Daily Archives: October 10, 2020

Request for information – The McConnell crew

I have been contacted by Benard in France, who is seeking contact with relatives of the McConnell crew. For the last 9 years Benard has researched the losses that occurred during the War in the area of Avesnois, his home region.

Jim McConnell and his crew arrived with the Squadron on the 16th of September 1942, after flying a single 2nd dickie Op with Gerald Jacobson’s crew, the crew flew their first sortie to Terchelling on the 30th of September to drop sea mines.

The McConnell crews were all lost on their 8th Sortie on the 24th of October 1942, to Milan.

Wellington Mk.III BJ.725 AA-H was brought down by enemy action over France, crashing near Valencienns, 25 miles North East of Cambrai. All five crew were killed. They were buried at Valenciennes.

Sgt. James Allison Mcconnell, RNZAF NZ414646 – Pilot.
Killed age 21.
Son of James Allison Mcconnell and Jessie Campbell Mcconnell, of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Valenciennes (St Roch) Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Plot 4. Row A. Coll. Grave 15.

Sgt. Selwyn Clarence Smith, RNZAF NZ41952 – Observer.
Killed age 29.
Son of E. T. and Sarah Elizabeth Smith, of Winton, Southland, New Zealand.
Buried Valenciennes (St Roch) Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Plot 4. Row A. Coll. Grave 15.

Sgt. Douglas Noel Tonkin, RNZAF NZ413285 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 22.
Son of Daniel and Annie Frances Tonkin, of Hastings, Hawke’S Bay, New Zealand.
Buried Valenciennes (St Roch) Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Plot 4. Row A. Joint grave 16.

Sgt. Arthur Quinn, RAFVR 1095594 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 21.
Son of Arthur and Margaret Quinn, of Seaham, Co. Durham.
Buried Valenciennes (St Roch) Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Plot 4. Row A. Coll. Grave 15.
‘He giveth
His beloved sleep
At rest’

Sgt. Vallance Albert Oliver Dimock, RNZAF NZ412317 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 22.
Son of Albert William and Rosy Dimock, of Wellington City New Zealand.
Buried Valenciennes (St Roch) Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Plot 4. Row A. Joint grave 16.