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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 225133
Last updated: 15 June 2020
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Date:10-JUL-1940
Time:03:00 LT
Type:Bristol Blenheim Mk IV
Owner/operator:59 Squadron Royal Air Force (59 Sqn RAF)
Registration: R3637
C/n / msn: TR-C
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Bristol Channel, off Cardiff, South Glamorgan -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Thorney Island, Emsworth, Hampshire
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV R3637 (TR-C) of 59 Squadron, RAF: Written off (presumed destroyed) when lost (Failed to Return) from a cross-country navigation exercise. All three crew killed. According to the official Air Ministry file on the incident (File AIR 81/1065): "Blenheim R3637 failed to return from air operations, 10 July 1940. Pilot Officer A D Hopkin, Sergeant T J Rowles and Sergeant J W Falconer missing presumed dead"

Took off from RAF RAF Thorney Island, Emsworth, Hampshire, on the 9th July 1940, but was reported to have "blown up" in flight at 03:00 hours in the early morning of the 10th, whilst on patrol near Cardiff. The cause of the explosion is unknown. All three crew were killed (officially "missing presumed dead") and are commemorated on the Runnymede memorial:

Crew of Blenheim R3637:
Pilot Officer Alan Dunn Hopkin (Pilot) (Service Number 36220) killed on active service 10/07/1940. Mentioned Runnymede Memorial, UK, Panel 8.
Sergeant Thomas James Rowles (Service Number 581474) killed on active service 10/07/1940. Mentioned Runnymede Memorial, UK Panel 19.
Sergeant James Falconer (Service Number 551873) killed on active service 10/07/1940. Mentioned Runnymede Memorial, UK Panel 14.
6

NOTE: Some published sources (see links #8 & #9) give the crash location as "Ludlow, Shropshire". However, the lack of the recovery of the bodies of the three crew members indicates a crash at sea was more likely.

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft R1000-R9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1980)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/1065: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14502677
3. http://www.ggat.org.uk/timeline/pdf/Military%20Aircraft%20Crash%20Sites%20in%20Southeast%20Wales.pdf
4. http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=13739
5. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1800449/hopkin,-alan-dunn/
6. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2940673/rowles,-thomas-james/
7. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1269798/falconer,-james/
8. https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/34485-a-long-shot-info-sought/
9. http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Northamptonshire/KetteringWW2.html


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
15-May-2019 23:41 Dr. John Smith Added
16-May-2019 09:42 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
11-Oct-2019 16:27 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
11-Oct-2019 20:16 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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