ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 53928
Last updated: 11 April 2020
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:06-JUN-1940
Time:night
Type:Vickers Wellington Mk IA
Owner/operator:9 Sqn Royal Air Force (9 Sqn RAF)
Registration: P9232
C/n / msn: WS-M
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Geervliet near Simonshaven, Zuid-Holland -   Netherlands
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Honington, Suffolk (EGXH)
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Wellington Mk.1A P9232 "WS-M" of 9 Squadron, RAF: Airborne from Honington at 21:25 hours. Target Duisberg Railway Freight Terminal. Shot down by Flak soon after crossing the Dutch coast. Crashed near Simonshaven (Zuid Holland) in the commune of Geervliet, 16 km SW of Rotterdam, Holland.

According to local records this plane crashed within or in an area belonging to the community of "Geervliet" and not "Simonshaven". It was probably somewhere in between those two villages. The exact location has not been identified yet.

B.A. James: 'I was shot down over the Dutch coast in 1940 over Holland. I was the pilot of a Wellington, operating in 9 Squadron from Honington, Suffolk. We were caught in a searchlight cone at about 10,000 feet and shot down by heavy anti-aircraft fire. I walked all night and tried to get to the coast but at that time it was full of Germans. They invaded as everybody knows on 10th May, so I was caught in the morning and taken to various places and interrogated.'

As soon as they were over Holland every gun on the ground seemed to have them in their sights. The sky lit up like a Christmas tree. Flak came soaring up at them, rattling against them like hail on a iron shed. And for some reason the pilot, instead of making the usual manoeuvre - a quick vertical nose-dive towards terra firma in order to try and break out of the searchlight cone - continued to plug on heavenwards. They never reached it. Soon the port engine cascaded in flame after being hit. That was one engine gone and they only got two. With a full bomb-load and a fire on board, the situation was split-second hazardous. The pilot George Peacock soon gave the order, 'Bail out! Bail out!'

The pilot stayed at the controls for a few more seconds to allow the crew to escape but was unable to leave the plane in time - the whole plane exploded, raining pieces of metal down. The navigator also seem to have left the plane too late and trailed down with his parachute in flames.

Crew
Squadron Leader (Pilot) George Ernest Peacock, RAF 33067, DFC, age 26, buried at Geervliet (Simonshaven) Protestant Churchyard, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Pilot Officer Bertram A.James PoW
Sergeant (Observer) Ronald Charles Hargrave, RAF 580775, DFM, age 26, buried at Geervliet (Simonshaven) Protestant Churchyard, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Sgt A.K.Griffiths PoW
Pilot Officer S.W.Webster PoW
LAC C.Murton PoW

Squadron Leader Peacock earned his DFC for an attack on Bergen (L.G. 19/4/40). The citation mentions a second run over the target and turning back to attack a flying boat which was shot down. Sgt. Ronald Charles Hargrave earned his DFM with S/L Peacock (L.G. 31/5/40)

Sgt A.K.Griffiths was interned in Camp 357, PoW No.500.
LAC C.Murton in Camps 12A/L1/8B/L3/L6/357, PoW No.52562.
Pilot Officer S.W.Webster in Camps 12A/2A/L1/L3, PoW No.2253.
Pilot Officer Bertram A. "Jimmy" James M.C. who was 39th out of the tunnel on the Great Escape, was then sent to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp which he also dug his way out of. He died in Shrewsbury, Shropshire on 18/01/2008, of natural causes, aged 92

Sources:

1. Air Britain: RAF Aircraft P1000 - R9999, published 1996
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/775: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14502384
3. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2635445/peacock,-george-ernest/
4. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2635444/hargrave,-ronald-charles/
5. http://www.nimh.nl/nl/images/1940%20sec_tcm5-7281.pdf
6. http://aircrewremembered.com/sqrldr-george-ernest-peacock.html
7. http://www.militarian.com/threads/squadron-leader-jimmy-james-rip.1545/
8. http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/03677.php
9. http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/9_squadron.html
10. https://sites.google.com/site/wo2vpr1/home/1940-06-06-wellington
11. http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?p=225857
12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertram_James


Images:


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
17-Dec-2008 11:45 ASN archive Added
02-Jan-2012 11:52 Uli Elch Updated [Aircraft type, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
09-Jan-2012 07:23 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
07-May-2015 19:11 Anon. Updated [Narrative, Photo, ]
29-Feb-2016 14:41 gerard57 Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
15-Jan-2017 22:41 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
15-Jan-2017 22:42 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
04-Jun-2019 17:59 TigerTimon Updated [Time, Cn, Other fatalities, Location, Source]
09-Sep-2019 21:42 Dr. John Smith Updated [Other fatalities, Location, Source, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description