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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 212958
Last updated: 17 November 2021
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Date:26-JUL-1940
Time:03:00 LT
Type:Handley Page Hampden Mk I
Owner/operator:50 Squadron Royal Air Force (50 Sqn RAF)
Registration: P1321
MSN: VN-G
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Happisburgh Beach, near Cromer, Norfolk -   United Kingdom
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Destination airport:RAF Waddington
Narrative:
Handley Page Hampden Mk.I P1321 (VN-G) of 50 Squadron, RAF. Lost on combat operations on the morning of 26/7/1940. Target: Castrop-Rauxel, Germany. Hit by AAA/Flak and attacked by night fighters over the target, but managed to return to the UK, making a crash landing on the beach at Happisburgh, near Cromer, Norfolk. All four crew killed. According to the 50 Squadron diary (ORB - Air Ministry Form 540):

25/26 July
CASTROP-RAUXEL & WANNE-EICKEL, RUHR VALLEY

Five aircraft tonight set off to bomb a synthetic oil plant at Castrop-Rauxel. Due to bad weather and poor visibility with searchlight activity, three of the aircraft bombed alternate targets and returned safely to Base while a fourth bombed the target reporting massive flak and searchlights working in conjunction with night fighters; these four returned safely to Base.

The fifth, Hampden P1321 failed to return. The aircraft transmitted a W/T message at 02.15hrs that the port engine had failed over Cuxhaven and that they were heading for Calais. Nothing further was heard, however,until the M.L.O. reported “Battery at Haisboro’ reports bomber crashed at low water mark near heavy battery; position of machine visible and have removed 3 bodies”.

It was also stated that the aircraft was P1321, and that it bore marks of bullets or shrapnel holes. The aircraft had apparently flown from the direction of the land, and on hitting the beach, had disintegrated. Presumed that the pilot was attempting to make a forced landing on the beach, after flying a few miles inland to establish his position. Crew were:
Pilot, 40636 Pilot Officer William Arthur Coote Mulloy DFC RAFVR,
WOP/AG 624161 Sgt.Angus Lamont Stewart RAF, aged 21
Observer 522273 Sgt. Gordon Reeves Watt RAF aged 25 and
WOP/AG Pilot Officer 77205 Thomas Monks Taylor RAFVR aged

It is believed that P1321 crashed at Happisburgh beach near Cromer at 03.00 hrs. Pilot Officer Mulloy is buried in Hatfield Woodhouse Cemetery near Doncaster. Pilot Officer Taylor is buried in Thornton Garden Of Rest, Lancashire, and Sgt. Watt is buried at Romford Cemetery, Essex. Sgt. Stewart was never found and he is remembered on the Runnymede memorial.

In addition six further aircraft set off to bomb a synthetic oil plant at Wanne-Eickel. Two successfully bombed the target, but four failed to locate the target due to haze and searchlight glare, and so bombed various alternate targets, returning safely to base.

Sources:

1. http://www.no-50-and-no-61-squadrons-association.co.uk/app/download/5802508903/50+SQUADRON+ORB+1939+1943+Revision+1.pdf
2. https://www.backtonormandy.org/the-history/air-force-operations/airplanes-allies-and-axis-lost/hampden/25662-P13211940-07-26.html
3. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?15518-RAF-Casualty-Packs-1939-45-Public-Access/page3
4. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2401812/mulloy,-william-arthur-coote/
5. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1807990/stewart,-angus-lamont/
6. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2427110/watt,-gordon-reeves/
7. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2700766/taylor,-thomas-monks/


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
06-Jul-2018 20:47 Dr. John Smith Added
12-Nov-2018 18:55 Nepa Updated [Operator, Destination airport, Operator]

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