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Thread: F/Sgt Lionel Knight 31 sqdn

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    Default F/Sgt Lionel Knight 31 sqdn

    Can anyone help please, I know 910489 F/Sgt Lionel KNIGHT died 28th January 1944. He was with 31 Sqdn who I believe were operating Dakota 1's from Agartala. 6 others died with him by the looks of CWGC records. My googling finger is now sore, to no effect. There were many crashes over "The Hump" but I cannot find this one.
    Thanks in advance

    Tony

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    Hello,

    No.31 Sqn Dakota I FD811:V, crashed Khargpur 28/1/1944:

    Alpha Order:

    129253 F/O (Nav./B) George Edward BESWICK RAFVR +
    910489 F/Sgt (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Lionel Beaumont KNIGHT RAFVR +
    1628223 AC2 Arthur James MILES RAFVR +
    552707 Cpl (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Ronald PARRY RAF +
    R/103624 W/O (Pilot) Donald Ashley THOMPSON RCAF +
    127138 F/O (Pilot) Thomas William TOWNLEY RAFVR +
    1251927 F/Sgt (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Albert James WALLIS RAFVR +

    and 4 Americans killed.

    All RAF, buried Ranchi War Cemetery.

    Another regular feature of 31's flying life was the 221 Group Mail Run from Khargpur to Calcutta. The run for 28th January (1944), ended in disaster. Flying Officer Tom W Townley, known as "Chota", took off in FD811 at 6 am but crashed only minutes later. All aboard were killed, including his crew, Warrant Officer Thompson, Flight Sergeant A J Wallis, AC1 A G Miles, and other 31 personnel who were passengers: Flying Officer G E Beswick (Nav), Flight Sergeant L B Knight (WOP/AG), Corporal R Parry (WOP) plus four Americans.

    First in the Indian Skies.
    Franks,Norman L R.
    Lincoln:Life Publications,1981.
    pp.104 & 235.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 22nd November 2014 at 01:42.

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    Thanks for that. I had noted the book, but there is a limit to how many books one afford to buy/store !
    The details seemed most elusive otherwise, but now you have confirmed all that I did deduce.

    Thanks again

    Tony

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    You should order a copy of DA Thompsons RCAF service file. This may well contain some extra narrative and name the four Americans.

    google RCAF service records for instructions how to order.

    and if you think of it. Come back and add the names of the Americans
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

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

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    The Accident Card suggests that the pilot was inexperienced at night flying and that his skills might have been checked before he undertook a night take-off (0600 Hours local). The account of the loss also indicates that the pilot might not have been at his most alert as he had been partying the night before. The aircraft was flying a circuit of the airfield and was allowed to descend and strike the ground 8 minutes after take-off.

    Colin Cummings

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldduffer View Post
    The Accident Card suggests that the pilot was inexperienced at night flying and that his skills might have been checked before he undertook a night take-off (0600 Hours local). The account of the loss also indicates that the pilot might not have been at his most alert as he had been partying the night before. The aircraft was flying a circuit of the airfield and was allowed to descend and strike the ground 8 minutes after take-off.

    Colin Cummings
    Thank you for all this information: is it possible to post a copy of this accident card on this forum?
    Last edited by rupertlo; 20th March 2019 at 13:26.

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    I have not been following this Thread and was directed to it by another query.

    Unfortunately, it is more than a dozen years since I collected the data for a book, which included this accident. I no longer have the RAF Forms 1180 and the only reference I still have is the book: '1st in the Indian Skies'. I could not get the names of the four US casualties because at the time, things were a little difficult with the MOD scaling back information services.

    I am sorry not to be able to help but will see if the other query referred to above might reveal an answer.

    Colin Cummings

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldduffer View Post
    I have not been following this Thread and was directed to it by another query.

    Unfortunately, it is more than a dozen years since I collected the data for a book, which included this accident. I no longer have the RAF Forms 1180 and the only reference I still have is the book: '1st in the Indian Skies'. I could not get the names of the four US casualties because at the time, things were a little difficult with the MOD scaling back information services.

    I am sorry not to be able to help but will see if the other query referred to above might reveal an answer.

    Colin Cummings
    Thank you very much, Colin. Any further help would be greatly appreciated.

    Rupert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rupertlo View Post
    Thank you very much, Colin. Any further help would be greatly appreciated.

    Rupert.
    From my own research, I can now see that three of the American personnel were as follows:

    Evan R. Hammitt (ASN 39460542)
    Robert D. Lancey (ASN 32596621)
    Frank Lynch (ASN 39312429)

    I don't know the fourth but I believe he may have been an Officer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rupertlo View Post
    From my own research, I can now see that three of the American personnel were as follows:

    Evan R. Hammitt (ASN 39460542)
    Robert D. Lancey (ASN 32596621)
    Frank Lynch (ASN 39312429)

    I don't know the fourth but I believe he may have been an Officer.
    Further, we think that these may be the graves of the four Americans (we are not sure if Murray Jay Thorn was on board)

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...rray-jay-thorn

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...34/frank-lynch

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...bert-d_-lancey

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...odgers-hammitt

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