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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 226080
Last updated: 2 December 2021
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Type:Handley Page Hampden Mk I
Owner/operator:49 Squadron Royal Air Force (49 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L4092
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Aircraft missing
Location:North Sea (Target: Frisian Islands) -   Germany
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire
Destination airport:
Handley Page Hampden Mk.1 L4092 (EA-V) of 49 Sqaudron RAF: Lost (missing) on combat operations on night of 25-26 April 1940. Aircraft was tasked with "gardening" (mine laying) operation off the Frisian Islands, and believed to have crashed into the North Sea with the loss of all four crew. Hampden L4092 officially listed as "failed to return from an operational flight, 25 April 1940". According to the ORB (Air Ministry Form 540) for 49 Squadron for this date:

"25/26 April, 1940; MINELAYING - BALTIC:
This would prove to be the squadron's most costly and saddest night of the war so far; 8 Hampdens fought their way through terrible weather to the now familiar "gardening" areas in Kiel Bay. Only one aircraft dropped "vegetables" (mines) successfully, the remainder failed due to the bad conditions. Returning home the squadron was diverted to Montrose where 4 aircraft landed and a fifth landed at Leuchars. 3 aircraft and crews were missing. The reason why two of the aircraft failed to return will never be known. Hampden L4092 flown by F/O Derrick Rowan-Robinson and crew came down in the North Sea; the body of Sgt Arthur James was the only one recovered, and he is now in Becklingen War Cemetery. His fellow crew members are remembered on the Runnymede memorial".

Crew of Hampden L4092:
Sergeant Arthur Francis James (Observer, Service Number 580961); killed in action, buried Becklingen War Cemetery, Niedersachsen, Germany
Flying Officer Derek Paul Woodrow Rowan-Robinson (Pilot, Service Number 39173, aged 22) - missing presumed dead;
Pilot Officer Courtney Arthur Weeks (Service Number 40494, aged 21) - missing presumed dead;
Leading Aircraftman Thomson Hogarth (Wireless Op/Air Gunner, Service Number 543524, aged 22) - missing presumed dead;

As can be seen from the above, the body of Sergeant A F James was recovered, and buried Becklingen War Cemetery, Niedersachsen, Germany; the other three crew members were never found, and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-L9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1978 p 23)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) Fire AIR 81/176:

Revision history:

11-Jun-2019 19:45 Dr. John Smith Added
12-Jun-2019 12:51 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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