ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 89843
Last updated: 5 December 2021
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Type:Silhouette image of generic well model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Vickers Wellington Mk IC
Owner/operator:75 (NZ) Squadron Royal Air Force (75 (NZ) Sqn RAF)
Registration: R3157
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Kain, 4 km NNW of Tournai, Hainaut, Wallonia -   Belgium
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:RAF Feltwell, Thetford, Norfolk
Destination airport:RAF Feltwell, Thetford, Norfolk
Vickers Wellington Mk.Ic R3157 (AA-H) 75 (New Zealand) Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) when lost (failed to return) from combat operations on 22 May 1940. Two of the crew of five were killed, the other three were captured, and taken as PoWs. According to the official Air Ministry file on the incident (File AIR 81/469): "Wellington R3157 crashed near Tournai, Belgium, 21 May 1940. Aircraftman 1st Class J S Brooks, Sergeant G Thorpe and Pilot Officer L P R Hockey - prisoners of war. Pilot Officer F A G F J De Labouchere-Sparling and Flying Officer J N Collins - report of deaths".

Airborne 21:20 on 21 May 1940 from Feltwell. Shot down by Flak on return from reconnaissance at Dinant. Crashed near Kain, 4 km North-North-West of Tournai, Hainaut, Belgium. Presumed after midnight, on the morning of May 22.

Crew of Wellington R3157:
Flight Lieutenant John Noel Collins, RNZAF 2513, pilot, age 23, posted 21/05/1940, as missing in action. No known grave, commemorated on the Royal Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede
Pilot Officer (Pilot) Francis Albert Gabriel Joseph De Labouchere-Sparling, co-pilot, RAF 41990, age 20, killed in action 21/05/1940, buried at Kain Communal Cemetery, Belgium
Sgt G.Thorpe (Observer/Navigator); survived, captured and taken as PoW. Interned in Camp Stalag Luft 3 as PoW No.5399
Sgt J.S.Brooks (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) survived, captured and taken as PoW. Interned in PoW Camp 357, as PoW No.50392
Flight Lt L.P.R.Hockey survived, captured and taken as PoW. Interned in Camp Stalag Luft 3 as PoW No.410

First operational combat loss for 75 (New Zealand) Squadron. R3157 was the regular aircraft of Flying Officer John Noel Collins during May 1940 (per the Operational Reports, and Squadron ORB Appendices).


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft R1000-R9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1980 p 18)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/469:

Revision history:

04-Feb-2011 13:39 ThW Added
29-Dec-2011 13:32 Uli Elch Updated [Aircraft type, Narrative]
29-Dec-2011 13:35 Uli Elch Updated [Date, Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Phase, Source, Narrative]
09-Jan-2012 07:22 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
03-Jun-2013 08:08 Nepa Updated [Operator, Total occupants, Departure airport, Narrative]
29-Jul-2019 21:13 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Total occupants, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
30-Jul-2019 10:32 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description