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Thread: Mystery Crash 4 AOS/4 B&GS 4th April 1940

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    Default Mystery Crash 4 AOS/4 B&GS 4th April 1940

    I have the 4 AOS (Air Observer School) /4 B&GS (Bombing & Gunnery School) ORB

    There is NO crashed listed for 4th April 1940

    However, I know 3 airmen died in an incident in Luce Bay on that date

    P/O John Patrick Dalton #41524 -- Missing on Runnymead
    LAC Alfred Christopher Beech #751022 (not #751002 as listed in Casualty List) -- Missing on Runnymead
    LAC Ralph Ramsay Smith #751145 -- 'body found on the shore of Luce Bay, near Clay Island Burn. Last seen alive 4th April.' - Source RAF Commands

    However, the 4 B&GS OBS in a review of 6 Air Observers Course (11/3/40 to 26/4/40) say

    "751022 LAC Beech AC and 751145 LAC Smith RR killed in a flying accident"

    So that links Beech and Smith, P/O John Patrick Dalton unit listed as 4 AOS - Source RAF Command which became 4 B&GS - Crew of 3 maybe Battle ???

    Thanks Paul

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    Paul,

    I've been through some records but the best I can do is a pair of Wellesleys lost off France, each with a crew of three. I can find no 4 AOS/B&GS about that time and certainly no Battles.

    Is it absolutely certain that the three men are a - in a linked accident, b - it is an RAF aircraft and c - if R R Smith is stated as 'last seen alive' does that prove he was in an aircraft, perhaps he fell off the end of the pier in an entirely unrelated incident? no disrespect intended.

    Colin Cummings

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    Paul,

    I have looked at the death cert. for Ralph Smith. He was found on the 7th April on the shore of Luce Bay as you said. with multiple injuries. There are no other deaths recorded in the same register that could be associated with his. Occupation is given as 'assistant clerk' at West Freugh but no explanation if how he met his death. I have found that deaths associated with flying activities are usually marked as such. There may be something in one of the newspapers, will dig a bit further.

    DaveW

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    Dave,

    Out of curiosity as Paul had not mentioned it, I looked at the CWGC, and that records Smith as being an "Obs U/T" - which would tie in with him being killed in an aircraft accident. The same information is recorded on the Bolsover Roll of Honour (http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Derbyshire/Bolsover.html) and is obviously taken from the same source).

    In the event your newspaper search draws a blank I guess the only recourse for additional clues is their service records. Smith's headstone is not the standard CWGC design and is rather cramped (see http://www.twgpp.org/information.php?id=3000991), so is unlikely to add anything.

    Brian

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    I have a theory on this involving mis reporting of dates that may provide an answer but I was hoping someone had a real reference to Dalton Smith and Beech I cannot understand how the death of 3 crew in aircraft accident not in ORB

    I will post either later today or tomorrow


    Thanks for your help

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    Not wishing to appear a smart a%$e but have you looked at omnibus ORBs ie the unit, the station, the next higher formation?

    Colin Cummings

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    All

    Thanks for this, via email I have been alerted to Handley Page Heyford K6896 of 4BGS that was lost on 4th April 1940 with only the body of LAC Ralph Ramsay Smith #751145 recovered. The K File has this ex 102, 99 and 148 Sqn aircraft was with 4 AOS by 5.39 (which became 4 BGS 1.11.39 and was SOC 8.6.40). No idea why not in ORB, but I will add West Freugh ,and higher Group ORBs to my list for investigation in future

    I believe P/O John Patrick Dalton #41524 was pilot of this aircraft and LAC Alfred Christopher Beech #751022 other passenger

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    Paul,

    I found this piece in the Lenton Times (Lenton Historical Society)

    Smith, Ralph Ramsay, Leading
    Aircraftman (Obs.U/T),
    (751145) R.A.F.V.R. Died 4th
    April 1940 when his plane
    collided with another aircraft.
    Interred St. Mary's churchyard,
    Bolsover. Son of Arthur Henry
    Ramsay Smith & Beatrice Ellen
    Smith, of 43 Highfield Rd. [e.1939
    & 45]. He had joined the RAFVR
    in May 1939. Before coming to
    Nottingham the Smith family had
    lived in Bolsover [n.e.p.10.4.1940].

    There is not much new in it it except the reference to a collision.

    DaveW

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    Dave thanks interesting a family notice in the Times say Dalton died in an "aircraft accident"

    I can't find Nat Archives reference for West Freugh ORB for period

    I assume the reporting Group at the time was NO. 25 (ARMAMENT) GROUP ? AIR 25/545 ?

    Paul

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    Hi,

    I have P/O John Patrick Dalton #41524 with 4 AOS in my microfiche from "GRO War Deaths R.A.F."

    Regards

    Finn Buch

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