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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 199907
Last updated: 14 August 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic ME09 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7
Owner/operator:1./JG 2 Luftwaffe
Registration: 6496
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Brest, Finistere -   France
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
At 0038 hrs on 4 February 1942 the Whitley V P5050 YG-M of 502 Sqn RAF took off for a Stopper Patrol from RAF St Eval. A "Stopper Patrol" was a patrol during darkness off Brest in area 48 35N 05 25W-48 03N 05 23W-47 43N 04 40W. Although a time to be off patrol was given (with a scheduled return to base at 0920 hrs), the Captain was briefed to use his discretion to leave at first light, the exact tome of which being unpredictable.

The last message from the aircrafy was a request for weather information at 0838 hrs for which he was given "Q" which he acknowledged. A reply to his message was sent at 0843 hrs addressed to G/502 and M/502. This was acknowledged by G but not by M from whom, in fact, no further transmissions were heard and no plots which could possibly have been this aircraft were received from Western filters.

At 0832 hrs he was given a QUY of 006 degrees. So when Flying Control was requested to take overdue action at 1053 hrs, on the basis of this information the Whitley R/502 was despatched to search the area Bishop Rock, QMAA 2040, QMEM 2500, QMPM 2500, QMPM 5800, Lizard. This aircraft was recalled at 1600 hrs and landed at 1702 having sighted no dinghy or wreckage. The crew was posted missing, but later it was learnt that all were prisoners of war.

Crew (all POW):
Sqn Ldr N S F Davie (pilot)
Sgt Bert Clark Gillespie RAAF (2nd pilot)
Sgt M F Sikal RCAF
Sgt T R Calder
Sgt G S Harris
Sgt J F Barnes

This Whitley crash-landed on the northern coast of Ousseant island (Ushant, north west of Brest) after repeated fighter attacks. The crew was captured immediately. Sgt Harros had been seriously injured by cannon and machine gun fire during the battle

According to French witnesses in the book "Ouessant dans la guerre", a "Wellington" crashed on the island around mid March 1942. This aircraft was attacked by two fighters, at least one of which was shot down by his own Flak, and crashed near the Stiff point. The second, as the bomber, crash-landed on the island, but not far from the Stiff light house. The "Wellington" tried to land with its undercarriage down, but it bounced, leaving it behind. The crew got out of it, running to the island northern coast. One mentioned a crew of seven, another a Canadian crew… (but that’s usual to hear about Canadian crew as well as Canadian aircraft). The crew fired on the first German soldiers who arrived there, but soon surrended. Only one airman suffered from a wounded arm, and was later tended at the nearest farm. In the afternoon, a German boat came and took them at the Lampaul harbour, where a great part of the population came and waved friendly hand signs or shooking their hands. No Wellington was lost there in March 1942 and this story is thought to be related to the Whitley of 502 Sqn on 4 Februay 1942.

On this day, Fw. Helmut Baudach of 1./JG 2 claimed a Whitley shot down at Ouessant at 0955 hrs as his 4th victory. He was also hit and made an emergency landing near Brest after the battle. He was unhurt but his Bf 109 E-7 WNr 6496 was damaged beyond repair (at 80%). No other JG 2 fighter was lost this day, three aircraft of this unit being damaged at 30-40% in landing accidents at Morlaix and Brest.

Casualty File of Bert Clark Gillespie, available online on the Australian archives website (
"Les pertes de la chasse de jour allemande en France 1939-1945. Vol 3: 1942", by Pierre Watteeuw (Hors Série Avions n° 21). ISBN 2-914017-42-1

Related books:

Revision history:

22-Sep-2017 20:35 Laurent Rizzotti Added
23-Feb-2019 11:18 TigerTimon Updated [Aircraft type]
21-Mar-2020 16:45 DB Updated [Operator, Operator]

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