The Air Forces Memorial,
Coopers Hill, Runnymede

The Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede commemorates by name over 20,000 airmen and women who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe, and who have no known graves. They served in Bomber, Fighter, Coastal, Transport, Flying Training and Maintenance Commands, and came from all parts of the Commonwealth. Some were from countries in continental Europe which had been overrun but whose airmen continued to fight in the ranks of the Royal Air Force. The names in their thousands are inscribed on panels in a courtyard.

The memorial sits on a hill overlooking an historic part of the Thames Valley where Magna Carta, enshrining basic freedoms in English law, was signed in 1215.

The Memorial commemorates by name, inscribed on stone panels, some 20,389 airmen and women (including those of 207 Squadron) lost on operations from UK & NW European bases during WWII in the fight against tyranny.

All have no known grave.

source: CWGC

The Squadron was represented at a ceremony here commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the raid on Nuremberg, 31st March 1944.

The memorial was designed by Sir Edward Maufe with sculpture by Vernon Hill. The engraved glass and painted ceilings were designed by John Hutton and the poem engraved on the gallery window was written by Paul H Scott.

It overlooks the River Thames on Cooper's Hill at Englefield Green between Windsor and Egham on the A328 (Priest Hill), 4 miles from Windsor and is well signposted as 'Air Force Memorial'.

maps via multimap.com: area detailed

John Patrick Rothera, who has no known grave, was the Bomb Aimer in John Taylor's crew lost on Berlin on 29/1/44, in Lancaster EM-H LM366 of 207 Squadron.

His name is one of nearly 200 from 207 Squadron listed on this Memorial because, like him, they have no known grave.

207s listed on this Memorial

14 August 2005: Commemoration of the men who died on No.207 Squadron in WW2 and have No Known Grave at the 21st Family Service held by the Aircrew Association at the Memorial.

17th August 2003 saw the 19th Family Service held by the Aircrew Association at the Memorial to remember all aircrew who gave their lives in the cause of freedom from tyranny and oppression, and those who have since died. It was also the 60th anniversary of the Peenemunde Raid, which played such a significant part in delaying the development of the V2 rockets against which we had no defence.

David Balme of 207 Squadron wrote an excellent account of the raid. David, who died in 1989, played a major role in the setting up of our association and as you may know, one of his sons Richard and a grandson in the USA, David, are Friend Members. Richard was one of a party of members laying a wreath in memory of the 207s taking part in the raid. He was honoured to be accompanied by three members of Jack Stephens' crew which took part in the operation – Arthur Barfoot DFM, Nat Bury DFM, and Jack Pegrum DFM. Also present were Mrs Margaret Balme, David's widow, Richard's wife Jenny and Mrs Sybil Cordon, widow of Alec Cordon who was a member of David's crew. Frank Haslam represented the 207 Squadron RAF Association Committee.

The introduction to the service was given by the President of the Aircrew Association, ACM Sir Sandy Wilson KCB AFC FRAeS, who noted that Mrs Jane Searby, widow of John Searby who was Master Bomber on the Peenemunde Raid, would be laying a wreath. The service was taken by Rev Bill Pegg, Honorary Chaplain to the Aircrew Association.

John Cotter, a Halifax pilot with No.158 Squadron based at Lissett who flew on the Peenemunde Raid, code named Operation Hydra read an account of the attack.

Chairman of the Aircrew Association, Air Commodore Jack Broughton DL announced just after the Reveille that two special wreaths would be among those laid: this being the 60th Anniversary year of the Dams Raid there would be one from 617 Squadron Association; there would also be one from 207 Squadron, laid by three members of a Peenemunde crew, all DFMs, and the son of one of the pilots on the raid.

L-R: Jack Pegrum DFM, Arthur Barfoot DFM, Nat Bury DFM, Richard Balme and a representative of 617 Sqn Association

L-R: Jack Pegrum DFM, Arthur Barfoot DFM, Nat Bury DFM, Richard Balme, Mrs Margaret Balme and Mrs Sybil Cordon

Richard Balme with the 207 wreath

The wreath was dedicated as follows:

In remembrance of the 9 crews of
No.207 Squadron which took part in the
Peenemunde Raid 17 August 1943
all safely returned, but 39 men did
not live to see Victory.

