On the night of 21-22nd June 1941 seven Avro Manchester aircraft of 207 Squadron, based at Waddington, Lincolnshire, were detailed to bomb the docks at Boulogne. Each carried 12x500lb general purpose bombs and they took-off between 01.00 and 01.42hrs. Approximately three hours later, at around 04.20hrs, six aircraft returned. The squadron operations record book records the fate of the missing aircraft:
“Waddington. 22/6/41 It was learnt that an aircraft that had been shot down by a Beaufighter at approximately 01.55 hrs. near Wollaston, Northants was our missing Manchester L7314 (‘Y’). Traces of five bodies were found and the identity tag of Sgt James. The aircraft was outward bound on track at about 6000 ft. It crashed in flames after the attack and some of the bombs exploded.”
On Tuesday 22nd June2021 (eighty years to the day) a memorial to the seven crew members was dedicated on land near Poplars Farm, Wollaston close to the crash site. The project was driven by the Wollaston Parish Council and the memorial was funded by public donations. Wellingborough Hatton contributed to the fund. Relatives of five of the crew members were present when the current commanding officer of No 207 Squadron unveiled the memorial.
By Dick Parsley