Letter to Hedley Madgett's mother from Officer Commanding 61 Squadron



Letter to Hedley Madgett's mother from Officer Commanding 61 Squadron


Letter confirming that Hedley Madgett's aircraft failed to return from operations on 17/18 August 1943. However there was nothing known that could be connected to the aircraft's non return. Writes that it takes some time for any news to come through from Red Cross. There is a chance that crew escaped by parachute. Cannot at this time release names of other members of crew. Loss of her son on his last operation was shock to the squadron. Contains list of Hedley Madgett's 30 operations. Contains confidential note asking relatives not to disclose date, place or circumstance of missing personnel in any published notices.






Two page typewritten letter, typewritten list and printed leaflet


This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.





No. 61 Squadron,
Royal Air Force,
SYERSTON, Newark. Notts.

[underlined] 19th August, 1943. [/underlined]

[underlined] 61S/1000/177/P.1. [/underlined]

Dear Mrs. Madgett,
It is with the deepest regret that I have to confirm the news contained in my telegram.

Your Son was Pilot of a crew detailed to attack a target in North West Germany on the night of 17/18th August. Nothing was heard of the aircraft after take-off, though this is quite usual as wireless silence is maintained for security reasons. While some aircraft were seen to be shot down, there is nothing known which can reasonably be connected with the non-return of this particular aircraft, and unfortunately it usually takes some months for news to reach us from German authorities, though the Red Cross do all they can to hasten it.

There is always the chance that the crew were able to escape by parachute and this will be our earnest hope through the an[two missing letters]ous period of waiting.

In view of the many requests we receive I would like to add that we cannot divulge the names and addresses of the relatives of the remainder of the crew, but I am sure you will understand our position in this respect and not feel we are keeping anything back.

/over . . . . .

[page break]


The loss of your Son on what would have been his last operational sortie of this tour, has [deleted] sh [/deleted] shocked all in the Squadron. We were highly delighted yesterday to hear he had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for he had certainly merited it, while it reflected gre[missing letters] credit on the Squadron.

Your Son was one of our outstanding Pilots and Captain's [sic] and had done a grand job of work while with us. He was extremely popular with all ranks, and his ground crew in particular would do anything for him.

He will be so very much missed, but it is our earnest hope that good news will follow soon.

Yours sincerely,
W. M. Penman
Wing Commander,
[underlined] No. 61 Squadron. [/underlined]

Mrs. L.R. Madgett,
127, Longlands Road,
[underlined] SIDCUP. Kent. [/underlined]

[page break]

1943. No.
March 22 St Nazaire 1 6.15
26 Duisberg 2 5.00
27 Berlin 3 8.00
29 Berlin 4 7.45

April 13 Spezia 5 11.00
14 Stuttgart 6 6.40
16 Pilsen 7 8.20
18 Spezia 8 9.25
20 Stettin 9 9.05
26 Duisberg 10 6.00
28 Gardening 11 7.55
30 Essen 12 4.45

May 4 Dortmund 13 5.30
13 Duisberg 14 4.50
13 Pilsen 15 7.35
23 Dortmund 16 5.35

June 11 Dusseldorf 17 5.00
12 Bochum 18 5.05
14 Oberhausen 19 5.00
16 Cologne 20 5.00
21 Krefeld 21 5.00
22 Mulheim 22 5.00
24 Wuppertal 23 5.25
25 Gelsenkirchen 24 5.00
Cologne 25 4.50

July 8 Cologne 26 6.00
9 Gelsenkirchen 27 6.20
[inserted] 24 Hamburg 28
25 ? 29
Aug 17/18 Peenemunde 30
Missing [/inserted]

[page break]

[underlined] CONFIDENTIAL NOTICE [/underlined]

The names of all who lose their lives or are wounded or reported missing while serving with the Royal Air Force will appear in the official casualty lists published from time to time in the Press.

Any publication of the date, place or circumstances of a casualty, and particularly any reference to the unit concerned, might give valuable information to the enemy, and for this reason, only the name, rank and Service number are included in the official lists.

Relatives are particularly requested, in the national interest, to ensure that any notices published privately do not disclose the date, place or circumstances of the casualty, or the unit.

The Press have been asked to co-operate in ensuring that no information of value to the enemy is published.

(C45683) 50,000 7/42


W M Penman, “Letter to Hedley Madgett's mother from Officer Commanding 61 Squadron,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 21, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18722.

Item Relations

This item has no relations.