EM-A P/O McIntosh
EM-C P/O Kirkwood
EM-G Flt Lt Balme
EM-K P/O Stephens
EM-L P/O Fitzgerald

EM-N Sgt Coxon
EM-Q P/O Baker
EM-X Sqn Ldr Huntly-Wood
EM-Z P/O Weeden

207 Squadron, 17/18 Aug 1943 RAF Langar, op Peenemunde.

Nine crews took off of the ten tasked (Bremner’s a/c had a problem). All returned safely. 39 of the 63 who took part in this raid did not live to see the end of WWII - nor did any of the aircraft.

Lancaster ED627 EM-N

took off 2138, time landed 0411
Pilot Sgt Geoffrey Lewis COXON RAFVR 156106 Killed 22.9.1943
Flight Engineer Sgt Albert William MARSH RAF 542744 Killed 22.9.1943
Navigator Sgt Frederick Cyril SHERGOLD RAFVR 1322599 Killed 22.9.1943
Wireless Op/AG Sgt Kenneth SAVILLE RAFVR 1235571 Killed 22.9.1943
Bomb Aimer Sgt John Lockwood HOLDING RAFVR 1366349 Killed 22.9.1943
Air Gunner (MU) Sgt Edwin Dennis KITE RAFVR 1150992 Killed 22.9.1943
Air Gunner (R) Sgt Henry Alfred FREEMAN RAFVR 932778 Killed 22.9.1943

ED627 Failed to Return on 28 Aug 1943,
P/O AM Fitzgerald & crew, Nuremberg: all killed

Lancaster W5006 EM-G

took off 2140, time landed 0450
Pilot F/L David Mowbray BALME RAFVR 118095
Flight Engineer Sgt George Joseph Edward BASFORD RAFVR 940264
Navigator F/S C M LAWES RAFVR 1028125
Wireless Operator Sgt John Alfred THOMAS RAF 618895 Killed 3.1.1944
Bomb Aimer Sgt John L RUMGAY RAFVR
Air Gunner (MU) Sgt Alec CORDON RAF 621404
Air Gunner (R) Sgt Leslie W MITCHELL RAFVR

W5006 Failed to Return on 31 Mar 1944, when with 9 Sqn, on the Nuremberg Raid

Lancaster ED832 EM-X

took off 2141, time landed 0436
Pilot S/L Ian McArtair HUNTLY-WOOD RAFVR 62322 Killed 3.9.1943
Flight Engineer Sgt James Gilbert MYERSCOUGH RAF 572901
Navigator F/O Thomas John Davies WATERMAN RCAF J/5689 Killed 3.9.1943
Wireless Op/AG F/O James Lawson YOUNG RAFVR 983117 Killed 3.9.1943
Bomb Aimer F/O Frederick Gordon Charles SPANNER RCAF J/15722 Killed 3.9.1943
Air Gunner (MU) F/S Arthur John Charles WHITEHEAD RAFVR 1385142 Killed 3.9.1943
Air Gunner (R) F/L James Gilhulme MOORE RAFVR 131881 Killed 10.3.1944

ED832 Failed to Return on 3 Sep 1943, Sqn Ldr Huntly-Wood & crew, Berlin: all killed

Lancaster EE126 EM-A

took off 2142, time landed 0427
Pilot P/O John McINTOSH RAFVR 145837
Flight Engineer Sgt Ronald Charles SOOLEY RAF 613934
Navigator F/S Iain Henderson NICOLSON RAFVR 1345413
Bomb Aimer F/S Desmond Arthur John William BALL RAFVR 1380912 Killed 11.2.1945
Wireless Operator F/S John HYDE RAFVR 1071339
Air Gunner (MU) Sgt John SIMMONS RAF 526670
Air Gunner (R) Sgt Rowland MIDDLETON RAFVR 1438733 Killed 12.9.1944

EE126 Failed to Return on 20 Feb 1944, P/O WD Jarvis & crew, Leipzig: 3 killed, 4 POW

