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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 229792
Last updated: 15 June 2020
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Date:07-JUL-1940
Time:02:20
Type:Vickers Wellington Mk 1c
Owner/operator:37 Squadron Royal Air Force (37 Sqn RAF)
Registration: R3236
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Jever Forest, near Jever, district of Friesland in Lower Saxony -   Germany
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Feltwell, Thetford, Norfolk
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Vickers Wellington Mk.Ic R3236, 37 Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) when lost (Failed To Return) from combat operations over Germany. All five crew were killed. According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/1028): "Wellington R3236 crashed near Jever, Germany, 7 July 1940. Sergeant A Glen, Sergeant A Aitken, Sergeant J H Waterfall, Flying Officer D W Lindsay and Pilot Officer R A A Ball: report of deaths"

On 6 July 1940, a flight of Nine Wellington Bombers took off from RAF Feltwell near Thetford in Norfolk. Their mission was a bombing raid over Bremen, Emden and Wilhelmshaven in Northern Germany. However cloud cover over the target cause the mission to be aborted.

The last signal from R3236 was sent from SW of Borkum. There was then radio silence and the plane did not return to base. The families of the crew were informed of the plane’s failure to return and it was assumed that the plane had ditched over the North Sea.

However, it was later discovered that Wellington R3236 had crashed in the Jever Forest, near Jever Airbase, district of Friesland in Lower Saxony, at 02:20 hours on the morning of July 7 1940, with no survivors of the five crew on board

Crew of Wellington R3236:
Sergeant Alexander Glen (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) RAF 629156, aged 23
Sergeant Alexander Aitken (Observer) RAF 513170, aged 29
Sergeant John Henry Waterfall DFM (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) RAF 631726
Flying Officer Douglas Weatherall Lindsay (pilot) RAF 39018
Pilot Officer Ralph Alan Anthony Ball (Second Pilot) RAF 42585, aged 21

All five crew were temporarily buried near the crash site, but were re-buried in 1947 at Sage War Cemetery, Niedersachsen, Germany. A bronze plaque commemorating the crash site was placed in 2012, but was replaced by a more substantial monument on June 24 2016. An unveiling ceremony, attended by surviving relatives of the families of the crew was held (see link #3)

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft R1000-R9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1980 p 21)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File Air 81/1028: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14502894
3. https://r3236wellington.com/the-memorial-stone/history-of-37-squadron/
4. http://www.rafjever.org/gafpic898.htm
5. https://issuu.com/rafassociation/docs/am_oct-dec_2016_lowres_cropped (p 38-39)
6. http://aircrewremembered.com/AlliedLossesIncidents/alliedlossesincidents-alpha-list-s-z.html
7. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2073768/glen,-alexander/
8. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2073505/aitken,-alexander/
9. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2074224/waterfall,-john-henry/
10. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2073915/lindsay,-douglas-weatherall/
11. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2073534/ball,-ralph-alan-anthony/


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
07-Oct-2019 20:32 Dr. John Smith Added
07-Oct-2019 23:30 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
08-Oct-2019 11:07 juza7 Updated [Operator]

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