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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 228839
Last updated: 28 November 2021
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Time:14:30 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic L14 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed Hudson Mk I
Owner/operator:233 Squadron Royal Air Force (233 Sqn RAF)
Registration: N7255
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:North Sea, eight miles North of Lerwick, Shetland -   United Kingdom
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:RAF Leuchars, Fife
Destination airport:
Lockheed Hudson Mk.I N7255 (ZS-S) 233 Squadron, RAF: Presumed written off (destroyed) when lost (Failed To Return) from a combat patrol over the North Sea. All four crew posted as lost presumed killed. According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/779): "Hudson N7255 failed to return from air operations, 5 June 1940. Sergeant J L Piercey, Leading Aircraftman R C Dodd, Temporary Corporal R Purves and Flying Officer J Dunn: missing presumed dead".

Took off at 08.20 hrs from Leuchars. Possibly shot down in error in a "friendly fire" incident, due to being mis-identified as a Dornier Do 17. At 14:30 on 5 June 1940, Thomas W. 'Jock' Gillen (of Fighter Flight, RAF Sumburgh, Shetland Islands) intercepted what he claimed as a Do 17 eight miles north of Lerwick at 7,000 feet. He reported that the rear gunner was killed (was put out of action?) and that one engine was set on fire. The enemy aircraft was last seen to dive vertically into the sea. Due to bad weather Gillen force-landed at Scatsta near Sullom Voe.

This loss however has not been possible to connect with any known Luftwaffe loss. However, a Hudson (N7255/ZS-S) of 233 Squadron, flown by Flying Officer James Dunn (RAF 39508) was posted missing on a patrol in this area on the same date at around the same time, and it is possible that this may have been a tragic "blue on blue" (or "friendly fire") incident. As stated above. all four crew were posted as lost, presumed killed

Crew of Hudson N7255:
Sergeant Raymond Cyril Dodd, RAF 530700, age 24, posted 05/06/1940, as missing, presumed killed
Flying Officer James Dunn, RAF 39508, posted 05/06/1940, as missing, presumed killed
Pilot Officer John L. Piercey, RAF 44776, age 25, posted 05/06/1940, as missing, presumed killed
Corporal Robert Purves, RAF 549286, age 25, posted 05/06/1940, as missing, presumed killed

As no trace of Hudson N7255 or its crew was ever found, they are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft N1000-N9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1977)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/779:
9. Ross McNeill, Coastal Command Losses of the Second World War, Volume 1 (1939-1941) p 39

Revision history:

09-Sep-2019 22:36 Dr. John Smith Added
17-Sep-2019 20:05 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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