Circumstances surrounding the deaths of three airmen buried in the cemetery at Muneville-sur-Mer, Manche, Normandy, France
On 27 July 1944, Albemarle aircraft serial number P1400, 297 Squadron RAF, took off from RAF Brize Norton at 2300hrs for a special secret operation 'Harry 41' over France.
Whilst crossing the coast west of Montmartin-sur-Mer the aircraft was attacked by a night fighter, damaging the controls, and the pilot gave the order to bale out. The aicraft crashed in the vicinity of Muneville-sur-Mer at about 0030hrs on 28 July 1944. Three of the crew managed to bale out of the aircraft, but the remainder lost their lives. Their bodies were recovered and they were buried on 31 July 1944.
The details of the crew are as follow:
- 43011 Squadron Leader Lawrence Denis EMBLEM MiD Pilot (died) (*)
- 139528 Flying Officer David PICKARD Bomb Aimer (died)
- 115768 Flight Lieutenant Arthur William SLIPPER Navigator (evaded)
- 115673 Flight Lieutenant Bernard BULLIVANT Wireless Operator / Air
- 175858 Pilot Officer Derek Augustine BROOK Air Gunner (evaded)
- 1585560 Flight Sergeant Fulke Henry Arthur BRAYBROOKE Passenger (died)
Squadron Leader EMBLEM MiD (*), Flying Officer PICKARD and Flight Sergeant BRAYBROOKE are buried in Muneville-sur-Mer.
Escape and Evasion Reports made by Flight Lieutenant SLIPPER, Flight Lieutenant BULLIVANT and Pilot Officer BROOK are reproduced in 38 Group Veterans' Stories Part of the Website.
They make fascinating reading and also show how brave and helpful the local people were in hiding the airmen from the Germans.
(*) Squadron Leader EMBLEM MiD, as Commanding Officer, was involved in preparation for Operation 'DEADSTICK', attack on coastal battery at Merville, part of Operation 'OVERLORD', on 6 June 1944.