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Cowperthwaite, Lonsdale MiD (Flight Lieutenant)

Killed in Action 1942-February-12

Birth Date: 1914-January-09 (age 28)

Son of Edward Cowperthwaite and Eva Cowperthwaite, of Brantford, Ontario. Brother of Flying Officer Edward Morris Cowperthwaite, Service Number 62682, who served with the Royal Air Force Voluntary Res

Home: Brantford, Ontario

Decorations: MiD

Mentioned in Dispatches
407 Sqn- Squadron
To Hold On High
RAF North Coates
Flight Lieutenant
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Service Numbers

Enlisted in Toronto; trained at No1 ITS, No1 EFTS and graduated from No5 SFTS, Brantford, 28 January 1941. DHist file 181.009 D.2620 (RG.24 Vol.20628) has recommendation dated 4 March 1942 for him, Pilot Officer JE Lister and FS Norman John Jones (RAF). Missing 12 February 1942 (Hudson AM598); mother in UK; name on Runnymede Memorial

Hudson Mk V AM-598 RR-P was shot down by naval anti-aircraft fire while attacking the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prince Eugen during their dash through the English Channel, crashing into the North Sea off the Dutch coast

Killed: F/Lt Lonsdale Cowperthwaite RCAF J/3726 KIA Runnymede Memorial Panel 99. Flight Sergeant Norman John Jones RAF KIA Runnymede Memorial Panel 75. Sergeant William Beverley Lenover RCAF R/83012 KIA Runnymede Memorial Panel 107. Pilot Officer John Ernest Lister RCAF J/4706 KIA Runnymede Memorial Panel 100. Sergeant Alan Forster Muris RAF KIA Runnymede Memorial Panel 90.

A second 407 Sqn Hudson V aircraft AM 712 RR-W was also lost on this operation. Please see Anderson, WA for casualty list on this aircraft

These two Hudson's were part of a formation that were to meet a fighter escort at another airfield before making their attack, however due to miscommunication the fighters did not take off (their instructions were to wait for the bombers to land and refuel first). After circling for a time waiting for the fighters to join them some of the Hudson's landed while five others continued on to the German ships without an escort. Squadron Leader Anderson and Flight Lieutenant Cowperthwaite's aircraft were last seen making bomb runs on the ships under heavy fighter attack. Both were considered outstanding officers on the Squadron (pers. comm. A.D. Squires)

Addendum: - Mention in Despatches - No.407 Squadron - Award effective 9 June 1942 as per London Gazette dated 11 June 1942 and AFRO 1000-1001/42 dated 3 July 1942. Flying Officer Cowperthwaite with his crew, Pilot Officer Lister and Flight Sergeant Jones, led a formation attack on the 12th February 1942 against an enemy force which was proceeding northwards up the Channel. His aircraft was last seen by another pilot to be going down to attack one of the enemy warships. This crew failed to return. This exceptional crew have been engaged on many day and night operations and have always been among the first to volunteer for a difficult and dangerous mission. They made a special request to be on this operation. Flying Officer Cowperthwaite had previously attacked four merchant vessels, two of which were definitely damaged. These ships were of 4/5000 tons each. No claim was made for the other two vessels. He has flown on 30 operational flights, 20 of which were at night. Flight Sergeant Jones was on his second tour of operational duty and had flown a total of 350 operational hours. Pilot Officer Lister had flown 150 operational hours." Detail provided by H. Halliday, Orleans, Ontario

Flight Lieutenant Cowperthwaite was BROTHER to Flying Officer Edward Morris Cowperthwaite, RAF instructor pilot, killed in a flying accident 1941-10-29.

Detail from: and

Canada Source Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Canada Primary Source Library and Archives Canada Service Files (may not exist)

Google MapBrantford, Ontario
Google MapRunnymede Memorial Surrey
Panel 99

Hudson AM598

Lockheed Hudson A-28 A-29 AT-18

Lockheed Hudson
Source National Air Force Museum of Canada.

The Lockheed Hudson was an American-built light bomber and coastal reconnaissance aircraft built initially for the Royal Air Force (RAF) shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War and primarily operated by the RAF thereafter. The Hudson served throughout the war, mainly with Coastal Command, but also in transport and training roles, as well as delivering agents into occupied France. They were also used extensively with the Royal Canadian Air Force's (RCAF) anti-submarine squadrons. National Air Force Museum of Canada.

