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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 17590
Last updated: 21 April 2021
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Type:Bristol Blenheim Mk IV
Owner/operator:53 Squadron Royal Air Force (53 Sqn RAF)
Registration: N3551
C/n / msn: PZ-E
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Lovendegem, Waarschoot, near Ghent, Oost-Vlaanderen (East Flanders) -   Belgium
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Detling, Maidstone, Kent
Destination airport:
Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV N3551 (PZ-E) 53 Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) when lost (Failed To Return) from combat operations over Belgium. Of the three crew, one was killed, and the other two survived to be captured and taken as PoWs. According to the official Air Ministry file into the accident (File AIR 81/1120): "Blenheim N3551 force landed near Ghent, Belgium, 14 July 1940. Flying Officer A D Panton and Sergeant A E Farrow: prisoners of war. Sergeant L H Stride: report of death"

On the evening of July 14, 1940, six Blenheims flew towards the Ghent-Terneuzen canal to bomb the oil installations. RAF Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV N3551/PZ-E of 53 Squadron, from RAF Detling, Maidstone, Kent bombed a gasoline storage near Gent, crashed after flak hit at Waarschoot near Eeklo, Belgium. Crew of three, Flying Officer A D Panton DFC and Sergeant A E Farrow were taken prisoner, Sergeant Leslie Herbert Stride, 546871, wireless operator, air gunner, killed in action, mentioned in despatches.

Crew of Blenheim N3551
Flying Officer Alistair D Panton (Pilot) RAF 33331 - survived, captured, taken as PoW.
Sergeant A E Farrow (Observer) - survived, captured, taken as PoW.
Sergeant Leslie Herbert Stride (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) RAF 546871, aged 19 - killed in action 14/07/1940. Buried at Eeklo Communal Cemetery, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium

Despite five years of captivity, Panton remained in the RAF until his retirement in 1968, having risen through the ranks to Air Commodore. He was the uncle of the famous actress Joanna Lumley (Bond Girl in "On her Majesty's Secret Service" and more recently known for her role as Patsy Stone in "Abolutely Fabulous"). After his death on 29 December 2002 his children found his papers, which were compiled into a book "Six Weeks of Blenheim Summer"

In July 2015 a commemorative plate was unveiled in the Voordestraat, in the presence of the Leslie Stride family. The original headstone was replaced on the 75th anniversary (12 Jul 2015) to include his sibling Enid who was omitted on the original stone.


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft N1000-N9999 (James j Halley, Air Britain, 1977)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/1120:


Related books:

Revision history:

27-Apr-2008 02:45 Bleiente Added
03-Jul-2008 00:29 JINX Updated
15-Dec-2014 17:11 Jixon Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Narrative]
09-Oct-2018 18:53 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
15-Oct-2019 20:39 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Location, Departure airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
15-Oct-2019 20:41 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
15-Oct-2019 20:43 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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