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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 199785
Last updated: 22 November 2021
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Time:00:32 LT
Type:Handley Page Hampden Mk I
Owner/operator:50 Squadron Royal Air Force (50 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L4079
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Angerlo-Giesbeek, Gelderland, 14 km East of Arnhem -   Netherlands
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:RAF Stradishall, Newmarket, Suffolk
Destination airport:
Handley Page Hampden Mk.I L4079 (VN-N) of 50 Sqaudron, RAF. Lost on combat operations on night of 30-31/8/1940. Took off from RAF Stradishall at 20:57 on 30/8/1940 (Target: Monchengladbach). Shot down by Oblt Werner Streib 2./NJG1 and crashed at Angerlo-Giesbeek (Gelderland) 14 km East of Arnhem. All four crew were killed:

Pilot: P/O K.R.K Smettem 41877 RAF Groesbeek
Observer Sgt. A.A. Horsfall 580957 RAF Groesbeek
W/Op AG Sgt. H H Best 626342 RAF Groesbeek
Air Gunner Sgt. E.W.J Skinner 743057 RAF Groesbeek

All are buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery. According to the 50 Squadron RAF ORB (Air Ministry Form 540) for this period:

"30/31 August 1940
Five aircraft were detailed to attack an oil refinery North East of GLADBECK. None of the aircraft were able to locate the target and alternate targets were attacked with four returning safely. Sadly, Hampden L4079 (VN-N) Failed To Return, the crew 626342 Sgt. Herbert Henry Best RAF (WOP/AG), 580957 Sgt. Alan Albert Horsfall RAF (Obs.), 743057 Sgt. Eric William Joseph Skinner RAFVR (AG) and the Pilot 41877 P/O Kenneth Richard Killey Smettem all missing, later confirmed as killed."

From Author Larry Donnelly: Crashed 14 km East of Arnhem, near the village of Angerlo, shot down by a night fighter at 00.32 hours. The Fighter pilot was Oblt Werner Streib. All are buried in the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, Gelderland, near Nijmegen, Netherlands. Excellent photographs of Sgt. Horsfall and his original crew, taken in April 1940, are to be found in Mark Postlethwaite’s book “Hampden Squadrons in Focus""

Sgt Horsfall's brother Sgt D T Horsfall (Flight Engineer) was one of the casualties from 617 Squadron's first operation (The Dams Raid) 16-17 May 1943. He was a member of the Avro Lancaster ED887 AJ-A flown by Sqn Ldr Melvin "Dinghy" Young.


1. Chorley WR Bomber Command Losses 1939-1940 page 104
2. Dambusters Blog.


Dambusters Blog

Revision history:

19-Sep-2017 06:22 Red Dragon Added
11-Dec-2017 13:40 Laurent Rizzotti Updated [Aircraft type]
23-Dec-2017 16:27 Nepa Updated [Operator, Destination airport]
30-Jun-2018 23:50 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
30-Jun-2018 23:50 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Narrative]
12-Nov-2018 19:09 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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