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Vengeance II AN618 [Royal Air Force Aircraft Serial and Image Database] RAFCommands.com

 Vengeance II AN618


c/n: Mk.I 8IAF 44/4 H E Dougherty SD 44/5 More information in:

Aircraft Accident / Loss Entry

Date of Crash  16 May 44 Aircraft Name  Vengeance II Serial Number  AN618
Unit  8 Sqdn IAF Operating Airfield  Mambur Country  India
Aircrew details Fg Offr Hazen Edward Dougherty*(J21256)
Sgt A M Khan*(10576)
Details Failed to pull out of Dive in Baguna Area. The hazards of dive bombing are illustrated by the fate of Flying Officer Hazen Edward "Doc" Dougherty (St. Stephen, New Brunswick). Having graduated as a pilot from No.14 SFTS, Aylmer, on 3 July 1942, he proceeded overseas and spent several months on operational training. Posted to India in October 1943, he next attended No.152 OTU before being posted to No.8 Squadron (IAF) on 29 February 1944 although he may not have reported until 19 March, when 14 members of the RCAF were taken on strength.

Doughery was piloting Vengeance AN618 on 16 May 1944; his gunner was Sergeant A.M. Khan (IAF 10576). There are at least three accounts of what happened, including one in a letter to his father which may have put a slightly more heroic spin on the story. The unit report by S/L Ira A. Sutherland was grim enough:

"The aircraft AN618 piloted by F/O Dougherty was No.5 in a box formation of six aircraft attacking Japanese lines of communication. The army who were about 2,000 to 3,000 yards from the target area report that the aircraft was doing aileron turns in the latter part of the dive, practically a spin that he did not start pulling out until he was very low, that he crashed out of their view very near to the target and inside the enemy's lines. They saw no signs of fire.

"The pilot following in the dive did not notice anything out of the ordinary except that the aircraft appeared lower than usual in pulling out. The aircraft was almost level when his starboard wing hit the side of the hill. Such was the nature of the terrain that he catapulted across the valley, turning on his back and crashed on the other side. There was no fire.

"A gunner in the preceding aircraft is of the opinion that he hit a cable stretched between the two hills; he states that he saw something trailing from the aircraft. It is possible that the pilot was hit by small arms fire during the dive."

Squadron Leader Sutherland's letter to the father dated 7 June 1944 was remarkable for detail and candor.

"I hope, and I believe in my heart, that you will find solace in the fact that “Doc”, as he was known and called by his many friends on this squadron, went out in the way he would have liked best, fighting. It was not an accident on a training flight, neither was it something caused by what we refer to as finger trouble on the part of the pilot. No, it was not like that; your son was on active service operations bombing the Japs.

"Details are rather indefinite but on questioning and piecing together the stories of the others who were on the same operation this is evidently what happened.

"Your son was one of a box of aircraft bombing enemy positions very near to our front lines. His bombs had been released, they were seen to hit the target, when the aircraft evidently hit by ground defences became out of control and dived to the ground, gathering speed rapidly and finally crashing into the side of a hill. It was all over in a matter of split seconds. Unfortunately the area where the aircraft crashed was held by the enemy, but the army, even before our request went in, sent out several patrols to endeavour to reach the wreckage, with, I’m sorry to relate, negative results; they were not able to reach it. Perhaps that action by the army who risked other lives gives you an idea of how much the bombing carried out by your son and his companions is appreciated by our troops. It is hard for me to write this, but the speed and the angle at which the aircraft crashed prohibits me, much as I would like to, from any wishful thinking that the crew could get out. One of his companions did circle at the time and later on a section of fighters searched but nothing was seen.

"I should like to assure you that the gallant sacrifice your son has made so far from his home and his country in the cause of freedom and humanity is highly appreciated...

"No doubt “Doc” has told you something about this, his squadron. The aircrew are really an international group. It is an I.A.F. Squadron and besides Indians - who in themselves are divided into Sikhs, Punjabis, Bengalis and other sects - there are the lot of Canadians your son came with - a great mob these - Englishmen, Scots, Australians and myself, a lone New Zealander - really a mixed bag ! “Doc” mixed in and got on extremely well with everyone; he was generally liked. I like to think of him on nights when a small party would be going on in the mess, sitting there, never drinking, extremely happy, watching and laughing at the others who were supplying the antics and the fun; he was getting as much enjoyment out of it as they were."

The crash location was given as 20 degrees 50 minutes north and 92 degrees 27 minutes East which would have placed it in the Arakan Hills.

Source ORB
Date of Crash  16 May 44 Aircraft Name  Vengeance II Serial Number  AN618
Unit  45 Sqdn Operating Airfield   Country  Far East
Aircrew details
Details 
Source Henk Welting's Database


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Related Posts in RAF Commands Forum

ThreadPost TextAuthor
No.8 Squadron, IAFHello, F/O Dougherty RCAF, was piloting Vengeance II AN618 when killed. Col. ....Read More.COL BRUGGY on 7th February 2013 08:03:44
No.8 Squadron, IAFJagan, I have sent you an e-mail about your kind offer. For the moment, to share with others, I offer the following, drafted after consulting the file of one RCAF pilot in No.8 Squadron, Indian Air Force: The hazards of dive bombing are illustrated by the fate of Flying Officer Hazen Edward "Doc" Dougherty (St. Stephen, New Brunswick). Having graduated as a pilot from No.14 SFTS, Aylmer, on 3 July 1942, he proceeded overseas and spent several months on operational training. Posted to India in October 1943, he next attended No.152 OTU before being posted to No.8 Squadron (IAF) on 29 February 1944 although he may not have reported until 19 March, when 14 members of the RCAF were taken on strength. Doughery was piloting Vengeance AN618 on 16 May 1944; his gunner was Sergeant A.M. Khan (IAF 10576). There are at least three accounts of what happened, including one in a letter to his father which may have put a slightly more heroic spin on the story. The unit report by S/L Ira A. Sutherland was grim enough: "The aircraft AN618 piloted by F/O Dougherty was No.5 in a box formation of six aircraft attacking Japanese lines of communication. The army who were about 2,000 to 3,000 yards from the target area report that the aircraft was doing aileron turns in the latter part of the dive, practically a spin that he did not start pulling out until he was very low, that he crashed out of their view very near to the target and inside the enemy's lines. They saw no signs of fire. "The pilot following in the dive did not notice anything out of the ordinary except that the aircraft appeared lower than usual in pulling out. The aircraft was almost level when his starboard wing hit the side of the hill. Such was the nature of the terrain that he catapulted across the valley, turning on his back and crashed on the other side. There was no fire. "A gunner in the preceding aircraft is of the opinion that he hit a cable stretched between the two hills; he states that he saw something trailing from the aircraft. It is possible that the pilot was hit by small arms fire during the dive." Squadron Leader Sutherland's letter to the father dated 7 June 1944 was remarkable for detail and candor. "I hope, and I believe in my heart, that you will find solace in the fact that Doc, as he was known and called by his many friends on this squadron, went out in the way he would have liked best, fighting. It was not an accident on a training flight, neither was it something caused by what we refer to as finger trouble on the part of the pilot. No, it was not like that; your son was on active service operations bombing the Japs. "Details are rather indefinite but on questioning and piecing together the stories of the others who were on the same operation this is evidently what happened. "Your son was one of a box of aircraft bombing enemy positions very near to our front lines. His bombs had been released, they were seen to hit the target, when t ....Read More.HughAHalliday on 8th February 2013 07:05:01


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