YouTube Hudson

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Hudson

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

Kestrek Publications Hudon - Kestrel Publications

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (247), RCAF 400 Squadron (2), Canadian Aircraft Losses (245), Canadian Ferried (1)
last update: 2021-12-21 01:36:53

Hudson Mk. V AM598

Served with No. 407 (GR) Squadron, RCAF c.1941/42, coded "RR*P". In use by December 1941. Was reported as "RR*D" when it failed to return from a strike mission on 12 or 14 February 1942.

407 Sqn To Hold On High ("Demon")

History of the Squadron during World War II (Aircraft: Blenheim IV, Hudson III & V, Wellington XI, XII, XIV)

407 Squadron was the fourth RCAF squadron formed overseas in WWII, and the second to be allocated to Coastal Command. It was created on 8 May 1941 at Thorney Island, Hampshire, UK as a Coastal Strike unit, flying Bristol Blenheim Mk IV and Lockheed Hudson Mk. III and V. It continued in the anti-shipping role until 29 January 1943 when it was re-designated a General Reconnaissance unit and re-equipped with Vickers Wellington aircraft, progressively flying Mks XI, XII and XIV (the latter two equipped with Leigh Light) in the Battle of the Atlantic. The squadron flew from a number of different bases in the UK. It was finally disbanded at Chivenor, Devon, UK on June 4 1945.

In the course of WWII, the squadron flew some 2900 sorties, of which 1987 were in the anti-submarine role. In anti-shipping strikes, it was credited with sinking 10 ships , totalling 24,000 tons. 4 U-boats were claimed sunk and 3 damaged. Details of the attacks on U-boats were as follows. On 6/7 September 1943, flying out of Chivenor, Pilot Officr E.M. O’Donnell and crew of Wellington Mk XII HF115, equipped with a Leigh Light attacked what was thought to be U-669 (according to, the submarine attacked was U-584, which was not damaged). On 10/11 February 1944, flying out of Limavady, Flying Officer P.J. Heron and crew in Wellington XII MP578 equipped with a Leigh Light attacked and sunk U-283. On 3/4 May 1944, flying out of Chivenor, Flying Officer L.J. Bateman and crew in Wellington XIV NB855 equipped with a Leigh Light attacked and sunk U-846. On 29/30 December 1944, flying out of Chivenor, Squadron Leader C.I.W. Taylor and crew in Wellington XIV NB855 equipped with a Leigh Light attacked what was thought to be U-772 (according to, the submarine attacked was U-486, which escaped).

In the course of operations, the squadron lost 42 aircraft and 197 aircrew of whom 24 were confirmed killed and 151 presumed dead, 8 POW and 8 wounded. Awards gained by the aircrew were 3 DSOs, 1 Bar to DFC, 18 DFCs, 6 DFMs and 35 Mentioned in Dispatches. Battle Honours were: Atlantic 1943-45, English Channel and North Sea 1941-45, Fortress Europe 1942, German Ports 1942, Normandy 1944, Biscay 1942-45.Wikipedia, Kostenuk and Griffin

Maps for Movements of 407 Squadron 1941-45

MAP 1: 407 Squadron Movements in the UK 1941-45 (right-click on image to display enlarged in new tab)
MAP 2: 407 Squadron Movements in Scotland 1943-44
MAP 3: 407 Squadron submarine attacks

General Sinking of U-283

General Attack on U-486

General Attack on U-584

General Attack on U-669

General Attack on U-772

General Sinking of U-846


407 Sqn History Summary 1941-45

407 Sqn History Summary 1941-45 Page 2

History of the Squadron Post-WWII (Aircraft: Lancaster X, Neptune, Argus, Aurora)

The squadron was re-formed as 407 (Maritime Reconnaissance) Squadron at Comox, BC on 1 July 1952, flying modified Lancaster X aircraft. The squadron was the third of four – and the only West Coast – unit formed in Maritime Command. It was re-designated 407 (Maritime Patrol) Squadron 17 July 1956. From 1958 it flew Lockheed Neptune aircraft. It was integrated into the Canadian Armed Forces on 1 February 1968. Later the squadron flew Canadair CP-107 Argus aircraft before transferring to the CP-140 Aurora which it flies today. The squadron is now designated 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron.407 Squadron has been active in Afghanistan, supporting Operation APOLLO from 2001-2003 as well as in 2009 during Operation ATHENA. 407 Squadron served in an Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance role during Operation MOBILE in the skies over Libya from 2010 to 2011. Its peacetime duties include flights to look for illegal fishing, migrant and drug smuggling and polluters. They can also perform search and rescue missions using air-droppable survival pods. In recent years, they have detected and gathered evidence against over a dozen suspected driftnet vessels in support of Canada's commitment to enforcing the United Nations moratorium on high-seas driftnet fishing.

General Government of Canada RCAF Website

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