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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 227676
Last updated: 28 July 2019
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Date:21-MAY-1940
Time:night
Type:Armstrong Whitworth Whitley B.Mk V
Owner/operator:77 Squadron Royal Air Force (77 Sqn RAF)
Registration: N1384
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Abbeville, Somme -   France
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Driffield, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:RAF Driffield, North Yorkshire
Narrative:
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V N1384 (KN-G) 77 Sqaudron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) when lost (failed to return) from combat operations on the night of 20-21 May 1940. All six crew survived uninjured. According to the official Air Ministry file on the incident: "Whitley N1384 crashed at Beauvais, France, 21 May 1940. Warrant Officer A C Thompson, Pilot Officer A C Meigh, Flying Officer D D Pryde, Pilot Officer A W Dunn, Aircraftman 1st Class T B Kenny and Aircraftman 1st Class F Crawford, safe"

Airborne 20:36 on 20 May 1940 from RAF Driffield, North Yorkshire. Target: a communications base at Hannapes. Reported to have forced landed near Abbeville (Somme), France, after the Whitley was severely damaged by flak/AAA and on fire. As the loss was officially posted as 21 May 1940 (=next day) it is presumed that the aircraft came down after midnight on the night 20-21 May 1940. The crew were all uninjured, and soon returned to RAF Driffield to resume their operational duties.

The pilot of Whitley N1384, Flying Officer David D. Pryde was granted a Short Service commission in the RAF as Acting P/O on probation on 8th March 1937, he was graded as Pilot Officer on 21st December 1937, and rose to Flying Officer on 8th September 1939. He was awarded the DFC on 11th June 1940, the Citation for the award reads..."On 20th May 1940, this officer was detailed for a collaboration operation involving an attack on the communication centre at Hannapes.

Despite difficult conditions, he succeeded in identifying the target from a very low altitude. Although his aircraft [Whitley N1384] was hit heavily, Flying Officer Pryde climbed to 3,000 feet and executed a successful bombing attack. His aircraft subsequently caught fire, but he continued flying and when height could no longer be maintained, the entire crew landed by parachute. Flying Officer Pryde has completed sixteen operational flights during six months of war flying and has displayed considerable courage and determination."

He was promoted to F/Lt on 19th November 1940 and to S/Ldr on 16th December 1941. S/Ldr David Pryde DFC was killed on 9th June 1942 flying with 77 Squadron in Whitley BD195 when their aircraft was shot down off Brest. His body was never found and he is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

According to some published sources, one of the crew - Warrant Officer A C Thompson - bailed out over enemy held territory, and was captured, being taken as a PoW, and was interned at Heydekrug PoW camp as PoW No. 1252 (see links #6 & #7)

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft N1000-N9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1977 p 7)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/448): https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14502119
3. http://francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=5722
4. http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/77_squadron.html#202105
5. http://www.yorkshire-aircraft.co.uk/aircraft/yorkshire/york39/n1373.html
6. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?13227-A-C-Thompson-77-squadron-and-Stalag-357
7. http://www.rememberjd371.be/pertes77sqd.htm
8. http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/viewtopic.php?t=2686
9. http://baaa-acro.sindev.ch/crash/crash-armstrong-whitworth-aw38-whitley-v-near-abbeville


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
27-Jul-2019 22:44 Dr. John Smith Added
28-Jul-2019 04:23 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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