Wilhelmshaven Raid 110 sqdr 1939

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by sadbrewer, Apr 6, 2019.

  1. sadbrewer

    sadbrewer New Member

    Hi All
    I noticed a thread on here from 2009, about the first RAF raid of the war.
    I'm actually researching for a lady whose father was killed with 110 Sqdr.on 15/4/40...flying from Wattisham in Blenheim L8652, and wondered if he had been on the Wilhelmshaven raid on 4/9/1939. The other aircraft on that April 1940 mission was flown by Squadron Leader Doran, who led the 110 Sqdr Blenheims against Wilhelmshaven.
    He was Sgt Leslie Bancroft, from Fitzwilliam in W. Yorks, his pilot was Lt Mervyn Lascelles Morris...born in Africa ( I believe) the third crew member was LAC Richard Henry Mercer from Southport.
    Any help would be most appreciated.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    BBC - WW2 People's War - My Uncle Ted

    It told me he had died on September 4th 1939, had been a Wireless/Operator Gunner with 110 Squadron and was buried at Sage in Germany

    War had been declared at 11am on September 3rd 1939. At 1445 the next day, a force of Blenheim and Wellington bombers left to carry out the first raid on the German fleet at Wilhelmshaven. 15 Blenheim's left England, 110 Squadron losing 1 from 5, 139 Squadron seeing all of its 5 aircraft return safely and 107 Squadron losing 4 from 5. Given that their were 5 graves in Sage, including my Uncle, all supposedly from 110 Squadron, there had to be an error as Blenheims had a crew of 3.

    Bristol Blenheim IV (N6199 VE-) on a mission to Wilhelmshaven on 1939-09-03

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  3. AlanW

    AlanW Senior Member

    Here is the answer to your question, but with another crew. Note the "4" man crew lost with N6199. There are 6 in Sage listed on CWGC as killed on 4th Sept 39 from 110sqdn but, Edward Pateman was with 107sqdn when lost, as was Ernest Lyon, so an error with CWGC.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
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  4. sadbrewer

    sadbrewer New Member

    Wow that was quick!!
    Thank you so much guys...Sgt Bancroft's daughter was a baby when her Dad was killed, she has told me the family knew nothing of his service other than what was said in the missing and presumed killed telegrams...her mother always believed he would come back one day.
    Could I ask if it's possible to find out what other missions Sgt Bancroft took part in?
    I've found a couple of reports on the internet , one that suggest's he was shot down by Flak on a recce mission, the other by a 109 when attacking shipping...any help on those will be equally appreciated....thanks again.
  5. AlanW

    AlanW Senior Member

    Chorley has them attacking a German patrol boat and being shot down by return fire.
  6. sadbrewer

    sadbrewer New Member

    Many thanks again Alan....excuse my ignorance, could I ask what Chorley is?
  7. AlanW

    AlanW Senior Member

    William Chorley wrote a number of books listing Bomber Command Losses, one for each year of the war in detail, including losses from training units as well. Your loss is covered in volume 1.
  8. sadbrewer

    sadbrewer New Member

    Many thanks for all your help...it really is most appreciated!!

  9. Markyboy

    Markyboy Member

    Hi Andy, anything Blenheim related I'd refer you to The Blenheim Society. They have a wealth of first hand accounts and detailed reports on all things Blenheim, collated over about 35 years. Might be useful if you're trying to flesh out the official reports and obtain more of a human picture.

  10. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Chorley in RAF Bomber Command Losses gives the following.....

    15 April 1940

    110 squadron
    Blenheim IV L8752 VE-
    Op. Reconnaissance

    Took of from Wattisham to reconnoiter the Heligoland area. During the course of the operation the crew attacked an enemy patrol boat but were shot down by return fire.

    F/L. M L. Morris +
    Sgt. L. Bancroft +
    LAC. R H. Mercer +

    Warner in The Bristol Blenheim Gives L8752 as shot down by a Me.109.

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