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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. H D B Elsdon


Harry Donald Buchanan Elsdon, of Southend-on-Sea, was born on 19th March 1912 in Rochford, the son of Robert Henry Elsdon (1879-1933) and Ada Buckman Elsdon (nee Calvert 1882-1956).

Employed as a tram conductor, he joined the RAFVR about February 1939 as an Airman u/t Aircrew. Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training and joined 236 Squadron in November 1939 as an Air Gunner.


Air Gunners of 236 Squadron

(Back): Sgt WR Burns (NZ), Sgt RI McChesney (NZ), Sgt CWD Brown, Sgt J Lowe, Sgt GG Green, unknown ‘Jock’

(Front): Sgt A Spiers, Sgt JE Goldsmith, Sgt HDB Elsdon

On 18th July 1940 he was reported 'Missing' when his Blenheim, L6779, captained by F/O CRD Thomas, failed to return from a photo-reconnaissance sortie over Le Havre. The weather was bad and intense anti-aircraft fire was met over Cap de la Hague. It is believed that the Blenheim was shot down by Major Schellmann of JG2. The body of Thomas was recovered and is buried in Quiberville churchyard.

Elsdon, age 28, was not found. He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 14.



Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner


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