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  • ID: I1602
  • Name: William Henry (Harry) James
  • Sex: M
  • ALIA: Harry /James/
  • Birth: 19 MAR 1920
  • Death: 14 SEP 1943 in RAF killed in action Crashed in sea between Halsskov Rev and Sprogø off Korsør, Denmark
  • Burial: Korsør Cemetery Zealand, Denmark - Grave Reference: Plot D IV. Row 65. Grave 95.
  • Event: Medal DFM Pilot Officer 156324 138 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
  • Event: Rank 25 AUG 1943 Acting Flight Sergeant London gazette 12 October 1943
  • Reference Number: 1602
  • Note:
    Casualty: Pilot Officer WILLIAM HENRY JAMES, 156324

    Served With: 138 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

    Died: 14th September 1943



    Grave Reference: Plot D IV. Row 65. Grave 95.

    Additional Information: Age 23

    Son of William James, and of Clara Emily James, of


    Korsor is a town and port of western Zealand, the eastern terminus of the train-ferry from Fyn. The cemetery is on the south side of the town on the edge of the water, just left of the main road from Copenhagen. The war graves are located in a plot 228 metres south of the entrance.

    In a message dated 23/09/2003 13:43:34 GMT Standard Time, carol.gamble@cwgc.org writes:


    138 was a Special Duties (SD) Sqdn, its role was to drop and pick up SOE agents in occupied Europe and also to drop supplies by parachute.

    possibly Halifax

    Jan 1955 - The first of the new V-Bombers, the Vickers Valiant, enters service with No. 138 Sqn at RAF Gaydon, Warwickshire


    >>>>>>>>> Order of Battle - 7 January 1943

    Squadrons under direct control of Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Intelligence), Air Ministry
    Tempsford138 Sqn (Special) Whitley V 2 Halifax 12

    >>>>>>>>> Order of Battle - 8 July 1943.

    Squadrons under direct control of Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Intelligence), Air Ministry
    No 107 (Special Duties) Wing

    Tempsford138 Sqn (Special)Halifax II and V 17 aircraft

    >>>>>>>>>> Order of Battle - 31 December 1943
    No. 3 Group
    HQ : Exning, Suffolk AOCinC : Air Vice-Marshal R Harrison

    Tempsford138 Sqn (Special) Halifax II and V12 aircraft


    from August 1941, No. 138 was reformed at Newmarket as a "special duties" squadron
    .The squadron's Second World War activities began in 1941 after the formation of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) - an organisation whose function was to promote sabotage against the enemy by stimulating subversive activities, spreading political discontent, disorganising and dislocating communications.
    The agents, ammunition and equipment to achieve this were dropped inside enemy territory, the first being flown by Lysanders of No. 419 Flight (later No. 1419 Flight) which formed at North Weald in August 1940.
    Very quickly the task grew too big for a solitary flight and although Bomber Command was hard pressed at that time for aircraft and crews, it was decided that the strategic importance of sabotage operations warranted the formation of a full squadron. Thus it was that in August 1941, No. 138 Squadron was re-formed at Newmarket from the nucleus of No. 1419 Flight to do the job; it was now designated No. 138 (Special Duties) Squadron.

    For more than three and a half years the squadron ranged Europe from Norway in the north to Yugoslavia in the south and at times far into Poland. First with Whitleys and Lysanders, then with Halifaxes and later with Stirlings it flew out from Newmarket, Stradishall and Tempsford with, agents, arms, explosives, radio sets and all the other equipment of the saboteur, parachuting them down at rendezvous points where reception committees of local underground members waited.

    Another, but far less frequent, type of "cloak and dagger" operation undertaken by No. 138 - beginning in September 1941 - was the "pick up" in which the aircraft (always a Lysander) landed to collect some prominent public man, or an agent, or special plans and articles. During 1942 the squadron operated with the bomber force when not required for special duties.


    Tempsford (Bedfordshire)
    Pundit Code - TE / TQElevation - 63 feet
    Opened 1941 - Closed 19633 Concrete Runways. 7 HangarsOpened with full station status
    138 Squadron 14 March 1942 - 9 March 1945
    161 Squadron Approx Feb 1942 -1945 Lysanders etc

    *FIDO:To assist in fog dispersal, petrol pipes were laid along the edges of the runway. In foggy conditions, fuel was pumped through the pipes and ignited. The heat generated, caused the fog to rise, and the flames highlighted the outline of the runway. Many hundreds of aircraft and crew that might otherwise have been lost, were able to land safely thanks to Fido.
    *Pundit CodesTo assist crews in finding their base, each airfield was given a 2 letter code. This code was flashed in Morse Code, from a beacon situated up to 5 miles from the airfield


    14/09/43Special Duties Halifax 4 lost
    HR666 <<<< this one see below




    April 18th 1942Handley Page Halifax IIs, specially modified for SOE operations, are delivered to 138 Squadron. These aircraft are able to carry 15 containers and begin to replace the ageing Whitley aircraft

    RAF Tempsford in 1943

    August 1943
    This month 66 agents and 194 supply containers were dropped in 18 operations



    14/15 September 1943 - 138 Squadron - Halifax HR666 - NF-E
    Crashed in sea off Korsor, Denmark. Operation FLAT 12A, Poland.

    BOUT(T)ELLRoy Hedley DavidSergeant 647190, Royal Air Force. Died Tuesday 14th September 1943. Age 22. Son of Alfred Frank Bouttell, and of Florence Isobel Bouttell, of Morden, Surrey. Buried FREDERIKSHAVN CEMETERY, Denmark. Allied Plot, grave 47.
    IRELANDDennis Barton Flying Officer 139625, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Nav. Died Tuesday 14th September 1943. Age 33. Son of Henry Ezekiel and Beatrice Ina Ireland, of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Buried KRISTIANSAND CIVIL CEMETERY, Norway. Grave VIA. D. 4.
    IRWINJack Edward Sergeant 1411984, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died Tuesday 14th September 1943. Age 21. Son of Edward MacKenzie Irwin and Florence Elizabeth Irwin, of Sketty, Swansea. Commemorated RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey. Panel 154.
    HUNTBernard Alan CavendishSergeant 1385303, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died Tuesday 14th September 1943. Age 20. Son of Francis Cavendish Hunt and Winifred Lilian Hunt, of Hornsey, Middlesex. His brother Peter Anthony C., also fell. Buried KORSOR CEMETERY, Denmark. Div. 65. Grave 96.
    JAMESWilliam Henry Pilot Officer 156324, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Pilot. Died Tuesday 14th September 1943. Age 23. Son of William James, and of Clara Emily James, of Monmouth. Buried KORSOR CEMETERY, Denmark. Div. 65. Grave 95.


    listed in Faldne Allierede Flyvere 1939-1945 by Anders Bjørnvad. (Odense, 1978)

    Father: William James b: 1867 in Ty Cooke farm, Goytrey, Monmouthshire, Wales
    Mother: Clara Emily Jones b: 1889
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