Operations Record Book – 454 Squadron War Diary

The Opeations Record Book entries for the days following the crash are shown below, together with the relevant extract from the text. Clicking on the image will display an enlarged version.  note 1 

21st September 1943

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454 Squadron War Diary – 20/21 September


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454 Squadron War Diary – 21/22 September

Sgt Kennedy did the Aegean reconnaissance and failed to return. In the absence of distress signals or any indication of what has happened, conjecture has been rife. You may have had too little practice at flying “on the deck” and hit the sea, he may have been jumped, he may have forced landed on any of the islands in the Aegean or in Turkey. We can only we can only guess – and hope for the best. In the late afternoon W/O Morgan and W/O Kelly went out to look for him, but found nothing. Pete Kennedy is a cheerful blonde Australian, very well built and very well liked. He has been on the squadron since August 5th. Alby Lienbich, his observer, a tall quietish man with glasses, is also an Australian. So are his gunners. They are an all Australian crew and they will be missed in the Sergeants’ Mess, indeed in the whole Squadron. It is too early to use the past tense when referring to them; there is still a very good chance that they may be safe.

22nd September 1943

See the ‘454 Squadron War Diary’ image above

Now that our only long range aircraft has been lost (there is still no news of Kennedy) we can no longer carry out reconnaissance from Base.

23rd September 1943

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454 Squadron War Diary – 23/24 September

38 Squadron’s Wellingtons returning from the Aegean last night reported that they saw flashing lights on the sea South East of Crete. Was this Kennedy? The positions given are very close to his track out. Three of the more experienced crews F/Lt Shankland, F/O Lewis and F/O Railton took off, and searched for the area, but with the exception of Shankland, who found a wooden raft, made no sighting. The raft had a mast and a white rag as sail, but there was no one on it. In any case it would not have been carried in, or dropped from, an aircraft.

September Digest

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454 Squadron War Diary – September Digest

No engagements with enemy aircraft have taken place as far as is known, though it is possible that Sgt Kennedy was shot down when he failed to return from the Aegean. News has since been received, through official channels, that a crew of four is safe on Scarpanto, however, and it is hoped that this may be Kennedy’s.


Note 1: The above images have been provided by the UK National Archives and are licenced under the Open Government Licence Version 3.0.
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