View Full Version : 430826 - Unaccounted airmen - 26-8-1943

Henk Welting
4th December 2011, 14:31
What were the places of death registration of:

A - Died on active service:
LAC Clifford CROWE - 941719, and
LAC Harry DUCKWORTH - 1688616 - 516 Sqn (Dundonald, Ayrshire).

B - Not found in Flight Magazine:
AC2 Gerald de Burgh McCANN - 1821658, and
Cpl Henry WOODS - 1149241 - age 38.

C - Proposed aircraft losses:
Hampden I - P2118 - 519 Sqn - flew into high ground at night Sgor Chaonasaid, Ben Loyal, Sutherland (already as casualties on file: F/Lt [Pilot] H.R. PUPLETT - DFC - 82680; F/O [Obs] G.W. RITCHIE - RCAF J/16320; Sgt [WOp/Ag] T.R.T. HUDSON-BELL - RCAF R/99900. F/O [WOp/Ag] C.A. FAULKS injured and 1 year in Golspie Hospital. Have a note that the aircraft carried a fifth crew member who was killed or died later).
Beaufighter XI - JM122 - 404 Sqn - crashed on landing at Tain.

D - Also looking for info on what caused the death of:
S/Ldr (Pilot) Herbert K. LAYCOCK - 40925 and F/Sgt (Obs) Robert C. SCOTT - 951561, both of 603 Sqn and buried in the Athens, Phaleron War Cem., Greece. (Can't find a matching Beaufighter serial in my files).

S/Ldr Sydney WICKENDEN - twice MiD - 43589 - of North Front, Gibraltar and his name on the Girbraltar Memorial. Can't find his name in Flight Magazine.

Regards and thanks for your help.

phill jones
4th December 2011, 15:53
Henk , LAC H DUCKWORTH , if my memory serves, HE Died as a result of a Road traffic accident , i also seem to recall that another RAF airman was killed in the same accident who was in the same vehicle as LAC DUCKWORTH ,


I had detailed notes on this following my research into 1441flt/516 CO SQD , but were lost some yrs back due to flooding .

phill jones

4th December 2011, 16:00


The Times. Tuesday, November 2, 1943 p.6.


"On 19 August 1943 it was the turn of S/L H.K. Laycock in aircraft 'P' to lead an armed rover on Missolonghi using cannon, machine guns and 250lb bombs. The aircraft's starboard engine caught fire but Laycock and Sgt R.C. Scott made a good belly-landing beside the road, one mile north-west of the town. They were badly burned and were later said to be prisoners of war. Both were then reported to have died in the camp hospital on the same day, 26 August, only one week later as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. Squadron Leader Herbert Laycock and Sergeant Robert Scott are buried in the Phaleron War Cemetery, Greece."

The Greatest Squadron of Them All:The Definitive History of 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron, RAUXAF. Vol. II. 1941 to Date.
Ross,David, Bruce Blanche and William Simpson.
London:Grub Street,2003.

A couple of possibles for Mk.VIC 'P': JL626 or NT893. (Appendix 13 - p.399)


4th December 2011, 16:06
Hi Henk

LAC Clifford CROWE - 941719 - Northallerton, North Yorkshire
LAC Harry DUCKWORTH - 1688616 - not Eng/Wales
AC2 Gerald de Burgh McCANN - 1821658 - Bridgend, Glamorgan
Cpl Henry WOODS - Colchester, Essex


4th December 2011, 16:09

I think it unlikely any of your names are associated with 519 Sqn, unless they were on board for a joy ride. Met Air Observers were only just becoming operational in August 1943 and were always ranked as Sgts.

However I've asked Peter Rackliff if he can help.


Henk Welting
4th December 2011, 16:46
Thanks friends for all your support; again there's work to be done.

4th December 2011, 19:53
Hi Henk & Col

According to A-B JL626 lost with 227 Sqn on 30 Mar 1944 and NT893 lost on 3 Oct 1944 so probably not them


4th December 2011, 20:09
The list including Puplett's RAF men in KOAs is: KiLLED ON ACTIVE SERVICE—Sgt. J. F Avison, Sgt. G. Barsky; L.A/C. W. Groves; P/o K F Oldham; Fit, Lt. H. RI. Puplett, D.F. C LAC D. J. B. Robbins: F/O. L. F. Stamper; P/O D P Wigley; Sgt. N. H. M. Williams.

