Sergeant Charles Duncan Powrie took off from RAF Stradishall on board Vickers Wellington Mk.Ic T2476 at 17.09 hours on 7 December 1940. The mission was to bomb Düsseldorf in Germany.
Powrie was the son of Robert Powrie and Katherine Powrie, Homewood, 131 Glasgow Road, Perth. He was a former pupil of Perth Academy and before joining the RAFVR, six months before the war, he assisted his father in their fishmonger business at 62 South Methven Street, Perth.
Powrie’s aircraft was one of three aircraft despatched 30 minutes ahead of the main force from RAF 214 Squadron. They were to act as Pathfinders, locating and marking the target for the rest of the force to bomb. The weather was atrocious, and the lead Pathfinder lost both engines. It fell several thousand feet before being able to restart them. The other two Pathfinders, including Sergeant Powrie’s aircraft, were both lost, probably due to enemy action, but the weather may have played a part. It was thought that Wellington T2476 crashed into the North Sea.
On board RAF Squadron 214 (Federated Malay States) Vickers Wellington T2476 was:
Flying Officer David Allan Dadswell RAF (40367) pilot, age 26
Sergeant Francis Thomas Buckingham RAFVR (758023) pilot, age unknown
Sergeant Charles Duncan Powrie RAFVR (745352) observer, age 24
Sergeant William Henry James RAFVR (972478) wireless operator/air gunner, age unknown
Sergeant Edward Cooper Lee RAFVR (969132) air gunner, age 28
Sergeant John Cunningham Macaskie RAFVR (936778) wireless operator/air gunner, age 25
Powrie had taken part in over two dozen bomber raids over enemy territory. The crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey.
RAF 214 Squadron’s real-life Secod World War bomber missions formed the basis for the 1948/9 BBC Radio drama ‘I Shan’t Be Home For Dinner’, written by the wife of one of 214 Squadron observer’s. It also toured as a theatre play in the UK during 1949/50.
RAF 214 (Federated Malay States) Squadron lost 45 Vickers Wellington, 17 Flying Fortress, 54 Short Stirling and an unknown number of Handley Page Harrow’s during the war. The highest percentage losses in RAF 3 Group, RAF Bomber Command.
Sergeant Charles Duncan Powrie Perthshire Advertiser 21 June 1941
SQUADRON BADGES NO.214 [FEDERATED STATES OF MALAY] SQUADRON (CH 17034) Original wartime caption: Description – A nightjar volant affrontee. Motto – ‘ULT0R IN UMBRIS’ (Avenging In The Shadows). Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205455981
ROYAL AIR FORCE BOMBER COMMAND, 1939-1941. (CH 1416) Maintenance staff overhaul damaged Vickers Wellington Mark IC, T2470 ‘BU-K’, of No. 214 Squadron RAF, in a C-type hangar at Stradishall, Suffolk. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205209964
ROYAL AIR FORCE 1939-1945: BOMBER COMMAND (CH 3943) The crew of ‘Sri Guroh’, a Merlin-engined Wellington II of No 214 (Federated Malay States) Squadron based at Stradishall, Suffolk, photographed in front of their aircraft before setting out for Essen on 4 November 1941. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205129677
ROYAL AIR FORCE BOMBER COMMAND, 1939-1941. (CH 1415) Vickers Wellington Mark IC, T2470 ‘BU-K’, of No. 214 Squadron RAF, is towed into a C-type hangar at Stradishall, Suffolk, for repair and overhaul following damage sustained on operations. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205209963
AMERICAN AIRCRAFT IN ROYAL AIR FORCE SERVICE 1939-1945: BOEING MODEL 299 FORTRESS. (ATP 13090E) Fortress B Mark III, HB796, at Prestwick, Ayrshire, after being fitted with radio counter-measures equipment by Scottish Aviation Ltd. It served with No. 214 Squadron RAF of No. 100 Bomber Group, based at Sculthorpe, Norfolk, from November 1944. Equipment fitted included American AN/APS15 radar in the large radome under the nose, ?Airborne Cigar? (ABC) radio-jamming equipment (shown by the large a… Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205127147