Personnel Index - Detail
From the panel at Runnymede
P/O Fawcett is reported missing (image via Ashley Hales)
25/26 August, 1940; BERLIN:
The attack by German bombers on London and other English cities the previous evening, signalled Bomber Command’s long awaited attack on Berlin. Crews who had previously been given the night-off, now pleaded to be put on the Battle Order; almost everyone wanted to be amongst the first crews to bomb the German capital. W/Cmdr 'Downwind' Gillan felt compelled to 'pull rank' in order to procure an aeroplane from one of his junior pilots so as to be one of the first over Berlin. Bomber Command sent 46 Hampdens together with several Wellingtons; 49 Squadron contributed 12 aircraft, and all made attacks in the target area.
Bad weather and thick cloud prevented accurate bombing, and then, as the bombers turned for home they had to contend with a very strong head wind. The Hampdens were already flying at the limit of their endurance and as such 3 were lost and 3 more ditched in the sea on their return flight. Sadly, one of the ditched aircraft was P4416 L-London from 49 Squadron. It was piloted by P/O Nicoll Fawcett (P4416); he and his crew are still officially reported as missing and are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.
Hampden P4416 (EA-L)
P/O N.B. Fawcett Pilot (Missing)
Sgt J.C. Clarke NAV (Missing)
Sgt J. Baker W/OP (Missing)
AC1 G. Reay A/G (Missing)