03/04.06.1940 No. 44 Squadron R.A.F. Hampden I P1340 Sgt Spencer Location: North side of Orwell Estry, near Harwich, England. +
Mission:  Emmerich am Rhein, Germany.

Date:  3/4th June 1940

Unit:   No.44 Squadron R.A.F.

Type:  Handley Page Hampden I

Serial:  P1340

Code:  KM -

Location:  North side of Orwell Estuary, near Harwich.

Sergeant:   E. J. Spencer Age ? Safe

Pilot Officer:  Reginald William Roots 36202 Age 20. Missing

Sergeant:   Albert Gross Kendrew 624417 Age 20. Missing

Sergeant:   Samuel Patrick Connell 580913 Age ? Missing


This aircraft was tasked for a bombing sortie to Emmerich. En-route to target the aircraft collided with a Barrage Balloon near Harwich.

It is believed that the pilot, Sgt Spencer abandoned the stricken machine, he owes his life to Petty Officer B. Driver R.N. who heard his cries for help and dived into the river and found Sgt Spencer clinging to a Buoy. The bodies of his three crew were never recovered from the water.

     Memorial dedicated to the three missing airmen at the Felixstowe Dock (archives)

Burial details:

The three missing crew are all commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial:

Reginald William Roots 36202 Age. 20 Panel 10 Son of Claudius William and Florence Irene Roots, of Wellington, Auckland, New Zealand

Albert Gross Kendrew 624417 Age. 20 Panel 16 Son of Arthur Kendrew, and of Bertha Kendrew, of Blackpool, Lancashire

Samuel Patrick Connell 580913 Age.? Panel 12 Son of John F. and Mary Connell, of Drumcondra, Co. Dublin, Republic of Ireland.

With thanks to the following: Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses", The superb work of the C.W.G.C.

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