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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 228737
Last updated: 15 June 2020
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Date:01-JUN-1940
Time:night
Type:Vickers Wellington Mk 1c
Owner/operator:37 Squadron Royal Air Force (37 Sqn RAF)
Registration: P9288
C/n / msn: LF-K
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:North Sea, off Dunkerque, Pas de Calais, Haut de France -   France
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Feltwell, Thetford, Norfolk
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Vickers Wellington Mk.Ic P9288 (LF-K) 37 Squadron, RAF: Written off (presumed destroyed) when lost (failed to return) from a bombing mission on the night of 31 May-1 June 1940. All five crew missing presumed killed. According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/733): "Wellington P9288 crashed at sea off Dunkirk, France, 1 June 1940. Sergeant J McLean, Sergeant J Bridge, Sergeant E A Downham, Sergeant D Atack and Flying Officer R C Simmons: missing presumed dead".

Airborne from RAF Feltwell, Thetford, Norfolk at 01:00 hours on 1 June 1940 to attack targets at Nieuwpoort; understood to be attacking enemy troop columns and positions, in support of the BEF (British Expeditionary Forces) evacuation from Dunkirk. Thirty three Wellingtons were assigned, and only two were lost - P9288 and L7791 - both from 37 Squadron.

In the case of Wellington P9288, the aircraft was lost without trace, therefore the crash location is presumed, based on its last known radio messages. As stated above, all five crew were presumed lost.

Crew of Wellington P9288:
Flying Officer Robert Colin Simmons, RAF 39344, posted 01/06/1940, as missing presumed killed in action
Sergeant John McLean, RAF 523836, age 24, posted 01/06/1940, as missing presumed killed in action
Sergeant Edward Alan Downham, RAF 580712, age 19, posted 01/06/1940, as missing presumed killed in action
Sergeant Dallas Atack, RAF 631239, age 20, posted 01/06/1940, as missing presumed killed in action
Sergeant James Bridge, RAF 620409, age 19, posted 01/06/1940, as missing presumed killed in action

As no trace of Wellington P9288 or its crew was ever found, the crew was commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft P1000-P9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1978 p 52)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/733: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14502617
3. http://aircrewremembered.com/simmons-robert.html
4. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1807160/simmons,-robert-colin/
5. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1079592/mclean,-john/
6. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/232428/downham,-edward-alan/
7. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1083036/atack,-dallas/
8. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1530409/bridge,-james/
9. http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/37_squadron.html#31


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
04-Sep-2019 22:26 Dr. John Smith Added
06-Sep-2019 15:29 stehlík49 Updated [Operator]

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