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Thread: 53 Squadron Blenheim - 1940

  1. #1
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    Default 53 Squadron Blenheim - 1940

    Hi,
    On 11/05/1940 Blenheim IV L9459 of 53 Squadron crashed near Borlez (Belgium). Two crewmembers, F/O A.D.Panton and Sgt W.A.Christie got wounded and were evacuated to England. The third crewmember, who was also wounded, AC R.Bence became a pow.

    Was F/O A.D.Panton again shot down, on 14/07/1940, aboard N3551 Blenheim IV of the same squadron at Waarschoot (Belgium) or was it someone else with the same name ?

    Was Sgt W.A.Christie killed during the crash on 18/05/1940 of L4841 Blenheim IV of the same squadron or was it someone else with the same name ?

    Which was the full name of the third crewmember, AC R.Bence, who became pow ?

    Many thanks in advance and best regards

    Luc

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    Hello Luc,

    The Squadron ORB gives the first loss you mention on the 12th ! At 9:30 AM. But the entry is interesting in that it gives the service numbers of the 3 crewmembers : F/O A.D. PANTON (83331) DFC, Sgt CHRISTIE 517508 (or 608, it's handwritten, not sure) and AC2 BENCE 619972.

    Same PANTON who became PoW on 14th July, from Ross McNeill's Coastal Command Losses volume 1, who provided the service number which is matching. Later PoW in Stalag Luft III

    Different CHRISTIE killed in action on 18th May : from CWGC : CHRISTIE, WILLIAM AUGUST Rank: Aircraftman 1st Class Trade:W. Op. Service No:552522
    Date of Death:18/05/1940 Age:18 Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force 53 Sqdn. Grave Reference Plot 2. Row E. Grave 7. Cemetery ST. HILAIRE CEMETERY, FREVENT

    "United in Effort" says that PANTON and J. CHRISTIE were wounded, and AC2 R.W. BENCE was wounded/PoW Stalag XII.

    That crew flew ops twice on 10th May on L9459, flew in the morning of 11th (06:15-09:05) on L9459, and in the afternoon (14:55 -), failed to return. So the form 540 says on the 12th and the form 541 says on the 11th ! I can only suggest that PANTON and J. CHRISTIE were recovered by allied troops and brought back to allied lines, and after treatment, went back to operational duties, at least for the pilot.

    Regards

    Joss

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    Bonjour Joss,

    Many thanks for your reply !

    Based on the information you supplied it was possible to identity the full names of Christie and Bence in the AIR78 documents :

    Christie John 517808 (AIR 78/31 part 3 p.306)

    Bence Ronald William 619972 F (Air 78/13 part 1 p.1206)



    Best regards from Belgium

    Luc
    Last edited by Luc Vervoort; 4th November 2013 at 03:17. Reason: F for reserve

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