Personnel Index - Detail

Name
BLANCHARD
First Names
Arthur
Rank
Sgt
Service
RAF
Service Number
168551
Crew Position
Navigator
Age
21
Date of Death
11/12/1944
Cemetery

 

Photographed by Malcolm Brooke
From the panel at Runnymede
 



The Runnymede image was created by artist Paul Reid using photographs taken by Jo Cockburn and Malcolm Brooke

FATAL WALL OF CLOUD:

Loss of life amongst bomber crews was ever present even before actual operational tours were undertaken. That Saturday evening, 11 December, one such sad incident occurred. At 19.55hrs two Lancasters, flown by crews recently posted to 49 Squadron, took-off from Fulbeck. One was piloted by F/O John Branch RAAF, who recalls the tragedy: "We arrived on squadron together with another fresh crew skippered by F/Lt Jerry Green. On the 11th, both of us were detailed to complete a cross-country and high level bombing exercise via Epperstone, Great Ormes Head, Cirencester, Norwich and finally back to base. During the flight our crew was confronted with a band of cu-nimbus cloud which I attempted to climb over. At 29,000ft and icing up badly, we gave up and flew a reciprocal course. We eventually completed the exercise and landed safely at Fulbeck. It is my belief that F/Lt Green must have flown into that fatal wall of cloud."
F/Lt Green's aircraft and crew have never been found, and it is believed their aircraft came down in the Irish Sea; the crew are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

Lancaster PB799 (EA-G)
F/L G.W. Green Pilot (Missing)
Sgt A. Blanchard (Missing)
Sgt E.C. Charles (Missing)
F/O H.H.S. Gwyer (Missing)
Sgt R.W. Henson (Missing)
Sgt J.A. Rudd (Missing)
Sgt H. Stobart (Missing)