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Wellington DV728, crashed 20.07.42

Wellington DV728, crashed 20.07.42
Author: mattpoole
Time Stamp:
14:44:24 09 January 2007
Hi to all from Maryland, USA.

I offered to help a woman in N. Ireland who is researching a Wellington crash up her way. Naturally, this forum is the best place to start. The known details, thus far:

WELLINGTON bomber, serial number DV728

CRASH LOCATION: Giant's Causeway

DATE: 20.07.42

UNIT: O.T.U., but number not known yet.

PILOT: P/O Wilson TWENTYMAN of Wellington, NZ

ANOTHER FATALITY: Sgt. Vernon PITHER of Victoria, AUS.

The Wellington took off from Limavady airfield. I was told that this was the first crash with fatalities from Limavady.

From the Debt of Honour Database comes additional detail:


Nationality: New Zealand

Rank: Pilot Officer (Pilot)

Regiment/Service: Royal New Zealand Air Force

Age: 26

Date of Death: 20/07/1942

Service No: 413913

Additional information: Son of William Ogden Twentyman and Millicent Agnes Twentyman, of Hukanui, Wellington, New Zealand.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Grave 6.



Nationality: Australian

Rank: Sergeant

Regiment/Service: Royal Australian Air Force

Age: 28

Date of Death: 21/07/1942

Service No: 408512

Additional information: Son of James Luke and Rosanna Amelia Pither, of Shepparton, Victoria, Australia.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Grave 5.


I was only given these two casualties, so for now I assume anyone else on the aircraft (if any) survived. A check of the Drumachose cemetery's 28 listings, via CWGC, reveals no others who died on 20 July 1942 or soon after.

I'll order a scan of Pither's A705 file from the National Archives of Australia in the hope of finding a decent report or two.

Errol, can you offer further details from your wealth of records?

Looking forward to anything whatsoever.



RE: Wellington DV728, crashed 20.07.42
Author: (Guest)
Time Stamp:
15:17:10 09 January 2007

From my first volume of 'For Your Tomorrow':

Mon 20 Jul 1942

Coastal Command

Low flying practice over the sea

7 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit, RAF (Limavady, Co. Londonderry - 17 Group)

Wellington IC DV772 - while attempting to establish its position in poor visibility and low cloud at 1610, flew into the ground and caught fire 200 yards NE of the hotel at Giantís Causeway, Co. Antrim, 40 miles ENE of Londonderry. The two-pilot crew is buried at Limavady.

Captain: NZ413913 Plt Off Wilson TWENTYMAN, RNZAF - Age 26. 294hrs (15 solo on Wellington)

And draft bio for forthcoming Vol Three:

TWENTYMAN, Plt Off Wilson.


b Pahiatua 21 Apr 16;

Eketahuna DHS (Capt 1st XI/XV);

clerk - Eketahuna County Council.

RNZAF Levin/ITW as Airman Pilot u/t 6 Jul 41,

2EFTS 16 Aug 41,

emb for Canada 20 Oct 41,

att RCAF 4 Nov 41,

4SFTS c.8 Nov 41,

Pilot Badge & Sgt/Comm 27 Feb 42,

1 Y Depot 12 Mar 42,

emb for UK & att RAF 20 Mar 42,

3PRC 29 Mar 42,

15(P)AFU 24 May 42 %7Batt 1512BATF for c.1wk in late Jun%7D,

7(C)OTU (Wellington) 7 Jul 42,

kaa 20 Jul 42.

Drumachose (Christ Church) Church of Ireland Churchyard - grave 6, Limavady, Co. Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Son of William Ogden & Millicent Agnes Twentyman (ne Foss), Hukanui. %7Bphot. The Weekly News 12.8.42%7D.


RE: Wellington DV728, crashed 20.07.42
Author: mattpoole
Time Stamp:
15:52:25 09 January 2007

Happy new year to you (never too late in Jan to wish you the best for '07). Many thanks for your quick reply, filled with the usual superb detail.

All the best,