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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 76258
Last updated: 2 December 2021
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Time:06:50 LT
Type:Boulton Paul Defiant Mk I
Owner/operator:264 (Madras Presidency) Squadron Royal Air Force (264 (Madras Presidency) Sqn RAF)
Registration: L6958
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Gat van de Kampen, Petrusplaat, Drimmelen, Noord-Brabant -   Netherlands
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:RAF Martlesham Heath, Ipswich, Suffolk
Destination airport:
Boulton Paul Defiant Mk I L6958 (PS-G) of 264 (Madras Presidency) Sqn RAF: Took off at 04.15 hrs from RAF Martlesham Heath, Ipswich, Suffolk along with 5 other Boulton Paul Defiant's together with 6 Spitfires from 66 Squadron. The object being to patrol the Dutch coast between Ijmuiden and Den Haag to attack German troop transport.

Shot down by Bf 109s from 5. Staffel of Jagdgeschwader 26

Pilot: Pilot Officer Samuel Richard Thomas survived, evaded capture. With the aid of Dutch civilians and soldiers he made his way to the Hague where he was taken off by a British destroyer and landed at Dover.
Air/Gunner: L.A.C. John Stuart Mee Bromley 521432 R.A.F. Age 24 missing in action presumed dead. Body not found/not recovered. Son of Frederick Mee Bromley and Constance Bromley, of Liverpool. Commemorated on Runnymede Memorial Panel 22

Post script:
In July 1994 a group of Dutch holidaymakers stumbled upon the remains of an aircraft in the waters of a creek called the 'Gat van de Kampen' just south of Petrusplaat island in the wetlands of the Biesbosch. The group warned the Water Police at Drimmelen who in turn notified the Marechaussee (Dutch Military Police), the Explosieven-Opruimingsdienst (Dutch Army Ordnance Disposal Service) and a Dutch Air Force diving team. Initially the aircraft was thought to be a Hurricane, but later investigation by a team from the Dutch Air Force Bergingsdienst (Recovery Service) led by Kapitein John van de Berg confirmed that it was in fact a Defiant and subsequent research proved it to be L6958, the aircraft of Thomas and Bromley.

The engine and other items from the aircraft were subsequently recovered and put on display in the Biesbosch Museum at Werkendam, The pilot of Defiant L6958. P/O Samuel R Thomas later took part in the Battle of Britain. On 5th September 1943 P/O Thomas, now a Squadron Leader with 3 Squadron, was shot down in Typhoon JP585 on a 'Roadstead' sortie. He came down north of Sluis, Holland and was able to fire the aircraft before being taken prisoner. He spent some time in Stalag Luft III.

Thomas stayed in the postwar RAF but details of his service are currently unknown. He was serving at RAF Kenley when he died in the RAF Hospital, Uxbridge on 3rd September 1962, presumably from natural causes. He is buried in Hillingdon Cemetery.

As for Leading Aircraftman J S M Bromley, it is reported that some human remains were found in the wreckage of Defiant L6958 in 1994. However, even though, through circumstantial evidence, they should be those of LAC Bromley, it could not be conclusively proved that was the case, and, therefore, he remains missing, with any discovered remains unidentified.


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-L9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1978, p 58)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/363:


Revision history:

13-Aug-2010 02:00 penguin832 Added
30-Dec-2011 09:11 Nepa Updated [Operator, Narrative]
30-Dec-2011 09:11 Nepa Updated [Operator]
01-Feb-2013 14:40 Nepa Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Narrative]
06-Aug-2013 13:30 JINX Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Narrative]
13-Aug-2013 15:45 Nepa Updated [Operator]
14-Aug-2013 20:23 JINX Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
10-Nov-2014 17:29 DG333 Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Departure airport, Source]
30-Sep-2015 05:43 sandman56 Updated [Narrative]
06-Jan-2016 15:09 JINX Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Departure airport]
07-Jan-2016 21:13 JIXN Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Source]
11-Jul-2019 21:05 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
23-Mar-2020 12:42 TigerTimon Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Location, Source, Embed code]

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