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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 193219
Last updated: 24 March 2021
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Date:31-JAN-1944
Time:01:30
Type:Vickers Wellington Mk XIV
Owner/operator:172 Squadron Royal Air Force (172 Sqn RAF)
Registration: MP813
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Aircraft damage: Aircraft missing
Location:Bay of Biscay -   France
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Narrative:
On 30 January 1944 the Wellington XIV MP813 ’K’ of 172 Sqn RAF took off from Chivenor at 2011 hrs for a night ’Percussion’ patrol over the Bay of Biscay. It did not return. It was formely credited with sinking U-364 in a night attack in the Bay of Biscay west of Bordeaux, France, in position 45.25N, 05.15W, by depth charges.

This attack was in fact made on the outbound U-608, inflicting no damage. The boat reported that at 0128 hrs on the 31st he had Naxos warning of an incoming aircraft, welcomed it with AA fire when it switched on the Leigh Light and scored hits on the aircraft with AA fire as it escaped by diving. The Wellington did not drop any depth charges, and apparently crashed shortly afterwards, as witnessed by a Polish-crewed Wellington (304 Sqdn RAF/2B, F/S S. Czekaski), but the crash was misinterpreted at the time as exploding depth charges. The crew of six were all lost.

Crew (all killed)
Flt Sgt Leighton Dawkin Richards RAFVR 1315328 (pilot)
Sgt Peter Horsfield RAFVR 952955 (2nd pilot)
Sgt Cyril James Lowther RAFVR 1452590 (navigator)
Wt Off John Pritchard RAF 638478 (wireless operator/air gunner)
Sgt Richard Charles Humphrey Fisher RAFVR 1318518 (wireless operator/air gunner)
Sgt Arthur Bernard Porter RAFVR 1287755 (wireless operator/air gunner)

All, other than Lowther, are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Lowther is buried Zumaya Cemetery, Spain.

Sources:

https://uboat.net/history/aircraft_losses.htm_
http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?8080-Peter-Horsfield-172-Squadron.
https://www.uboat.net/forums/read.php?3,4655,4655,quote=1
https://uboat.net/boats/patrols/details.php?boat=608&date=1944-01-31


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
01-Feb-2017 14:54 Laurent Rizzotti Added

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