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Brownhill, Gordon Isaiah (Sergeant)
Unit 207 Sqn- Squadron (RAF) Semper Paratus (Always prepared)
Air Chief Marshal
Air Vice Marshal
Warrant Officer 1st Class
Warrant Officer 2nd Class
Aircraftman 1st Class
Aircraftman 2nd Class
Position Flight Engineer
Shot down by Ofw. Reinhard Kollak of the 7./NJG 4, flying Bf 110 F-4 3C+LR from Juvincourt airfield.
Shot down by a pair of Fw190 night-fighters and crashed 0159 10 Mar 1943 near Lavannes (Marne) 12 km NE of Reims France.
Op: Munich, FTR, crashed nr Lavannes (Marne) 12km NE Reims France: t/o Langar 2041, 9 Mar 1943 Shot down by fighters, reported as a pair of FW190s, crashed 0159. [both Brown and Brownhill say they were shot down after leaving the target: Brown says "while we were over Saarbrucken one of the engines caught fire and almost immediately afterwards we were attacked by a fighter.". Brownhill says "we were attacked by night fighters and the aircraft was set on fire."
Marc Hamel writes: "On 10 March 1943, at about 0330 in the morning, a British Avro Lancaster B.Mk1 bomber, EM-X W4172, of 207 Sqn, was shot down on its return from a mission over Munich and crashed near Tangon in the Ardennes Département. I was the first to arrive at the crash site; my 17th birthday was on 12 March, two days later. I found a huge crater, at the bottom of which 12.7mm [sic] rounds were still exploding; on the surrounding ground all that remained was shattered debris mingled with parts of the bodies of the crew. The Feldgendarmerie arrived from Rethel shortly afterwards and cleared everyone from the area.
My father, Pierre Hamel, and I belonged to the Lorraine branch of the Resistance, and lived at Avançon, a few kilometres from the crash site. Immediately after being roused from our beds by a violent explosion, we set off in that direction, taking separate paths in order to cover as large an area as possible with the aim of picking up any allied aviator in danger. I did not see my father arrive at the crash site, and he never explained why, even after the war. He was arrested by the Germans for spying on 25 April 1944, which perhaps explains his unwillingness to speak about what he was doing at the time of the crash, and was sent to prison by the German military tribunal at Charleville in June 1944. He died in 1952."
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