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RAF aircraft's crash sites in Province of Hainaut:

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Last update: 31/07/21

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Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence

* To the 75 Squadron *
* To the crew of R3157-AA-H *
* To the monument erected in remembrance *
* Cemetery where rest the crew *
* Memorial where Airmen are honored *

Crash site of Wellington R3157-AA-H

cest raf squadron
Unit: 75 Squadron
Aircraft: Wellington
Code: R3157-AA-H
Base: Feltwell
Mission: Dinant
Crew officer: Fl/O COLLINS JOHN NOEL
Incident: Shot down by German Flak

Location: (Prov. Hainaut)



Vickers Wellington Mk.Ic R3157 (AA-H) 75 (New Zealand) Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) when lost (failed to return) from combat operations on 22 May 1940. Two of the crew of five were killed, the other three were captured, and taken as PoWs. According to the official Air Ministry file on the incident (File AIR 81/469): "Wellington R3157 crashed near Tournai, Belgium, 21 May 1940. Aircraftman 1st Class J S Brooks, Sergeant G Thorpe and Pilot Officer L P R Hockey - prisoners of war. Pilot Officer F A G F J De Labouchere-Sparling and Flying Officer J N Collins - report of deaths".
Airborne 21:20 on 21 May 1940 from Feltwell. Shot down by Flak on return from reconnaissance at Dinant. Crashed near Kain, 4 km North-North-West of Tournai, Hainaut, Belgium. Presumed after midnight, on the morning of May 22.
Crew of Wellington R3157: Flight Lieutenant John Noel Collins, RNZAF 2513, pilot, age 23, posted 21/05/1940, as missing in action. No known grave, commemorated on the Royal Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede
Pilot Officer (Pilot) Francis Albert Gabriel Joseph De Labouchere-Sparling, co-pilot, RAF 41990, age 20, killed in action 21/05/1940, buried at Kain Communal Cemetery, Belgium
Sgt G.Thorpe (Observer/Navigator); survived, captured and taken as PoW. Interned in Camp Stalag Luft 3 as PoW No.5399
Sgt J.S.Brooks (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) survived, captured and taken as PoW. Interned in PoW Camp 357, as PoW No.50392
Flight Lt L.P.R.Hockey survived, captured and taken as PoW. Interned in Camp Stalag Luft 3 as PoW No.410
First operational combat loss for 75 (New Zealand) Squadron. R3157 was the regular aircraft of Flying Officer John Noel Collins during May 1940 (per the Operational Reports, and Squadron ORB Appendices).

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