Accident Handley Page Hampden Mk I P4366, Friday 12 July 1940
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Date:Friday 12 July 1940
Type:Handley Page Hampden Mk I
Owner/operator:144 Sqn RAF
Registration: P4366
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Kessel, Horst aan de Maas, Venlo, Limburg -   Netherlands
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:RAF Hemswell, Lincolnshire
Destination airport:RAF Hemswell, Lincolnshire
19 Hampdens (of 49 Sqdn., 61 Sqdn. and 144 Sdn.) and 18 Whitleys (of 51 Sqdn., 58 Sqdn., 77 Sqdn. and 102 Sqdn.) bomb road and rail targets in Mönchengladbach - the first raid on a German town. 2 Hampdens and 1 Whitley lost; 4 people killed.

On 11/7/40, the 144 Squadron was ordered to bomb targets in Mönchengladbach. The squadron was equipped with the twin-engine Handley Page Hampden bombers. Their aircraft departed from Helmswell Air Base in Lincolnshire. One of the aircraft was the Hampden 1 with registration no. P4366 with Pilot Officer Ian M. Hossack as a pilot. After a safe crossing over the North Sea and the Netherlands, they flew on their way to their target at about 2 am at night over Venlo, unaware of the German night fighter who was on their heels.

Suddenly shots rattled through the night. Light trail flashed in the dark. Bullets ripped up the narrow hull of the Hampden. A fire could not be extinguished and Hossack was no longer able to steer the aircraft properly due to the fire. After a steep dive, the lives of all on board ended when the aircraft crashed at Kessel (Limburg), 12 km south west of Venlo, at 1.50 am on 12 July.

Because the aircraft ended up in a large heather field, the damage to the environment was small. A day later, German soldiers, by order of the burial officer of the Luftwaffe from Eindhoven, gathered the dead bodies and brought them to Ehrenfriedhof Venlo, where they were buried the same day. In April 1947 the bodies were transferred to Jonkerbos War Cemetery in Nijmegen. Staff of the Lufwaffebase Eindhoven, which in the meantime was also used by the Germans, took over the surveillance. The team did find any unexploded bombs between the wreckage. These were made harmless a day later.

Pilot Officer Ian Milne Hossack, from Otford (Kent) UK 33568
Son of James Davidson Hossack and Eileen Inez Hossack. Age 19
(Jonkerbos Nijmegen 12 G 5)

Sgt Air Observer Eric Basil Hartley France, from Isle of Sheppey (Kent) UK 580739
Age 24
(Jonkerbos Nijmegen 12 G 6)

Sgt Wireless Operator/Air Gunner Edward Dennis Leamy, from Canterbury (Kent) UK 569067 Son of Michael Edward Leamy of Bradford Yorkshire and Annie Louise Croucher of Frittenden Kent, Age 20
(Jonkerbos Nijmegen 12 G 7)

Sgt Wireless Operetaor/Air Gunner Clarence Rose, from Swallownest (South Yorkshire) UK 631369 Age 20
(Jonkerbos Nijmegen 12 G 8

Note that the above report gives the crash location of Hampden P4366 as "Kessel, Limburg"; the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/1095) gives the crash location as "Sevenum, Limburg". The two locations are west of Venlo, approximately 21 km apart


1. Source: Book Mayday Mayday Hub Groeneveld
4. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/1095:


P/O Ian Milne Hossack

Revision history:

29-Dec-2017 16:16 pietsnellen Added
29-Jun-2018 21:49 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
17-Oct-2018 05:34 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Operator]
10-Jul-2019 07:38 TigerTimon Updated [Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location]
13-Oct-2019 19:31 Dr. John Smith Updated [Other fatalities, Location, Source, Narrative]
13-Oct-2019 19:37 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Narrative]
17-Jun-2022 08:16 Ron Averes Updated [Location]

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