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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 225894
Last updated: 5 October 2020
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Type:Armstrong Whitworth Whitley B.Mk IV
Owner/operator:51 Squadron Royal Air Force (51 Sqn RAF)
Registration: K9043
C/n / msn: AWA.1496
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Aircraft missing
Location:Missing over North Sea (Target: Aalborg) -   Denmark
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Dishforth, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:
Whitley K9043 was built to contract 522438/36 by Armstrong Whitworth Ltd at Baginton and was delivered to 6 MU at Brize Norton on 11th July 1939 and then placed into long term storage. It was issued to 51 Squadron based at Dishforth on 21st November 1939 as "MH-G"

On the night of 19th/20th March 1940 the crew of this 51 Squadron aircraft were tasked with an operational flight to bomb the seaplane bases at Hornum, the left base of Dishforth just after 23.00 hrs. This aircraft was attacked by an Arado floatplane but they were able to evade the attack and the aircraft did not sustain any damage. On the bombing run the aircraft was then hit by flak which injured the rear gunner in the leg. The pilot made a return to Dishforth and landed safely at 03.25 hrs.

Following this flak damage Cat.M/FB was recorded. It was soon repaired on site and returned to the unit. The aircraft left RAF Dishforth at 21:50 LT on a bombing mission over the airfield of Aalborg, Denmark on the night of 22nd/23rd April 1940. En route, the aircraft disappeared into the North Sea. All five crew were lost; No trace was found or the aircraft or the crew.

Crew of Whitley K9043
Pilot - Flying Officer James Ronald Birch RAF (39430, aged 25).
Observer - Sgt Lionel Arthur Compton RAF (565482, aged 24).
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner/Bomb Aimer - Sgt Harrison Jackson RAF (528709, aged 25).
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner - Corporal James Cheyne McIntyre RAF (522777, aged 25).
Air Gunner - LAC Nairn Alderander Young RAF (627971)


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft K1000-K9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1976 p 75)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/103:

Revision history:

06-Jun-2019 20:47 Dr. John Smith Added
08-Jun-2019 10:42 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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