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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 226885
Last updated: 28 November 2021
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Time:08:10 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic BLEN model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bristol Blenheim Mk IV
Owner/operator:57 Squadron Royal Air Force (57 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L9180
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Dendermonde, Oost-Vlaanderen, 25 km ESE of Genk -   Belgium
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:Poix-de-Picardie, France
Destination airport:
Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV L9180 (DX-O), 57 Squadron, RAF: Written off (damaged beyond repair) when lost (failed to return) from combat operations on 14 May 1940. One of the three crew was killed, the other two survived and returned safely to their units. According to the official Air Ministry file on the incident (File AIR 81/340): "Blenheim L9180 crashed near Termonde [sic] Belgium, 14 May 1940. Aircraftman 2nd Class O R Beaumont, report of death. Sergeant R N Pike and Pilot Officer W G Spencer injured".

57 Squadron, which had already lost a Blenheim at Dendermonde on 10 May, would lose another machine in the same city barely four days later. The unit was stationed at Poix-de-Picardie at the time, and that morning, at 05:37 am, Blenheim L9180 took off from there for a reconnaissance mission above the Maas near Dinant.

During the sortie, the Blenheim was severely hit by machine gun fire from a Do 17. The pilot, Pilot Officer W.G.Spencer remained unharmed, but his observer, Sgt R. Pike was wounded while AC.2 Owen R. Beaumont (Wireless Op,/Air Gunner) was dead in the gun turret.

At 8.10 am Belgian soldiers saw the Blenheim IV L9180 land in the Dendermond area, along the Dendermonde-Baasrode road, Oost-Vlaanderen, 25 km ESE of Genk. The plane shaved a few more tree tops to come to a halt in a field behind the De Kinder farm in Wolvestraat in Sint-Gillis. Both survivors returned to their base. The killed gunner Owen Beaumont was buried the next day in "the big cemetery" of Dendermonde. After the war, his family placed a commemorative plaque on the grave: "Remembrance of our beloved and only son Owen Ralph Beaumont RAF, killed in action at Dendermonde on May 14, 18 years old. In our thoughts forever. Because of mum, dad and sister Beryl - Norwich, England". He rests somewhere in the middle of the Dendermond cemetery, among the citizens of the city.

Crew of Blenheim L9180:
Pilot Officer (Pilot) W.G. Spencer - survived, evaded capture and returned to his unit
Sgt (Observer) R. Pike - survived, evaded capture and returned to his unit
Aircraftman 2nd Class (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) Owen Ralph Beaumont, RAF 552443, age 18, killed in action 14/05/1940, buried at Dendermonde Communal Cemetery and Extension, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-L9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain 1978 p 60)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/340:

Related books:

Revision history:

07-Jul-2019 01:31 Dr. John Smith Added
08-Jul-2019 05:51 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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