On 17th May 1943, 21.45 hours, two Handley Page Hampdens of 415 Squadron RCAF departed from their base on Thorney Island to engage enemy shipping off the Dutch coast. The two aircraft were the B/415 with F/Sgt LE McGee at the controls and the D/415 piloted by P/O Keith C Wathen. The flight reached the point of the strike around midnight local time but after that its movements were unknown and both aircraft failed to return to base, probably shot down by enemy flak while engaged by night torpedo bombing.
The crew of the D-GX, which is the main theme of this image was: RAAF F/O Wathen K C (Pilot), RAF F7O Crawford J M (Navigator), RNZAF Fl Sgt Sykes I M (Gunner) and RAF Sgt Steward J H (Gunner). On 22nd July 1943 the body of F/O Keith Wathen was recovered from the sea at St Peter, in the district of Eiderstadt. He is burried in the Kiel War Cemetery in Germany. The other three crew members have no known grave and their names are commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing, Runnymede, UK.
I created this image while being in contact with Keith´s nephew who´s still living in Australia. He gave me some very good information about that fateful night and I really tried to be as accurate as possible. But of course, this image isn´t dedicated just to F/O Keith Wathen but it´s a tribute to all eight, brave young men, that lost their lives that night.
Created with C4D and Photoshop.