Bexwell (St Mary's), Norfolk
RAF Downham Market
10th September 2011
1) RAF Downham Market and Downham Market VC Plaques
a) Sqn Ldr I W Bazalgette - 4th August 1944 (Lancaster III ND811/F2-A, 635 Sqn, RAF Downham Market)
b) Flt Sgt A L Aaron - 12th/13th August 1943 (Stirling III EF452/HA-O, 218 Sqn, RAF Downham Market)
2) Dedication plaque to various Squadrons and their members who used St Mary's Church (these are also represented by embroidered prayer kneelers): 218 Sqn, 623 Sqn, 635 Sqn, 608 Sqn.
1) 16th September 2007
St Mary's Church, Bexwell, Norfolk
1a) Detailed to attack Trossy St Maximin, 635 Sqn operated as Pathfinders on this daylight raid. Hit by flak over or near the target (a flying bomb depot), both starboard engines were knocked out and the aircraft badly damaged. Some of the crew escaped and pilot Sqn Ldr Bazalgette elected to crash-land the aircraft. He was partially successful for, as the aircraft touched down, it crashed and exploded killing all on board near Senantes, France: Bazalgette is buried in Senantes churchayrd.
1b) 218 Sqn were detailed to attack Turin, Italy. En route, Aaron's Stirling was very badly damaged by machine gun fire (possibly from another aircraft in the stream), which killed or injured most of the crew including Aaron, who was incapable of flying the aircraft. Using gestures (he could no longer speak), he urged the bomb aimer (Flt Sgt Larden) to fly the aircraft which eventually reached Algeria. Under Aaron's instruction, Larden landed the aircraft; Aaron dying of his wounds and exhaustion nine hours later. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, Larden the CGM and other crew members various awards.
Elselwhere on Archaeology
Related External Links
Bomber Command VC Recipients (Aaron and Bazalgette)
Canadian Bomber Command Museum - "Following Baz"