Tansley, Ernest Henry

Personal Information

Rank P/O
Forename(s) Ernest Henry
Surname Tansley
Gender M
Age 29
Date of Death 02-12-1943
Next of Kin Son of Albert Edward Tansley and Mary Ann Eliza Tansley (née Jack). Husband of Irene Florence Tansley (née England), of Hockley, Essex. Date of marriage 30th November 1935 in Thundersley, Essex. Father of Peter (aged 7 when Ernest died), Anne (aged 3 when Ernest died) and Robert (Bob) who was born three months after Ernest died. Brother of Albert Edward and Frederick George.

Aircraft Information

Aircraft Avro Lancaster III
Serial Number JB529
Markings DX-P P for Peter

Memorial Information

Burial/Memorial Country Germany
Burial/Memorial Place Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery
Grave Reference 8. F. 2.
Ribbon Stone 0113

IBCC Memorial Information

Phase 1
Panel Number 104

Enlistment Information

Service Number 149542
Service Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Group 5
Squadron 57
Trade Pilot
Country of Origin United Kingdom

Miscellaneous Information

Born 22nd January 1914 at Upton Park, close to the West Ham football stadium. He had two brothers named Albert and Fred, the former serving with the Merchant Navy and the latter with the Parachute Regiment of the Army.
Left school after gaining a scholarship to attend West Ham Municipal College and later took up a post as an office clerk with a firm of shipping agents. Subsequently, he went on work on London Docks and then transferred to Scotland after war broke out. Met Irene when they became neighbours in 1931 and they married on 30 November 1935 in Thundersley, Essex.
Joined the RAF on 19 March 1941 and trained in the USA under the Arnold Scheme. Returned to England in October 1942. Left a son Peter (7 at the time of Ernie's death) and a daughter Anne, 3. Bob, a second son, was born three months after Ernie's death. He was on his 22nd op when he lost his life. https://internationalbcc.co.uk/about-ibcc/news/searching-for-proof/

IBCC Digital Archive

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The National Archives

Fellow Servicemen

Last Operation Information

Start Date 02-12-1943
End Date 03-12-1943
Takeoff Station East Kirkby
Day/Night Raid Night (34% moon)
Operation Berlin
Reason for Loss Blown off course by strong winds, ending up over Trebbin, some 30km south of the target. Caught by searchlights and attacked by two Ju 88 night fighters, flown by Oblt. Alfred Lelaut of Stab II./NJG 2 and Lt. Hermann Leube of 2./NJG 3. Burst into flames and lost its starboard wing before crashing at Trebbin. The pilot succeeded in avoiding a row of houses, landing instead in a nearby field. The remainder of the crew were able to bail out but they were too low for their parachutes to be effective. All the crew perished and were initially buried in Trebbin.

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Casualty Pack

IBCC is delighted to introduce a unique facility to link the Losses Database to the relevant RAF Casualty Pack on the National Archives website. This project is the result of on-going collaboration between IBCC, the MOD Records Office and National Archives, Kew. This document describes what Casualty Packs are, when they were created, the process of making them available to the public and then goes on to describe the process by which you can view the contents of the packs. Casualty Packs (CPs) were created by the RAF whenever there was serious injury or loss of life associated with operational activity within the RAF. This includes operational flying losses, enemy action due to air raids, road accidents either on station or even off-station if they involved RAF vehicles. Deaths due to natural causes in service or accidents that did not involve RAF vehicles did not generally give rise to a CP.

CPs were originally given a unique reference number by the RAF. Each begins with the letter ‘P’ and is followed by six digits, then an oblique (forward slash) and the finally the year in which the incident took place- for example P396154/42.

The CPs are in the process of being made available to the general public as they are passed from the MOD Records Office, Portsmouth to National Archives, Kew. This process requires some rework to the files which is very time consuming, so the process of making them all available to National Archives will take several years. They are being made available in increasing date order.

Once CPs arrive at National Archives they are assigned a unique AIR81 number, so each CP has both a P-number and an AIR81 number. Both are searchable on the National Archives website under ‘Search the catalogue’ and both are included on the IBCC website.

The AIR81 reference on the IBCC website is a link to the file on the National Archives website. When you click on it, the relevant page will open in a new tab on your browser.

There is currently no plan to digitise AIR81 files, partly because they are fragile and partly because the information they contain can at times be sensitive, even harrowing, since they may contain exhumation reports and even photographs of corpses. Family members wishing to read the AIR81 files relating to their ancestors are advised to exercise caution and be guided by National Archives warnings where appropriate.

There are two means for accessing AIR81 files- to attend in person or to order a copy by post.

To attend in person, the attendee should first create a Reader’s Ticket. This can be done online by following this link: https://secure.nationalarchives.gov.uk/login/yourdetails. Then click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and click Order in Advance. Enter your Reader’s Ticket number and state the date on which you intend to visit. National Archives will have the file ready for you when you arrive, saving you time. When you visit Kew, you must quote the Reader’s Ticket number and take along two forms of ID- one bearing your signature and one bearing your address. When you view the files, you are permitted to take photographs of each page, should you wish.

Alternatively, if you wish to order a copy by post, please be aware that there is a charge for this service based on the number of pages in the file. Click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and then click Request a Copy. There is an £8.40 charge for National Archives staff to access the file and give you a quotation for the copying service. The process takes around 24 days to complete and can be expensive.

IBCC wishes to thank the staff at the MOD Records Office and National Archives for their engagement and assistance in making this facility available to our website users.