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Thread: Sgt Leslie Joseph George Lockwood 906101 (W. Op/Air Gnr)

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    Default Sgt Leslie Joseph George Lockwood 906101 (W. Op/Air Gnr)

    I have been looking into the background of Sgt Leslie Joseph George Lockwood 906101 (W. Op/Air Gnr) who was from my hometown he died on the 25/04/1941. I believe the following maybe members of the same crew as they all died on the same day, they were all from 612 Sqn who I believe operated the Whitley from Wick at the time.

    FO Charles Chamberlain MacCulloch Watt 90546 (Pilot)
    F/Sgt Francis John Milne 817033 (Pilot)
    F/Sgt Alexander Maitland 817310 (Air Gnr)
    Sgt Henry Edward Smith 748709 (Obs)
    Sgt William MacPherson 971383 (W. Op)

    I have not been able to find their deaths registered in England so I am assuming they maybe registered in Scotland.

    All are listed in Flight as ‘Killed on operations’.

    Can anybody confirm these men were a crew and what caused their deaths.

    Thanks

    Nick

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    Hi Nick
    From RAF Coastal Command Losses Vol 1 , Ross McNeill, 612 Sqn Whitley V,T4296, WL-L, hit buildings of the Fever Hospital whilst on approach to Wick and crashed at South Road Wick, killing all on board plus 2 of the hospital Staff. The crew were as you have them plus 817310 Sgt A Maitland who was I think the rear gunner.Ross did not have details as to the duty for which the a/c was airborne
    Regards
    Dick

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    Hello Nick
    To cofirm what Dick has posted, the death of Leslie Joseph George Lockwood and the other crew members were registered at Wick on 25 April 1941.
    Regards
    Andy

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    Thanks for your replies Dick and Andy.

    Another question has sprung to mind though, I thought the Whitley V only had a crew of five unlike the VII which had a crew of six. Was it common to have two pilots on these operations or was the second pilot there to gain experience before flying with his on crew?

    Regards,

    Nick

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    Hi Nick
    An extra pilot gaining experience is a very likely reason for the 6th crew member, but this a/c,if it wasn't on a pilot handling trip, was engaged on Coastal business and a great deal of the process of detecting targets would have been done with the Mk1 eyeball,so an extra pair, not immediately engaged in the business of operating the a/c could have been useful. In 1941 airborne radar was fairly crude, if it was available on the Sqn at all.
    Regards
    Dick

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    Thanks Dick.

    I knew that new pilots on Bomber Command often flew with a more experienced crew as second pilot but I wasn't sure whether the same occurred in Coastal Command.

    I'm not familiar with the layout of the Whitley cockpit was it dual control or would the extra pilot have been standing in the cockpit as an observer?

    Regards,

    Nick

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