17.04.1941. No.44 Squadron. Hampden I. X2999 Flt/Sgt. Sneeston Location: The North Sea. +
Operation: Berlin

Date: 17th April 1941.

Unit: No. 44 Squadron.

Type: Handley Page Hampden I.

Serial No: X2999.

Code: KM -

Location: North Sea.

Pilot: Flt/Sgt. James Edward ‘Ted’ Sneeston 741369 R.A.F.V.R. Age 25. Killed.

Obs: Sgt. Eric Norman Brundish 903379 R.A.F.V.R. Missing.

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Melville Taylor 936556 R.A.F.V.R. Missing.

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. John William Mulford 751617 R.A.F.V.R. Age 21. Missing.


Aircraft took-off from RAF Waddington at 2015 hrs on the 17th April 1941, on operation to Berlin. No contact was made with the aircraft after take-off, and it was assumed that they had crashed over the North Sea. This was later confirmed when some 50 days later; the body of the pilot, Flight Sergeant James Sneeston was washed ashore at Sheerness, Kent, on the 6th June 1941. No trace of the rest of the crew was ever found, and all three are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

1 Hampdens of No 44 Squadron on a practice flight,   September   1941.
No. 44 Squadron Hampden Bombers in flight.(IWM)

ccccccccFlt/Sgt. J E ‘Ted’ Sneeston. cccccccccccccccccccccccTed during pilot training with Tiger Moth aircraft.

Ted pre-war with a family coal merchants Bedford truck.
cccccccccccccccccccccccccc Ted with his wife Betty.ccccccc

These photos were sent by Patrick Howlett, who is a local Hessle historian, who has done much work on the area's WW2 fallen. Patrick informs us that James Edward Sneeston was known as Ted, and that he came from a prominent local family of carters and coal merchants. He also informs us that Ted and his wife had one daughter age 7 months at the time of his death, born in 1940.

Burial Details:

Flt/Sgt. James Edward Sneeston.
Plot 8. Grave 1. Hessle Cemetery.
Son of James S. and Susan A. E. Sneeston; husband of Betty Sneeston, of Hessle.

Sgt. Eric Norman Brundish.
Panel Reference: Panel 40.
Memorial: Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt. John Melville Taylor.
Panel Reference: Panel 53.
Memorial: Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt. John William Mulford.
Panel Reference: Panel 49.
Memorial: Runnymede Memorial.
Son of Frederick Joseph Slade and Charlotte Eliza Mulford, of Brislington, Somerset.

(1)Sgt J. W. Mulford second from  left front row#ARMSRememberMe

Sgt J. W. Mulford second from left front row,fooling around with other lads during training (Sergio Manente)

(2)Sgt J. W. Mulford  #ARMSRememberMe

Sgt J. W. Mulford (Sergio Manente) Runnymede Memorial Panel 49 with John’s name 15th from top. (Image WW2Talk) Images of John kindly provided by Sergio Manente, in memory of his great uncle Sgt J. W. Mulford

Researched by David King for relatives of the crew. Special thanks to Richard Sykes for bringing this loss to our attention. Special thanks also to Patrick Howlett 'Hessle Local History Society' historian, for providing photos and details relating to Flt/Sgt. James Edward Sneeston. Thanks also to Andrew Stamford Grandson of Ted Sneeston for additional information.

Huddersfield R.U.F.C. Memorial. Can You Help?

Richard Sykes is working on a memorial to the nine former Huddersfield R.U.F.C. players who lost their lives during World War II. One of these was Sgt. John Melville Taylor. If anyone can help with a photograph of John for this project, or any other photos or details in remembrance of John’s crew, and other former Huddersfield players, please get in touch through our contact page
Here. Thank you.

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