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Thread: Liberator EW303 lost off Scotland on 16 April 1945

  1. #1
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    Default Liberator EW303 lost off Scotland on 16 April 1945

    Hello,

    On 16 April 1945 the Liberator GR.VI EW303 of 53 Sqn RAF ditched in the sea in Helmsdale Bay one mile off the coast, five miles southwest of Helmsdale, Scotland. The aircraft was on a non-operational test flight with a crew of six and two passengers - the accident was believed to be due to engine failure. there were no survivor. This aircraft had been involved in an air collision over the North Atlantic on 9 March 1945. Both aircraft managed to land despite the damage but EW303 was lost in this test flight after repairs had been completed.

    For this aircraft I have six known casualties (of 53 Sqn, listed on http://www.rafb24.com/index.php/2012-01-18-19-57-49/raf-squadrons/3-53squadron with this aircraft and date of loss):
    Flg Off Henry Lewis (pilot)
    Flg Off David James McL Robertson (navigator)
    Flt Lt Theodore "Blanchard" Atkinson RCAF (wireless operator/air gunner). Born 30 January 1920 in Clark’s Harbour, Shelburne County
    Flg Off Herbert Brown (wireless operator/air gunner)
    Flt Sgt Gilbert Llewellyn George (wireless operator/air gunner)
    Wt Off William Parry (wireless operator/air gunner)

    I would like to know the names of the two passengers.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Flight magazine, Nov 22nd has the following RAF names as:
    Casualty List 505

    MISSING. BELIEVED KILLED ON ACTIVE SERVICE.-
    Sgt. D. E. Beynon; F/O. H. Brown; Sgt. C. R. Hamlin; Sgt. R. A. Hanney; F/O. H. Lewis; Sgt. D. Luman; Sgt. R. F. McLean; W/O. W. Parry; Sgt. K. M. Smith.

    RCAF list has:
    MISSINO, BELIEVED KILLED ON ACTIVE SEB
    VICE.—F/O. T. B. Atkinson: Fit. Sgt. G. L. George; F/O. D. J. McL. Robertson.

    CWGC does not have a D Luman on it, perhaps he was later POW.

    Ok, bugger, I thought that might contain the answer, sorry.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Hallo Laurent,

    In the book on 53 Squadron 'UNITED IN EFFORT' by Jock Manson he states the two passengers were WAAFs. They were LACW Winifred Hutchison and LACW M. MacLean. Both were found by a rescue boat but Hutchison was dead. She was 24 and from Gateshead in England. Her service number was 462814. MacLean was badly injured but survived.
    The book gives the formers name as Hutchinson, but the CWGC uses Hutchison.

    Hope this helps,

    Martin Gleeson.

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    Crashed 4 miles SSW of Helmsdale, Sutherland. Three engines failed and the Liberator nose dived into the sea.

    F/O H Lewis
    F/O D J McL Robertson RCAF
    F/L T B Atkinson RCAF
    W/O W Parry
    F/O H Brown
    F/Sgt G L George RCAF
    LACW M MacLean
    LACW W Hutchinson

    LACW MacLean was picked up injured.

    HELMSDALE, SUTHERLAND.
    At 6.30 in the evening of the 16th of April, 1945, a Liberator aeroplane crashed in the sea four miles south-south-west of Helmsdale harbour. The weather was fine, the sea calm. Fishermen, who had just unloaded the day’s catch, at once put out in the auxiliary rescue-boat Hazel, followed by three other boats. A total of seventeen men manned the four boats. When the first boats reached the scene the aeroplane had already broken in two, and each part was burning furiously. Two of the boats each picked up a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, but one died. - Rewards : to the crew of the auxiliary rescue-boat, £4 15s. and 5s. for fuel used ; to the crews of the other boats, £7 10s., and 5s. to each boat for fuel used. (See Helmsdale, Services by Auxiliary Rescue-boats, page 65.)
    (Source: RNLI Records of Service 1939-46)

    HELMSDALE, SUTHERLAND.
    On the evening of the 16th of April, 1945, the auxiliary rescue-boat put out to the help of a Liberator aeroplane which had crashed in the sea
    at 6.30. Three other boats also put out. All four were manned by fishermen who had just unloaded their day’s catch. The aeroplane was found broken in two and each part burning furiously. The auxiliary rescue-boat and one of the other boats each picked up an injured woman belonging to the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, but the one on board the rescue-boat died. - Rewards, £4 15s. and 5s. for fuel consumed. (See Helmsdale, Services by Shore-boats, page 57.)

    Ross
    Last edited by Ross_McNeill; 16th April 2012 at 12:27. Reason: Rant removed - fedup with unchecked info posted
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    Dennis,

    Your "LUMAN"!

    21-4-1945
    No.111(C) OTU
    Mitchell II HD308

    Crashed into sea 18m N of New Providence, Bahamas.

    Crew (Alpha order)

    966674 Sgt David Edmund BEYNON RAFVR +
    1802845 Sgt Cyril Raymond HAMLIN RAFVR +
    930982 Sgt Robert Aubrey HANNEY RAFVR +
    2202815 Sgt Donald LUNAM RAFVR +
    1566281 Sgt Robert Forrester McLEAN RAFVR +
    578829 Sgt Kenneth Mortimer SMITH RAF +

    All commemorated on the Ottawa Memorial

    Col.

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    Thanks a lot to everybody, this one was quickly and well answered

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