View Full Version : 431227 - Unaccounted Airmen - 27-12-1943

Henk Welting
17th July 2008, 16:08
What caused the death of LAC John G. HOFFEN - 537498 - 217 Sqn (St.Eval, Cornwall) - missing and commemorated on Panel 23 of the Runnymede Memorial.
Regards and thanks for your help.

17th July 2008, 18:43
Hi Henk
We'll forgive you the typo, Hoffen died in 1940. At the time 217 had both Ansons and Beauforts. I think dec 1940 was the month when the RAF made the last of the non-commissioned aircrew up to Sgt rank, so Hoffen could have been a gunner or w/op or also groundcrew, airborne following maintenance. His name does not come on the death registers

Ken MacLean
17th July 2008, 21:01
Hoffen was reported "Missing" in the Times list of 12 Jan 1941 and "Previously Missing Now Presumed Killed in Action" in the 24 Sep 1941 list.

17th July 2008, 23:13
He doesn't appear on http://www.stmawgan.org.uk/book_of_remembrance.htm nor is there a loss for the 27th. There does seem to be one on the 26th though.


Henk Welting
18th July 2008, 12:16
Thanks friends. Don't know how to alter the title of the thread. Bookmarked St.Mawgan website.

19th July 2008, 16:01
I have a possible loss that needs checking for this date.

Wellington N2810 of 9FPP ditched and sank into Fort William Bay.


Alex Smart
16th October 2013, 02:29

431227 - Unaccounted Airmen - 27-12-1943

From Henk's list -

HOLE, Reginald Arthur Davis - AC2c - 1234992 - Malta(Capuccini), Malta.

BALDWIN, Eric Phillip - LAC - 512470 - RAF - Bath (Haycombe), Somerset.

From CWGC & Geoff's sites -

GRANT, Donald Hugh - AC1c - 1551843 - RAFVR - Karachi, Pakistan.

O'BREE, Arthur - F/O - 77416 - RAFVR - Johannesburg (West Park), Gauteng, South Africa.

COLLINS, William Victor - LAC (Drogue Op) - 1368338 - Edinburgh (Comely Bank), Edinburgh.

BOX, John Arthur George - AC2c (Pilot U/T) - 1803445 - RAFVR - Bulawayo (Athlone), Zimbabwe.
DAVIES, Charles Frederick - Ac2c(Pilot U/T) - 1603287 - Bulawayo (Athlone), Zimbabwe.


16th October 2013, 11:43

HOLE, Reginald Arthur Davis - AC2 - serving with 10 W/T.

GRANT, Donald Hugh - AC1 - serving with 301 MU.

O'BREE, Arthur - F/O - DOAS whilst serving in Durban.

BALDWIN, Eric Phillip - LAC - not Eng/Wales?.
COLLINS, William Victor - LAC (Drogue Op) - possibly killed whilst flying in Martinet I, JN493 of No 10 AGS, which crashed in an attempted forced landing near Biggar Bank in Lancashire following an engine failure

BOX, John Arthur George - AC2 (Pilot U/T) - serving with 23 SFTS.
DAVIES, Charles Frederick - Ac2(Pilot U/T) - serving with 23 SFTS.


Tim Bishop
16th October 2013, 20:21
Hello All,

Can confirm COLLINS was indeed lost in Martinet JN493 as detailed below:

JN493 P& Powis 1690 / C 23 (c) Mercury XXV 26.05.43 8 A.G.S., Evanton; 07.10.43 10 A.G.S., Barrow; 27.12.43 Flying Accident Cat E damage, 10 A.G.S., Barrow, aircrafts engine cut in flight pilot attempted forced landing when in position lowered undercarriage and flaps, stalled and crashed, Biggar Bank, Lancs. Pilot Flt / Sgt CIURKOT, Eugeninsz Henryk (P780943) P.A.F. Killed, T.T.O. Leading Aircraftsman COLLINS, William Victor (1368338) Killed. Accident time 12.40, Duty: Towing.

Kind regards,


17th October 2013, 01:03
Hole, O'Bree, Baldwin and Grant are all found to be DOAS

There is a 32 yr old Eric P Baldwin registered in Swindon district, Wilts'

17th October 2013, 09:12
Baldwin was probably in RAF Hospital Wroughton


11th February 2014, 18:04
I have a possible loss that needs checking for this date.

