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Thread: RAF officer deaths 1.1.29-3.9.39

  1. #11
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    Hans,

    "To my surprise F/O Hamilton is listed as missing, presumed killed, while his body is buried just a 100 yards from my home adress!"

    The AFL in which he is listed is dated November 1938, information in which would have been accurate up to about mid-October 1938. Presumably, therefore, Hamilton's body was recovered sometime later and the AFL not update to reflect this.

    Errol

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    Default Additions To Raf Officer Deaths

    First of all, my thanks to Errol for making the data available. A great piece of useful information.

    I have no doubt that a lot of checking is already underway and I look forward to seeing the results.

    Perhaps Ross can clarify where the replies should be posted - on this board or the Main Category board?

    For my own part I have checked the 1939/1938 entries; the following names need to be added:

    Fg.Off YATES, Eric Wilson, killed 1.8.39, (Oxford N6297/N6329 collision)

    APlt.Off ALWOOD, Derek Henry Kitson, killed 1.8.39, (as above)

    Fg.Off. BELL, A.G.H. killed 31.8.39, (Hudson N7248 lost off Norway)

    Plt.Off PHILIPS, Peter, killed 4.8.38 ( RAF aircraft crashed Goring on Thames)

    Plt. Off. DE MERLE TYRRELL, John Nugent, killed 31.3.38 (collision Hinds K6643/K6753)

    Flt. Lt NELSON killed 20.7.38 (aircraft crash in India)

    Fg.Off WADDELL, Robert Cassells, killed 18.8.38, (Hardy K4517)

    Fg.Off MAY, Francis Thomas killed 26.8.38 (a/c accident in India)

    Plt.Off FRENCH, G.P. killed 29.8.38 (Wapiti K1284 at Kohat)

    Flt. Lt. Monks, R, killed 12.9.38 (Whitley K7207 at Farnborough)

    Sqn.Ldr. ADAMS, Maurice James, killed 12.9.38 (Whitley K7207 at Farnborough)

    APlt.Off. WINTER, Robert Ernest, killed 13.9.38 (Oxford L4580 at S.Poulton)

    Fg.Off. STODART, Kenneth Gerald, killed 13.9.38

    Attribution of serials may not be correct in all cases- comments welcome.

    May I wish all members a Happy New Year and a big thank you to Ross for all his hard work in 2007.

    MTIA

    David Molyneux

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    David,

    Thanks for this contribution.

    DE MERLE TYRRELL seems to be a genuine omission from the AFL.

    The others you mention I believe should appear in the AFL for Oct 1938. I have a note to the effect that this was not published, though I may be in error on this point. Certainly, a copy was not to be found amongst the RAF Museum collection or at the PRO when I worked my way through them there back in the 1980s.

    One other AFL similarly 'missing in action' was that for Dec 1935 (not published?).

    The AFL Deaths column was introduce in the Oct 1918 edition. Apart from the above mentioned two and the combined Nov/Dec 1920 edition, the AFL appeared each month for the interwar years, though on rare occasion there were no deaths to report.

    Errol

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    David,

    "Flt. Lt NELSON killed 20.7.38 (aircraft crash in India)"
    This has to be Flt Lt George Nelson. He appears in the Mar 1938 AFL as serving in India as a Signals Officer from 5 Oct 37. His name is missing from the Jun 1939 AFL.

    "Fg.Off. BELL, A.G.H. killed 31.8.39, (Hudson N7248 lost off Norway)"
    First names - Andrew George Henry


    "Plt.Off FRENCH, G.P. killed 29.8.38 (Wapiti K1284 at Kohat)"
    First names - Gilbert Prowse

    "Flt. Lt. Monks, R, killed 12.9.38 (Whitley K7207 at Farnborough)"
    First name - Reginald

    Errol

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    Default Additions To Raf Officer Deaths

    Errol,

    Thanks very much for the replies. I had guessed that due to the proximity in the dates a monthly copy had gone adrift.

    I note that the entry for Flt Lt COMPER, killed 18 Jun 1939, appears twice - is this a straight forward duplication?.

    The less easy ones to check are those killed in civil accidents eg BYAR (28.4.1938), LARMUTH (3.6.1938), JOHNSTONE (27.7.1938) or in non service related accidents eg MOSEBY (6.61938) who was killed when an aircraft carrying members of the RAF boxing team crashed en route between Salisbury and Pretoria.

    On with the checking, I may have two iin 1937.

    Many thanks

    David Molyneux

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    David,

    Comper's death is recorded in both the July and August AFLs for 1939. Presumably the result of an oversight by the compiler.

    Byar crashed on the 25th and died of his injuries on the 28th Apr 38. I mention the event on p65 of Vol One of my 'For Your Tomorrow' - can copy it here if required.

    Errol

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    Default Raf Officer Deaths -- Flt.lt. Byar

    Errol,

    I would be interested to see the extract dealing with the death of Flt.Lt. BYAR as I believe there were some unexplained fuel system abnormalities.

    Many thanks

    David Molyneux

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    David,

    Here it is.

