29.09.1939 No. 144 Squadron Hampden I L4121 F/O. Sadler Location: sea- Between Heligoland and Wangerooge.
Mission: Heligoland

Date: 29th September 1939 (Friday)

Unit: No. 144 Squadron

Type: Hampden I

Serial: L4121

Code: PL-?

Base: Hemswell, Lincolnshire

Location: Sea - Between Heligoland and Wangerooge

Pilot: F/O. John Tulloch Burrill Sadler 40061 R.A.F. Age 24. Killed

Obs: Sgt. R.L. Galloway P.O.W. No: 5760 Stalag Luft Heydekrug (L6)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: A.C.1. James White Cummings 523342 R.A.F. Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Henry Stephens 580680 R.A.F. Age 20. Killed


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Hampden Bomber starting up for mission.

Aircraft took-off at 06:40 hrs. Hemswell, Lincolnshire to bomb German warships in the Heligoland area. 11 Hampdens were sent in two formations - the first 6 attacked 2 destroyers but missed the target, the second wave of 5 were intercepted and all were shot down by Luftwaffe Me. 109's. Of the 16 aircrew who were lost 12 were killed 4 became P.O.W.'s.
Oblt. Gunther Specht of 1./ZG26 is thought to have shot down this Hampden and also L4126.

144 Squadron lost 4 other aircraft this day they were as follows -
Hampden I L4132 P/O R.M "Gonga" Coste., Hampden L4126 F/O. Baughan, Hampden L4127 F/O. Norman C. Beck and Hampden L4134 W/Cmdr. James C. Cunningham.
Hampden L4132 is thought to have been shot down at 10:03 hrs by Uffz. Pollack of I./ZG26.

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Major Günther  Specht  (left) seen here with Professor Kurt Tank, chief designer of the FW190


Burial details:

F/O. John Tulloch Burrill Sadler. Runnymede Memorial Panel 1. Son of Bertie Tulloch Sadler and Emily Sadler, of East Devonport, Tasmania, Australia.

A.C.1. James White Cummings. Runnymede Memorial Panel 2. Son of James White Cumming and Lily Cumming, of Hamilton, Lanarkshire.

Sgt. William Henry Stephens. Runnymede Memorial Panel 2. Son of William Henry and Ellen Stephens.

Researched for relatives of the crew. Acknowledgments: Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses", C.W.G.C., Bob Wilton.

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