Halifax W1242 (11/08/1942)

Halifax W1242 was one of three No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Le Havre on the night of the 11th / 12th August 1942.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Kenneth Frederick Saunders (Pilot)
  • Lionel Parsell (Observer)
  • Eric Charles Herwin (Air Bomber)
  • Wilfred James Reynolds (WOP / AG)
  • HT Smith (Air Gunner)
  • Jack Truesdell Arnold (Air Gunner)
  • Michael Goff (Flight Engineer)

W1242 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Took off from Linton to attack the dock area of Le Havre; nothing was heard of this aircraft after leaving base”.

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 12th August 1942 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 11th / 12th August 1942”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • No information found to date 

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

All members of the crew survived the crash and were captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre, RAF Cosford, in 1945, show the following details:

  • JT Arnold
    • Captured: Honfleur (Le Havre) Aug-42
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Oberursel, Frankfurt Aug-42 to Sep-42
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIIIB, Lamsdorf Sep-42 to Jan-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • KF Saunders (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III
    • Repatriated:
  • L Parsell (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III
    • Repatriated:
  • EC Herwin (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Stalag 344
    • Repatriated:
  • WJ Reynolds (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Stalag 344
    • Repatriated:
  • HT Smith
    • Captured: Le Havre 12/03/1942
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Lamsdorf Sep-42 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IV-C, Teplitz Feb-45 to Mar-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IV-B, Muhlberg Mar-45 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • M Goff (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Stalag 344
    • Repatriated:

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Bomber Command Loss Card

Controls shot away by flak over France

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

No information recorded relating to this loss