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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 212957
Last updated: 11 November 2021
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Date:14-APR-1940
Time:night
Type:Handley Page Hampden Mk I
Owner/operator:50 Squadron Royal Air Force (50 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L4065
MSN: VN-H
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:North Sea, 12 miles off Mablethrope, Lincolnshire, England. -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Destination airport:RAF Waddington
Narrative:
Handley Page Hampden Mk.I L4065 (VN-H) of 50 Squadron, RAF: Lost on combat operations (mine laying sortie) on night of 13-14 April 1940. Mine laying ops were code named "Gardening", and the target area was code named "Asparagus". The official Air Ministry File into the incident (File AIR 81/137) states "Hampden L4065 failed to return from a mine laying mission in the Great Belt area, Denmark, 14 April 1940". Presumably "Asparagus" was the code name for this area of sea off Denmark. The Great Belt is a strait between the major islands of Zealand (Sjælland) and Funen (Fyn) in Denmark, at approximate coordinates 55.333°N 11.000°E

Last known position of L4065 was approximately twelve miles off Mablethrope, Lincolnshire. According to the 50 Squadron diary (ORB - Air Ministry Form 540) for this period:

"13/14 April
GARDENING OPERATIONS, ASPARAGUS AREA

Three aircraft set off tonight to drop sea-mines in the ‘Asparagus’ area. According to the ORB’s,this was the Squadron’s first ever operational mine-laying mission. Weather was poor, with low cloud over the target and heavy static and cloud encountered en-route. Two aircraft successfully dropped mines but the third, L4065 failed to return.
The crew were;
39456 Flight Lt. Robert James Cosgrove RAF (pilot, aged 25)
563051 Sgt. Frederick William Batchelor RAF, (Navigator, Aged 27)
535553 Corporal James Doran RAF (W/Op Air Gunner, aged 22) and
580714 Sgt. Gordon William Everatt RAF. (Air Gunner, aged 19)

All posted as 'missing presumed killed' when L4065 disappeared without trace. A report was received that an aircraft was heard crashing off Mablethorpe but a search found no remains of aircraft or crew. Possibly they crashed “Off Skegness” but site is unknown. No bodies were recovered hence L4065, wherever it lies, is a Listed War Grave; all are commemorated at the memorial at Runnymede. The pilot, Flight Lt. Robert James Cosgrove was the Governor of Tasmania’s son.

14 April-
NORTH SEA SEARCHES

Two final searches for the crew of Hampden L4065 were made today. Anson N9829 positioned to Thornaby in Yorkshire to take on fuel to allow as long a search as possible, leaving base at 05.40 and returning at 19.00 hours, again via Thornaby. Finally, Hampden L4097 left at 06.00 hours and returned to base at 12.30 hours, sadly with neither crew finding any trace of L4065’s crew.

Hampden L4062, with Squadron Leader D.C.F. Good in command (this pilot was the one whom had circled L4064 as she ditched) took off at 11.30 hrs to search for the crew of L4065, some 12 Miles off Mablethorpe, but, again, no trace of this aircraft or crew was found"

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-L9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1978 p 23)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/137: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14141887
3. http://www.no-50-and-no-61-squadrons-association.co.uk/app/download/5802508903/50+SQUADRON+ORB+1939+1943+Revision+1.pdf.
4. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1085026/cosgrove,-robert-james/
5. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1083517/batchelor,-frederick-william/
6. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/232364/doran,-james/
7. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1269746/everatt,-gordon-william/
8. http://www.bcar.org.uk/1940-incident-logs
9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Belt


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
06-Jul-2018 20:14 Dr. John Smith Added
12-Nov-2018 18:53 Nepa Updated [Operator, Location, Destination airport, Operator]
08-Jun-2019 18:39 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
08-Jun-2019 18:45 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

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