One night in July, 1940, Sergeant White was rear gunner in an aircraft which was attacked by three enemy aircraft when over the aerodrome of Wessel, Germany at a height of 14000 feet. Two enemy aircraft were sent down out of control, and the third flew away and was not seen again. The airframe and turret surrounding Sergeant White's position were riddled with bullets, but he exhibited a high degree of skill, combined with clear thinking and quick judgment in dealing successfully with this combined attack. He has been continuously employed as wireless operator/ air gunner on operational work, and he has carried out a total of fourteen attacks on targets in Norway, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and France.
Source: The London Gazette, August 6, 1940.
Wellington IC T2463 AA-E
The aircraft took off at 21.15 hrs from Feltwell, Norfolk to bomb the invasion barges moored in channel ports. The aircraft was hit by AA fire from Alpha battery sited west of Ostend. As a result of which the aircraft caught fire and crashed in flames at 23.00 hrs that evening.
The pilot and Captain that night, P/O. Michael Braun alone baled out and landed within the small town of Leffinge, just West of Oostende, Belgium. He was severely wounded, apparently, according to locals who recall the incident, by small arms fire from the occupying forces. He died from his injuries in Oostende Hospital that same night. The other 5 crew, consisting of distressingly few physical remains, were buried in one coffin in Leffinge churchyard.
Pilot Officer Michael Ryves Braun (19) 42390 (Pilot) Royal Air Force, 75 Sqdn. Oostende New Communal Cemetery, Belgium. Plot 9, Row 4, Grave 3.
**Additional information/ Service records requested to complete this profile**
Personal details have been collected from official Service Records and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. Some of the additional information has been provided by War Diaries, Libera Me (G.E. Spittael), Polder Fighting (R.W. Catsburg), Veterans Affairs Canada, WW2 Talk, Aircrew Remembered and other sources. The commonwealth-adegem.com website is not responsible for incorrect information.
Everything has been collected and processed voluntarily by Michael van de Velde, Netherlands. Along the way I had great support from expert researchers and other volunteers. Thank you!