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Thread: P/O John William Hindmarsh, 137623, d. July 13th 1943

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    Default P/O John William Hindmarsh, 137623, d. July 13th 1943

    Hello again everyone

    I'm looking for further details about the above Pilot Officer, who was killed on July 13th 1943, and is buried at Sunderland (Ryhope Road) Cemetery.

    I can't seem to find his death on FreeBMD, nor on Scotland's People. I do have the following account from the Sunderland Echo of July 23rd 1943:

    PILOT OFFICER’S DEATH
    News of the death of Pilot Officer John William Hindmarsh, R.A.F.V.R., of 10 Holme Gardens, Sunderland, only son of Mr. and Mrs. William Hindmarsh, of the same address, has been received by his wife and parents. He was killed on July 13.
    An old Bedan, Pilot Officer Hindmarsh also attended Sunderland Technical College, where he qualified as a member of the Pharmaceutical Society. He joined the R.A.F. in 1941 and trained as a Coastal Command pilot in South Africa, receiving his commission in January of this year.
    He was organist and choir-master at St. Nicholas’s Church, Humbledon, for several years, and for some years was organist at Black’s Regal Theatre, Holmeside. He was married in 1941, and leaves a widow and a son, aged 2.

    Any help mostly gratefully accepted!

    Regards

    Simon

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    Did you check the Grave Registration record on CWGC.

    It lists him being with 7 Coastal OTU which would be in Northern Ireland at the time.

    I can check the ORB later if laptop goes on
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

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

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    Ah, no I didn't see the GR record, thanks Dennis.

    I'd be most grateful if you get a chance to take a peek at the ORB when you have a moment.

    Regards

    Simon

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    Checking air force deaths buried in NI suggests this

    On 13th July 1943, he was wireless operator and air gunnner in Wellington Bomber HF838 taking off from RAF Limavady,

    https://wwiini.org/people/john-william-hughes/
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

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

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    When Wellington VIII HF838 returned over aerodrome, the runway being used necessitated approach over high ground, After a circuit was carried out at low altitude, the a/c was seen to loose height and crashed into hillside. Fire broke out immediatly. P/O Hindmarsh and Butland, F/O's Tait and Anderson, and Sgt Hughes were killed. P/O Moss was injured.

    ANDERSON, JOHN GOUINLOCK Flying Officer 416624 RNZAF
    BUTLAND, FREDERICK DICK Flying Officer J/20423 RCAF
    TAIT, JAMES MAXWELL Flying Officer 126068
    HUGHES, JOHN WILLIAM Flight Sergeant 41436 RNZAF

    BUtland's service file shoudl be available on ancestry.com, maybe a Form 765
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

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

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    Thanks for that Dennis.

    Butland's R.C.A.F records on ancestry.com does indeed have a Form 551 which confirm HF838, and the Form 765 which confirms your crew listing.

    I already had Tait as a crew member - he originally came from Berwick-upon-Tweed, and his body was returned there for burial.

    Regards

    Simon
    Last edited by wwrsimon; 26th July 2017 at 18:24.

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    Shows how useful those grave registration forms can be as they list the non Squadron units a lot of the time
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

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

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    Here's what's on the Form 765 from Butland's R.C.A.F. records:

    Date: July 13th 1943
    Time: 02.48
    Place: Bolea, nr. Limavady
    Night Navigation Exercise
    Duration of Flight since take-off: 6 hours, 2 minutes.

    Pilot: F/O TAIT, J. M. 126068 - killed
    2nd Pilot: P/O HINDMARSH, J. W. 137623 - killed
    Nav: F/O ANDERSON, J. C. NZ416624 - killed
    WOp/AG: P/O BUTLAND, F. D. Can/J.20423 - killed
    WOp/AG: P/O MOSS W. J. Can/J.20108 - injured
    WOp/AG: Sgt. HUGHES, J. W. NZ41436 – killed

    Aircraft returned from Operational Flight Exercise at night and broke cloud satisfactorily over aerodrome. Runway in use necessitated approach over high ground. Pilot made two approaches – one of which was an overshoot – and went round again each time. Third circuit was carried out at lower altitude (about 600 ft.) than usual (1000 ft.) with turns of 30º - 40º bank. On final cross-wind leg normal rate of descent was observed in spite of initial altitude 600 ft., and as aircraft approached tunnel it lost height and crashed just below 300 ft. contour 3 miles downwind of runway in use. Weather was 10/10 cloud base 1800’ patches 1000’. Frequent heavy showers. Visibility 6 miles, 2 miles in showers. Wind 15 mph, gusty.

    No evidence of any technical failure.

    Remarks by Unit Commander:
    Wind direction necessitated use of runway giving approach over high ground (about 400 ft.). This is a most difficult approach.
    Pupil overshot on at least one previous attempt and carried out third circuit at low altitude and steepish turns. Possibly strove to keep flare path in view and make certain of getting by ‘creeping.’
    Weather conditions were fit but poor. Rain and gusts probably added to Pilot’s difficulties.

    Evidence suggests pilot was braving difficulty with approach and flew into ground when making too low a circuit. Conditions were fit and other aircraft had landed previously.

    And an interesting remark from the Group Commander:

    It is increasingly apparent that the present system of selection is unsatisfactory and needs immediate review. The sequence now in operation is that pilots leave the F.T.S. and although some pass through an O.T.U. as second pilots, they do not in actual fact receive any flying training. Part of a tour in an operational squadron follows, but again they carry out very little flying of an aircraft. After a period of about 6 - 18 months they return to the O.T.U. or H.C.U. for captain training. There is no doubt that, in many cases, the standard of their flying has, by this time, through lack of practice, deteriorated, and is now below the standard achieved on first leaving the F.T.S.

    Regards

    Simon

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