    Mon, Anzac Day 1938
    England
    Army co-operation searchlight exercise
    Wrightways Ltd (Croydon, Surrey)
    De Havilland DH84 Dragon I G-ACHX - took off at about 1900 but on returning to Croydon 2 hours later the starboard engine failed during approach from the southwest. ACHX crashed into a row of trees near the Rose Walk and Promenade de Verdun intersection, Purley, a mile to the SW. The New Zealand wireless operator, Ernest Ratcliffe, received a broken right thigh, but his fellow countryman was more severely injured. It took a dozen firemen to lift the wreckage and finally extricate them, but the pilot died at Purley and District War Memorial Hospital three days later and was buried south of Croydon, at Wallington on 2 May.
    Pilot: Colin Calder BYAR - Age 25.
    Byar served with the RAF 1933-37 as a short service commission officer and was on the Reserve at the time of the accident. Army co-operation searchlight flights by civil aircraft were a regular event in 1938 as war appeared increasingly inevitable.

    An item in 'Flight' of 5 May 38 (which you may have seen) says that 'both petrol taps had been turned off', though I've not found confirmation of this statement elsewhere. The Croydon Archives Service of the Central Library at Croydon once sent me some extracts from the 'Croydon Times' that included reference to an inquest on 30 Apr where 'only formal evidence was taken...and that as the Air Ministry were conducting an inquiry, the inquest would have to be adjourned until a later date'. Not having the date of the continuation of the inquest CAS were unable to provide me with a copy of this.

    Errol

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    Default Interwar deaths

    Some additions (not all officers)

    EVANS, B.L. "The Air Ministry regrets to announce that Acting Pilot Officer Basil Linnington Evans lost his life as the result of an accidemt on December 10 [1935] when the aeroplane piloted by him fell into the River Humber near Brough. He was the sole occupant of the machine." (Aeroplane, 18 December 1935)

    FISHER, Neville, P/O - killed 17 Oct 35 - of Royal Air Force College, Cranwell, Accident at Braucewell. He was sole occupant of aircraft. "Evidence was taken that Mr. Fisher was a competent pilot. He learned to fly with the Cambridge University Air Squadron and had been at Cranwell for a few weeks. A bricklayer who saw the accident said that he first saw the machine at about 100 feet in a spin. He did not see the pilot jump. The body was found about 70 feet from the machine. A verdict of accidental death was returned." (Aeroplane, 23 October 1935).

    MOULD, Gordon Edward, Sergeant Pilot - 23 August 1935. Machine dived into sea during practice bombing, Christchurch Bay. Reported in Aeroplane, 18 September 1935. Lieutenant-Commander Guy Willoughby, RN (F/L, RAF) reported he was leading three aircraft of which Mould's was the third. They dived from about 12,000 feet at 270 mph and released their bombs at about 1,500 feet over a fast armoured motor launch which acted as target. The witness said that having completed his dive he turned to see where bomb had fallen and saw Mould's machine go straight into water. Verdict returned of "Dead by misadventure", the jury adding, "This promising young man died while performing a hazardous but necessary duty."

    ROSS, Alexander, F/O - PARK, William, Sergeant (364933) and WAUGH, John, LAC (510771) - "lost their lives as a result of a collision in the air between two aeroplanes of No.4 (Bomber) Squadron at Abingdon on Nov. 9. LAC Waugh was the passenger of the machine piloted by Flg Off Ross and Sergeant Park was the pilot and sole occupant of the second machine. An inquest was held at Abingdon on Nov.11 on the bodies of the crews of the two machines. F/L A.A. Jones said that they were flying back from Cardington with three news machines. On the return journey the three new machines, one piloted by Ross, were flying in front, and he gave the signal to break formation. He saw Ross climb to the right, but nothing else. Squadron Leader A.P. Ledger, who was standing on the aerodrome, said that he though Ross's view might have been obscured by a wing in turning, so that he did not see Park's machine. They had parachutes but were probably stunned by the force of the impact." Aeroplane, 20 November 1935.

    STEPHENSON, John Rupert, P/O Killed 1 Oct 35 - Station Gosport. Killed at Stokes Bay in aircraft accident. Inquest held at Gosport, 4 October 1935. Details from Aeroplane, 9 October 1935. "P/O John Whillier said that he, F/L Wisher and the deceased officer were flying in formation at about 1,400 feet. The witness said that he came up on the right in an attempt to get into position and was watching the formation leader. He suddenly saw Stephenson's machine dangerously near his top plane and to avoid it took a diving turn to the right. The top wing of his machine touched the airscrew of Stephenson's machine and as he righted himself he saw then other machine gliding down. He added that he was watching the leader, whereas a more experienced pilot would have watched both machines. F/L Wisher said that the accident was probably due to Whillier approaching the formation from the wrong angle. There was nothing reckless or careless in what he had done. The coroner said that there was nothing to justify expression of blame and a verdict of Accidental Death was recorded."

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    "ROSS, Alexander, F/O - PARK, William, Sergeant (364933) and WAUGH, John, LAC (510771)"

    F/O Ross probably appears in the deaths column of the 'missing' Dec 1935 AFL.

    Errol

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