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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 230014
Last updated: 27 October 2019
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Date:18-JUL-1940
Time:12:15
Type:Bristol Blenheim Mk I
Owner/operator:236 Squadron Royal Air Force (236 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L6779
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Cap de Hague, near Le Havre, Seine-Maritime, Normandy -   France
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Thorney Island, Emsworth, Hampshire
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Bristol Blenheim Mk.I L6779, 236 Sqaudron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) whwn lost (Failed To Return) from air operations over Northern France. Both crew killed. According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/1138): "Blenheim L6779 failed to return from air operations over Le Havre, France, 18 July 1940. Flying Officer C R D Thomas and Sergeant H D B Elsdon: report of deaths"

Took off from RAF Thorney Island, Emsworth, Hampshire at 11:20 hrs. Blenheim, L6779, captained by F/O C R D Thomas, failed to return from a photo-reconnaissance sortie over Le Havre. The weather was bad and intense anti-aircraft fire was met over Cap de la Hague. It is believed that the Blenheim was shot down by Major Schellmann of 2/JG 2. The body of F/O Thomas was recovered and is buried in Quiberville churchyard. The body of Sgt Elsdon, age 28, was not found. He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 14.

Crew of Blenheim L6779:
Flying Officer (Pilot) Charles Raymond Delauney Thomas, RAF 40031, aged 22 - killed in action 18/07/1940, buried at Quiberville Churchyard, Seine-Maritime, Normandy, France
Sergeant Harry Donald Buchanan Elsdon, RAF 743044, aged 28 - posted as missing presumed killed 18/07/1940, body not found/not recovered.

The body of Flying Officer Charles Thomas was washed ashore on the French coast near Le Havre, hence his body was recovered and buried as per the above. The body of Sergeant Harry Elsdon was never found, hence he is comemmorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Two Blenheims of 236 Squadron were lost on this operation - L6779 and L6639 - and both crew of both aircraft were killed in action

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-L9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1978 p 46)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/1138: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14503077
3. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2689064/thomas,-charles-raymond-delauney/
4. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1269590/elsdon,-harry-donald-buchanan/
5. http://aircrewremembered.com/thomas-charles.html
6. http://francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=767
7. https://battleofbritain1940.com/entry/thursday-18-july-1940/
8. http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/ThomasCRD.htm
9. http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/ElsdonHDB.htm


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
17-Oct-2019 14:30 Dr. John Smith Added
27-Oct-2019 22:11 Anon. Updated [Operator, Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description