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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 226907
Last updated: 15 June 2020
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Date:14-MAY-1940
Time:15:40 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic bttl model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fairey Battle Mk I
Owner/operator:103 Squadron Royal Air Force (103 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L5516
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Le Chemin du Liry, north-west of Remilly-Aillicourt, Ardennes -   France
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Betheniville, France
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Fairey Battle Mk.I L5516 (PM-E) 103 Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) when lost (failed to return) on combat operations 14 May 1940. Both crew killed. According to the official Air Ministry file on the incident (File AIR 81/344): "Battle L5516 failed to return from a raid near Mouzon, south east of Sedan, France, 14 May 1940. Aircraftman 1st Class J Johnson and Pilot Officer V A Cunningham: missing presumed dead".

At 15:30 eight Battles of 103 Squadron, RAF took off from Betheniville, France to bomb bridges in the Sedan area, where they encountered fierce flak and fighter opposition, and three aircraft were lost. (Battles L5190, L5516 and P2191). The Battle of Pilot Officer Vernon A Cunningham (L5516) received a direct hit from intense flak during attack on bridge north-west of Remilly-Aillicourt and exploded over Le Chemin du Liry at 3.40 p.m. Both crew were killed, probably instantaneously. Photographs of the wreckage (see link #4) show only the rear fuselage survived intact.

Crew of Battle L5516:
Pilot Officer (Pilot) Vernon Allan Cunningmam, RAF 36212 (New Zealander), age 24, killed in action 14/05/1940
Aircraftman 1st Class (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) Joseph Johnson, RAF 617968, age 20, killed in action 14/05/1940

Both crew fatalities were buried at Remilly-et-Aillicourt Communal Cemetery, Ardennes, France

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-L9999 (James J .Halley, Air Britain, 1978)
2. The Battle File (Sidney Shail, Air Britain, 1997)
3. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/344; https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14502338
4. https://www.northlincsweb.net/103Sqn/html/103_squadron_-_op_sedan_bridges_-_14-05-40_-_p-o_vernon_a_cunnin.html
5. http://francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=217
6. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2689739/cunningham,-vernon-allan/
7. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2689740/johnson,-joseph/
8. http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showpost.php?p=125343&postcount=1
9. http://39-45.auzeau.fr/france/08-ardennes/08-remilly-aillicourt/
10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remilly-Aillicourt


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
07-Jul-2019 23:22 Dr. John Smith Added
07-Jul-2019 23:30 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
08-Jul-2019 05:49 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description