Trenton (Canada, Flying School) in 1940.                                                           .
He sent this picture to his mother for Mother's Day                                                             .

Raf rene allan white 3 Raf rene allan white 2

Raf rene allan white training

Raf rene allan white rear and left
Allan Rene White during his pilot training period with his friends in his class. Allan is at the rear on the left

Raf rene allan white 5
White Allan Rene White piloting a North American T6 Texan ?

Allan rene white and girlfriend theresa Rene allan white
Allan and his girlfriend Theresa St-Hillaire                                                                                                           .

Testimony, Mrs Annick Moisan

I was 18 at the time. I quite remember the plane crashing at night not far from our village (Toulan) during WWII. Before, we had heard a dreadful noise from what we thought was an aerial combat. We gathered it had been shot down by another plane. Before crashing it knocked down a big chimney of a house located 100 m from the crash-site. The aircraft burned rapidly as it crashed; it was like a furnace; the body of the poor pilot was discovered in his aircraft the following day in the morning.
The neighbours’ skylight window known as Outeau exploded in the blast. The first Germans arrived in side-cars on the next morning; they were followed by another pack of soldiers which forbade anybody to approach the burnt-out plane. I also remember the branches of a chestnut tree from a slope nearby that must have been chopped like mincemeat by the shooting. Lopped-off branches lay scattered all over the ground. Even if the Germans kept us away, we would throw flowers towards the pilot’s body. When the body was removed from the plane we found out four cigarettes inside a packet that were intact. The wreckage remained there for several months. Last week I was thinking of the pilot’s parents who never saw their son again. We never knew who he was. Today I am happy to know who he is.

Crash hawker hurricane mkiic zy e
© Photo collection M. Gilbert Le Guillou

Testimony, Mrs Christiane Marjo

I was 7 at the time and I vividly remember the plane crashing near our village, Toulan. We had been scared to death when hearing that dreadful rumble that wakened us in the middle of the night except for my father; he was surprised when we woke him up to tell him what was going on. I remember that my parents had discovered that a skylight window had tumbled down from the roof; it was brown-painted. The plane had crashed in the middle of the two railway lines. Our neighbours’ next door, the Moisans had had their chimney split up as the plane flew past. 
There was also another neighbour who farmed a small garden near what we used to call “the small train” railway leading to Plouha. There, he found out a big gap with a piece of propeller inside; it had probably been wrenched off and had driven itself into the ground during the attack. Only last week I was thinking of that air-crash. We never knew anything about either the poor pilot’s identity or his nationality. I am glad to know it.

Crash hawker hurricane mkiic zy e 1
On this photo you can identify the rear tail-plane with its two ailerons, its vertical stabilizer, its tail wheel with its burnt-tyre.

© Photo collection M. Gilbert Le Guillou

From Mr Louis Jegon

The plane had crashed in between the two railway lines that existed in those days: the main one that still exists and the other one we used to call “the small train” line (which the Germans dismantled because it was leading to Plouha, that is, to the sea coast). On our way back from school we walked past the field where the plane had crashed. It was burnt down. The Germans had come and forbidden to approach it. A two-meter high chimney was brought down by the plane in distress.

(La ligne du petit train des Côtes du Nord- Guingamp à Plouha n'était plus en service depuis 1939).

Jean Michel Martin ABSA 39-45. February 5th, 2013.
Bibliographiy: Roland Bohn, Les raids aériens sur la Bretagne. Philippe Dufrasne. Thanks to Michel Pieto

IN MEMORIAM

Royal canadian air force Royal canadian air force ottawa
 

Courrier stephen mac neil Courrier mr stephen mac neil
Letter from the Prime Minister of New Scotland Mr Stephen MacNeil

 
                  Canadian Memorial Cross                                                                              RCAF Cap badge


Air crew star
1939-1945 Star, The Air Crew Europe Star, Defence Medal 1939-45,
War and Air Efficiency Award, War Medal 1939-1945

IN THE PRESS !

2013 02 l echo de l armor et de l argoat saint agathon2013 02 l echo de l armor et de l argoat saint agathon 2
L'Echo de l'Armor et l'Argoat - February 2013

2013 02 08 le telegramme saint agathon
Le Télégramme - Friday 8th, February 2013

2013 02 08 ouest france saint agathon
Ouest-France - Friday 8th, February 2013

 

COMMEMORATIONS

♦ 27th June, 2015 - Saint Agathon (22)

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

♦ 1st July,  2017 - Saint Agathon (22)
   Inauguration of Allan White street


Ouest France : Josiane HARNAY

  
Floral offering at Saint-Brieuc cemetery
Photos © Jean Michel Martin - ABSA 39-45
 
Photos © Jean Michel Martin - ABSA 39-45
 
Inauguration of Allan-René White street
Photos © Jean Michel Martin - ABSA 39-45
 

 
Floral offering near the location of the crash at "Toull ar Lann"
Photos © Jean Michel Martin - ABSA 39-45















 


Photos © Yvon.Botcazou

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