Personnel Index - Detail
28/29 August; DUISBERG:
The eight aircraft sent from 49 Squadron encountered haze and flak at the target. It soon became clear that 2 of the squadron's aircraft had failed to return. It is believed that P/O Thomas Pratt and crew fell to the cannons of a night fighter. They also came down into Waddenzee and there were no survivors.
The body of Sgt Charles Hodkinson came ashore near Richel on the 8th September; the following day the body of 25 years old P/O Pratt was found. Sgt Arthur Willis was washed ashore on the 10 September and on 12th, P/O Harry Tonge was found near Vliehors.
Hampden AD971 (EA-N)
P/O T.P. Pratt Pilot (Killed)
P/O H.C. Tonge Nav (Killed)
Sgt A.C. Willis W/Ag (Killed)
Sgt C. Hodkinson W/Ag (Killed)
Additonal information via Colins Cripps (49Sqn Researcher):
AD971 was shot down by Oberleutnant Helmut Lent of 4./NJG1 at 03.40hrs who claimed it as his 21st kill or 'Abschuss'. He intercepted the Hampden at a height of 3,400 metres, south of Ameland in the Wadden Sea. Lent eventually went on to claim 102 night kills and 5 by day before he himself was killed in action. On the 5th of October 1944 at Paderborn airfield he crash landed due to an engine failure and collision with a high tension cable, succumbing to his wounds on the 7th. He had attained the rank of Oberst.