Dakota Mk III KG356
On the 5th June 1944, Dakota MkIII KG356 left the main runway at Blakehill, bound for Normandy, flown by Flight Officer H E Jones, Flight Sergeant J A Daldorph, Flight Officer I N Williams (Navigator) and Warrant Officer C Engleberg. The aircraft left ground at 23:17 - the crew never returned.
Flying Officer Jones was the detailed to drop parachute troops into the Caen area. The approach was made at a height off 600 feet in the face of heavy anti aircraft fire. Approximatley four miles from the DZ (dropping zone) the aircraft was badly hit and set on fire. Flying Officer Jones continued heading towards the drop zone and gave the signal for the troops to jump which they managed successfully. He then ordered his crew to abandon the aircraft.
Flying Officer Jones could himself have abandoned the aircraft through the pilots escape hatch at the same time as the crew were ordered to jump. He refused his parachute when it was brought to him and stayed at the controls to keep the aircraft on an even keel and maintain height for his crew to jump safely.
This source is backed up by an entry in the logs of 233 Squadron from the pilot of KG448 Captain F/L Cody;
"The Duhamels buried Harvey Edgar Jones on their farm, adorning the grave with flowers and a cross bearing the words “Died for France, Long live England.”" (courtesy Global News)
Captain Harvey Edgar Jones
Cobby's son Harvey Engleberg centre, with hérèse Férey and her husband who now live on the farm, found pieces of Dakota KG356 while working the land some 78 years after that fateful night
From Vincent Povey - 11th June 2022 - IMPORTANT NEWS UPDATE concerning the story of the loss of 233 Squadron Dakota KG356 and Captain Harvey Edgar Jones on operation Tonga 5th June 1944.
Pilot Jones (left) was killed in the crash and his heroic actions allowed the rest of the crew to survive. Although injured, his second pilot, Cobby Engleberg (left) was saved from the wreckage of the Dakota by a French farming family. His life was saved, but afterward, the Nazi SS took terrible revenge on the family, murdering their son.
Recently I was contacted by Global News Canada who are leading the story of how Pilot Cobby Engleberg’s son, Harvey Engelberg, has managed to not only track down relatives of the family that saved his father, but has returned to the crash site and been passed the fragments of his fathers plane, RAF 233 Squadron Dakota KG356.
Harvey realises that without the brave actions that saved his father, he would not be around today.
Meanwhile, at my home study, a mile away from where KG356 flew, Dan Spector, Global News Canada’s reporter, expressed to me during our call how important the memory of the heroic actions of Harvey Edgar Jones were to Cobby’s son and what I could tell him about RAF Blakehill. I told him what I do, and told him the story of this little Wiltshire field.
Fast forward to a few weeks later. I am now honoured to be in contact with Cobby Engleberg’s son, Harvey, and he is keen to send me everything he has on his father’s flying career to add to the Blakehill story and preserve his father’s legacy forever.
Importantly for Harvey Engelberg though, he now knows that the man who crash landed KG386 and saved his father is always remembered, as well as so many others at RAF Blakehill.
I think Harvey summed it up in our last email, ” Thank you for pursuing and maintaining these stories, I could never have imagined how many people this story would affect. I have been contacted by so many strangers, many just to say, ‘thanks’ and most have said they shed tears reading it. Strangers. This is 78 years after the event. How very personal. How very human. How very universal. Be well”
Harvey Engleberg’s amazing story and film can be found here;