Accident Bristol Blenheim Mk IV N6217,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 227079
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Date:Wednesday 15 May 1940
Time:10:40 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic BLEN model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Bristol Blenheim Mk IV
Owner/operator:40 Sqn RAF
Registration: N6217
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Ecaussinnes d'Enghien, Hainaut -   Belgium
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:RAF Wyton, Huntingdonshire
Destination airport:
Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV N6217 (BL-A) 40 Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) 15 May 1940 when lost (failed to return) from combat operations. All three crew killed. According to the official Air Ministry file on the incident (File AIR 81/368): "Blenheim N6217 lost in air operations over Belgium, 15 May 1940. Sergeant E Clarke, Leading Aircraftman A E Millard and Wing Commander E C Barlow: report of deaths".

On 15 May 1940 Squadron Leader Lance Smith (Hurricane P2870) of 607 Squadron led five Hurricanes of 607 Squadron's B Flight and six Hurricanes of 615 Squadron's A Flight in a escort of a dozen Blenheims (three of 15 Squadron and nine of 40 Squadron), which were to bomb the bridges over the Meuse in the Dinant-Celles area.

Before reaching the target they encountered Bf110Cs plus Bf109s from Stab III/JG 53 at 11,000 feet. Three Hurricanes were claimed by III/JG 53 and were credited to Hauptmann Werner Mölders, Oberleutnant Heinz Wittenberg and Leutnant Georg Claus, while two of the Blenheims of 40 Squadron were shot down by Bf109s of 1/JG 3 encountered when north-west of Charleroi.

P4913 and N6217 were the two Blenheims of 40 Squadron that were shot down. N6217 took off from RAF Wyton, Huntingdonshire at 09:30 am. Shot down near Ecaussinnes d'Enghien (Hainaut), 18 km NE of Mons, Belgium, with all three crew killed at around 10:40 hrs

Crew of Blenheim N6217:
Wing Commander (Pilot) Ernest Cecil Barlow, RAF 15181, Commanding Officer of 40 Squadron, RAF, killed in action 15/05/1940
Sergeant (Observer) Edward Clarke, RAF 580485, age 20, killed in action 15/05/1940
Leading Aircraftman (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) Albert Ernest Millard, RAF 615087, killed in action 15/05/1940

All three crew were buried at Ecaussinnes d'Enghien Communal Cemetery, Hainaut, Belgium. There are only six CWGC graves in this cemetery - the above three are half of them. (The other three are the crew of Blenheim P4913)


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft N1000-N9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1977 p 37)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/368:

Revision history:

13-Jul-2019 01:17 Dr. John Smith Added
14-Jul-2019 10:21 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
26-Jun-2022 21:16 Ron Averes Updated [Location]

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