At 1630 hrs on Wednesday, 14 January 1942, Vickers Wellington IC X9742 took off on a mission to bomb the city of Hamburg in Germany. Most of the squadron, RAF No 40 had transferred to Malta where they operated as night bombers, attacking targets in Italy and North Africa. The part of the squadron that stayed in the UK at RAF Alconbury, later became RAF 156 Squadron (14 February 1942). RAF Alconbury was an active airforce station, south of Peterborough. Since 1942, it has been the home of the US Air Force – it has been scheduled to close in 2020.
At 1932 hours, X9742 was heard on the radio asking for help. Somewhere over the North Sea, the aircraft was lost. All the crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial:
Pilot Officer Edgar George Broad RAAF (402849), pilot age 23
Sergeant James Roy Fenwick RAFVR (1052485), age 30
Sergeant Christopher Donaldson Russell, RAFVR, age 25
Sergeant John Priestley RAFVR (916519), age 25
Sergeant Patrick Joseph Timmons RAFVR (997190), age unknown
Sergeant Thomas Hugh Thomas RAFVR (1284757), age 20
(Crew assignments are unknown)
Fenwick was the son of James Roy and Margaret Roy Fenwick of Sunnybrae Cottage, Scone, and the husband of Margaret Cameron Fenwick, 10 Barnton Street, Stirling, who formerly resided at 44 Verena Terrace, Perth.
Fenwick was expected home on leave on the day that word was received that he was missing. He was expecting to be commissioned as an officer within a few days.
Fenwick volunteered for the RAF in November 1940. He was in business as a tobacconist and confectioner and had shops in Stirling and Falkirk. He played for Perthshire Rugby Club and was a member of Kinnoull Tennis Club.
Timmons was the son of John Timmons who became MP for Bothwell in 1945.
WELLINGTON Ic. (CH 1425) Original wartime caption: 2 x 1000 h.p. Bristol PEGASUS 18 engines. No.214 Squadron. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205442843