Wellington N2810 of 9FPP ditched and sank into Fort William Bay.


Sorry for opening an old message, I came across a reference to this on Canmore.


They actually have two records both with very vague positions and 'Fort William Bay' is not a name used locally for anywhere.

13th November 2017, 12:54
What caused the death of LAC John G. HOFFEN - 537498 - 217 Sqn (St.Eval, Cornwall) - missing and commemorated on Panel 23 of the Runnymede Memorial.
Regards and thanks for your help.


I'd like to get back to the original intent of this thread - Henk's query, "What caused the death of LAC John G(erard) HOFFEN - 537498?"

I believe LAC John Gerard HOFFEN was aboard No.210 Sqn Sunderland I N9022 which struck a floating object alighting off Maiden Island on, 27 December, 1940. The CWGC quotes Hoffen's unit as 217 Squadron, which is clearly incorrect.

John Evans in his "Sopwiths To Sunderlands 210 Squadron 1917 to 1941, Paterchurch Publications, 1999, pp.60-1, mentions the following:

Before the end of the year (1940), 210 had suffered two further crew losses. On September 2nd F/L P.D. Parry-Jones and ten crew were lost in a newly arrived Sunderland, T9043, which failed to return from a convoy patrol. And on December 27th, N9022 crashed in a night landing off Maiden Island, north of Oban Bay, when returning from a patrol. The aircraft alighted successfully but immediately hit an object in the water which ripped open the aircraft's hull and flipped it over on its back. F/L Ivor Meggitt (Australian), and nine of those aboard, including a naval officer, were presumed drowned. The only survivor, though injured, was F/O D.A. Stewart.

The object was probably one of the several horse boxes, with dead animals inside, which were lost when a merchant ship. the SS "Breda", was damaged in a Luftwaffe raid on shipping in Ardmucknish Bay on December 23rd. The dead horses acted as bouyancy aids keeping the boxes near the surface and they were a lethal thing to hit in a thin-hulled Sunderland landing at speed. Meggitt and crew had been in the wrong place at the wrong time....

Crew members of the ill-fated Sunderlands were:


F/L P.D. Parry-Jones
F/O B.L.A. Pusey
P/O M.H. Dalzell-McKean
P/O I.W. Phillips
Sgt M.A.F. Drewitt
Sgt R.G. Fitzgerald
LAC W.T. James
AC1 W.H. Blackmore
AC1 L.J. Caunter
AC1 D.H. Jones
AC1 L.E. Stokes


F/L I.H. Meggitt
Sgt L.E. Crawshaw
Sgt D. Ogston
Sgt A.K. Perkins
Sgt C.C.I. Roberts
Sgt N.E. Thomson RNZAF
LAC J.G. Hoffen
LAC T.A. Kennedy
AC1 J.S. Audsley
S/Lt B.F. Leadbitter RNVR
F/O D.A. Stewart - Injured.

All of the crew of N9022 (apart from S/Lt Leadbitter RNVR), are mentioned in Flight, January 23, 1941, p.81 - Cas. Comm. No.57:


Comments welcomed.


18th October 2020, 18:11
O'BREE, Arthur - F/O - 77416

Arthur O'Bree
'Soldier - Imperial Army'
Died at {unsure*} Military Hospital, aged 57, of 'Chronic Bronchitis, Emphysema, cardiac failure'

* I am unable to decipher the location given. It may be possible if you are familiar with South Africa/Joburg

From the Form of Information of a Death on FamilySearch:

That's enough for now, I'm off for a quiet lie down in a dark room!

7th April 2021, 19:23
Thomas Hardacre 623073 , a flight mechanic airframe at RAF Khormaksar , was admitted to Number 7 RAF Hospital Aden on 21st December with severe burns where he died at 16:43 hours on 27th December

11th November 2021, 19:09
Reginald Arthur Davis Hole 1234992 ,attached to Number 10 W/T section, was admitted dangerously ill to Number 45 General hospital on 25 December where he died at 00:20 hours of cerebral malaria