Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1941, Pilot Officer Ian Alexander Nigel Atchison, 58 Squadron, the Royal Air Force, disappeared after a bombing raid on the port of Stettin in Poland.
The eldest son of a major in the Hampshire Regiment, Pilot Officer Atchison was educated at Lancing College and Jesus College, Oxford. He had joined the Officers’ Training Corps, in which he was Drum Major and a cadet officer. In 1934 he obtained his Aero Club Certificate, and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in the R.A.F. Volunteer Reserve in 1941. Prior to that he and his wife owned and ran a riding school in Stubbington in Hampshire.
On the 29th of September in 1941, Bomber Command despatched one hundred and thirty-nine aircraft for a bombing raid on Stettin, a port city in north-western Poland. Conditions were reported as good, with a slight haze over the area to be bombed. Pilot Officer Atchison was accompanied by second pilot Sergeant John Roland Maddison Vaisey, observer Sergeant Cecil Brian McMullan, wireless operator Sergant Joseph Edwin Home, and air gunner Sergeant Stwart Ireland Collister Moulds, when they took off from R.A.F. Linton-on-Ouse. The last signal received from them indicated that they were on their way home and “somewhere near the English coast”. Although an extensive search was carried out, no trace of the aircraft, nor any of the crew, was ever found. They are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey.
Ian, from Pulborough in Sussex, was 28 years old and married.