Lancaster LM326 EM-Z

took off 2143, time landed 0430
Pilot P/O Gordon Herbert WEEDEN RCAF J/17287 Killed 10.12.1943
Flight Engineer Sgt Arthur William RICHARDSON RAFVR 1294108 Killed 10.12.1943
Navigator F/S Ralph Neville JONES RAFVR 1392175 Killed 10.12.1943
Wireless Op/AG Sgt Robert Geoffrey HOWELL RAFVR 1380180 Killed 10.12.1943
Bomb Aimer Sgt Edward Joseph WALTERS RCAF R/131192 Killed 10.12.1943
Air Gunner (MU) Sgt Brook ROBINSON RAFVR 987906 Killed 10.12.1943
Air Gunner (R) Sgt Robert CUMMINGS RCAF R/141707Killed 10.12.1943
Crew killed on 617 Sqn

LM326 Failed to Return on 18 Oct 1943, F/Sgt G Taylor & crew, Hanover: all POW

Lancaster W4815 EM-C

took off 2145, time landed 0431
Pilot P/O James KIRKWOOD RAFVR 146119 Killed 17.12.1943
Flight Engineer Sgt Edward George HUBBARD RAFVR 1477239 Killed 17.12.1943
Navigator Sgt Robert Charles STEWART RAFVR 1361082 Killed 17.12.1943
Wireless Op/AG Sgt Ronald George CLEAVE RAFVR 1315213 Killed 17.12.1943
Bomb Aimer P/O George Alexander WIGLEY RAFVR 132874 Killed 17.12.1943
Air Gunner (MU) Sgt Leonard MADELEY RAFVR 1696999 Killed 17.12.1943
Air Gunner (R) Sgt John KILLEN RAFVR 1055997 Killed 17.12.1943
Crew Killed on 97 Sqn

W4815 crashed in the UK on 26 Feb 1944, P/O JE Derbyshire & crew, Augsburg: all killed

Lancaster ED550 EM-K

took off 2146, time landed 0440
Pilot P/O Jack A C STEPHENS RAFVR 145481
Flight Engineer Sgt Nathan Robert BURY RAFVR 1111414
Navigator Sgt James N LOVE RCAF R/120578
Wireless Op/AG Sgt Andrew John Colin PEGRUM RAFVR 913858
Bomb Aimer Sgt Kenneth BATE RAFVR 1575052
Air Gunner (MU) Sgt Arthur BARFOOT RAFVR 1196427
Air Gunner (R) Sgt Arthur Thomas McDAVITT RAFVR 1323772

ED550 Failed to Return on 23 Aug 1943, P/O GW Osmer & crew, Berlin: 6 killed, 1 POW

Lancaster DV191 EM-Q

took off 2148, time landed 0421
Pilot P/O William Henry BAKER RAFVR 148111
Flight Engineer Sgt Derek John PEPPAL
Navigator Sgt Thomas S GEDLING RAFVR 1495937
Wireless Operator Sgt George Henry CASTELL RAFVR 1334146
Bomb Aimer Sgt Eric Henry SHIMEILD RAFVR 1320623 Killed 18.11.1943
Air Gunner (MU) Sgt Edward Mornington BUNN RAFVR 1168422
Air Gunner (R) Sgt John SKELTON RAFVR 1697217 Killed 6.12.1944

DV191 Failed to Return on 14 Jan 1944, F/O GW James & crew, Brunswick: 2 killed, 5 POW

Lancaster W4120 EM-L

took off 2149, time landed 0447
Pilot P/O Arthur Marcus FITZGERALD RAFVR 148128 Killed 28.8.1943
Flight Engineer Sgt Sydney James MITCHELL RAFVR 1503006 Killed 28.8.1943
Navigator Sgt Cyril Herbert PRATT RAFVR 1314020 Killed 28.8.1943
Wireless Op/AG Sgt William Walter George ADDISON RAFVR 1313919 Killed 28.8.1943
Bomb Aimer Sgt Henry Albert TOOMEY RAFVR 1383991 Killed 28.8.1943
Air Gunner (MU) Sgt Stephen PRESTON RAFVR 1541030 Killed 28.8.1943
Air Gunner (R) Sgt John GOODWIN RAFVR 1603332 Killed 28.8.1943

W4120 Failed to Return on 31 Aug 1943, P/O J Hickling & crew on Munchen-Gladbach: 6 killed, 1 POW

photos: Frank Haslam unless otherwise stated
crew and aircraft information: Raymond Glynne-Owen

update 17 Aug 05: 18 Nov 17