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18.04.1944. No. 51 Squadron Halifax III HX350 Flt/Sgt. Sarjantson Location: Near the village of Davescourt, France.
Mission: Tergnier, France. (Rail Facilities)

Date: 18
th April 1944. (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 51 Squadron.

Type: Halifax III.

Serial: HX350

Code: MH-Y

Base: Snaith, Yorkshire.

Location: Near the village of Davescourt, France

Pilot: Flt/Sgt. Alan Sarjantson 1438714. R.A.F.V.R. Age 20. (Killed)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Mark Charles McCarthy 1802226. R.A.F.V.R. Age 20. (Killed)

Nav: F/O William George Meeson 135667. R.A.F.V.R. Age 23. (Killed)

Air/Bmr: Flt/Sgt. St. John Edward Roderick S Scheffler 1322542. R.A.F.V.R. Age 21. (Killed)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Harry Dennis Nash 1438715. R.A.F.V.R. Age 22. (Killed)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Stanley George Myers 1486415. R.A.F.V.R. Age 21. (Killed)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Alan Smith 1333893. R.A.F.V.R. Age 21. (Killed)

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took-off from R.A.F. Snaith airfield at 2133 hrs to bomb rail facilities at Tergnier, France. Last heard on W/T at 2346 hrs and fixed South-East of Amiens. Aircraft crashed 2 km South of Davenscourt (Somme), shot down by a Night Fighter from 2/NJG4 piloted by Hptm. Josef Krahforst.

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Crew of Halifax HX350. (Peter Myers)

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Crews graves with wooden crosses when first buried, and The Commonwealth War Graves Commission grave markers in front of these, later additions before the permanent headstones were set in place. (Peter Myers)

The Society was contacted by Peter Myers in May 2019, the nephew of Stanley George Myers the mid upper gunner. Peter told us “After the aircraft crashed near the village of Davescourt, the next morning, a small boy called Paul Mercier went to the crash site, sneaked past the soldiers guarding it and removed a plaque from the wreckage. We (My parents, my sister and I) visited the grave in 1961 in the municipal cemetery at Davenescourt and Paul Mercier, who is by now the Clerk to the Mayor of Montdidier, found out we were there and gave the plaque to my father. I have it now.

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Air/Gnr: Sgt. Stanley George Myers and the Mod plate given to his brother during his visit in 1961. (Peter Myers)

Engine and propeller recovered 26th June 2015
Yann Lerust resident of Davenescourt discovered near a water hole in the nearby swamp, parts from an aircraft. He based his research according to the testimony of a witness of the crash Mr Antoine Masson now deceased. Yann Lerust then contacts Pierre Ben to authenticate pieces that turn out to be those of a Halifax motor.

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The motor was buried several meters into the marshy soil. Excavation took place June 26th 2015. It was indeed one of the four engines of the Halifax III HX 350 MH Y.

(Somme Aviation 39-45)

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With the propeller . Alain Engelaere, Albert Berthet, Ghislain Lobel, Jacky faudé, Pierre Ben, Amadée de Franqueville , Géralde Frion. (Somme Aviation 39-45)

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Some very impressive restoration work undertaken by the group (Somme Aviation 39-45) on this engine for display, including extensive cleaning and refitting of propeller. Pierre Ben of the Somme Aviation 39-45 group with the finished engine and propeller.

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Engine and propeller on display. (Somme Aviation 39-45)

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Peter Myers father at his brother Stanley’s grave and those of his crew in 1961, and a photo of the graves as they are today. (Peter Myers)


Burial Details:

Flt/Sgt. Alan Sarjantson 1438714. R.A.F.V.R. Age 20.
Son of Granville B. and Annie Sarjantson, of Saxilby, Lincolnshire.
Davenescourt Communal Cemetery, France. Row 2. Grave 6.

Sgt. Mark Charles McCarthy 1802226. R.A.F.V.R. Age 20.
Son of William M. McCarthy and Eva E. McCarthy, of Walworth, London.
Davenescourt Communal Cemetery, France. Row 2. Grave 4.

F/O William George Meeson 135667. R.A.F.V.R. Age 23.
Son of John Thomas Meeson and Phoebe Meeson, of Alum Rock, Birmingham.
Davenescourt Communal Cemetery, France. Row 2. Grave 7.

Flt/Sgt. St. John Edward Roderick S Scheffler 1322542. R.A.F.V.R. Age 21.
Son of St. John Edward and Bertha Scheffler, of Pinner, Middlesex.
Davenescourt Communal Cemetery, France. Row 2. Grave 2.

Sgt. Harry Dennis Nash 1438715 R.A.F.V.R. Age 22.
Son of Harry and Elsie Nash, of Grenoside, Yorkshire.
Davenescourt Communal Cemetery, France. Row 2. Grave 3.

Sgt. Stanley George Myers 1486415 R.A.F.V.R. Age 21.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Frederick Myers; husband of Joyce Rosina Myers, of Walthamstow, Essex.
Davenescourt Communal Cemetery, France. Row 2. Grave 5.

Sgt. James Alan Smith 1333893. R.A.F.V.R. Age 21.
Son of Frank and Edith Elizabeth Smith, of East Ham, Essex.
Davenescourt Communal Cemetery, France. Row 2. Grave 1.

Page constructed by David King and Alexander King. Special thanks to Peter Myers and Pierre Ben of the Somme Aviation 39-45 group. Other credits: C.W.G.C. Bomber Command Losses W R Chorley.

Many more details and photos regarding to this loss and further work undertaken by Pierre Ben and the Somme Aviation 39-45 group, can be found vie the link below.

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