The scanning is really bad.

4th December 2011, 20:10
LAC G. deB. McCann is DOAS in Dece 2nd magazine the Mc was scanned as Me, hence not found, searched for 'deM.' instead.

9th December 2011, 21:49

Peter Rackliff confirms there were only four men on P2118.


Hampden H/519, P5334 Skipper P/O R Rowe, RNZAF flew the Rhombus sortie on 25/8/43, but early afternoon on their return leg they reported engine trouble, and shortly afterwards transmitted an SOS. Nothing further was heard from this aircraft.

At 16.14 hrs the squadron C.O., F/Lt Puplett DFC and crew took-off in D/519 (P2118) on an ASR mission, but found no trace of a dinghy or wreckage in the search area. They set course for Wick, but thunderstorms were developing as they approached the mainland, with the usual heavy static, and base were aware that their transmissions were becoming increasingly distorted.

As a result they overshot base and flew into the high ground of Ben Loyal, some 50 miles west of Wick, at approximately midnight. All the crew were killed with the exception of the W/op, F/O C A Faulks who was seriously injured, but thrown clear of the wreckage. Later, a search party arrived at the crash-site and brought him down the mountainside. Faulks made a slow recovery in hospital, and was eventually fit enough to resume flying duties.

Rest of crew: P/O (F/O ?) C Ritchie, Nav.: Sgt T R Hudson-Bell, Wop/AG


So far as I can determine Faulks survived the war.


11th December 2011, 21:43
There is a Harry Duckworth, aged 36, registered in 1943 at Inverary in Argyllshire.

Every rivet helps!


3rd May 2015, 20:28
I appreciate it is a long time since there was any activity on this thread, but working on another subject led me back here. There is quite a lot of information about the loss of P2118 on the web:

http://www.boydharris.co.uk/snap_blog14/snaps1401.htm (scroll down to 24 Jan 2014).

None of these links makes any reference to the other missing aircraft P5334 and I wonder if a F1180 was ever raised? The date of its loss was 25 August 1943, and the pilot was F/Sgt R Rowe.


Mark Hood
6th May 2015, 18:18
Hello Brian

I think we are on the wrong dated thread (but its only a day out).

I have sent you some information which originated from F/Lt. C. A. Faulks in the 1970s (ex. 519 Sqn.), involved in the Hampden P2118 crash, F/O Faulks was the only survivor of an Air Sea Rescue search, which crashed on Ben Loyal. The other members of the crew according to the ORB F.541 were:-
F/Lt H. R. D. F. C. Puplett
P/O C. W. R. Ritchie
Sgt. T. R. Hudson-Bell

There is information of the above and also the earlier P5334 Hampden loss that day in F.541 (ORB 541 page info sent) on 25 August 1943, missing off north coast of Scotland after reporting engine trouble at 13.25 and sending SOS at 13.38 picked up by Inverness, four killed, Aircraft coded 'H', Cat. E., crew on P5334 were:-
F/Sgt R. Rowe
P/O D. Bonin
P/O F. Findlater
Sgt. D. L. Mc Nichol

Sending email.

Regards Mark

6th May 2015, 19:14
LAC Harry DUCKWORTH - 1688616 - died at the Military Hospital, Inverary at 12.00 noon, of abdominal injuries sustained in a road accident.



15th March 2021, 13:30
UPGRADE to John Archibald Nelson R 167872, he collapsed and died of a cereberal embolism caused by mitrial stenosis

4th May 2021, 18:18
Gerald DeBurgh McCann 1821658 , attached to RAF St. Athan, died in the station hospital of meningitis

14th July 2022, 11:40
Russell James Weeks 114426 , attached to AHQ Iraq , was admitted to RAF General hospital, Iraq on 7 May . He rallied but became dangerously ill on 29 May and died at 20:25 Hours of diptheria and bronchopneumonia

22nd February 2023, 00:16
Henry Woods 1149242 | attached to Number 75 Signals Wing | died at RAF Great Bromley in a self inflicted suicidal hanging

1st June 2023, 22:01
Clifford Wayland Early NZ 415229 | attached to 61 OTU | drowned in Ellesmere lake, Ellesmere, Shropshire on the morning of 26 August whilst undertaking dinghy drill. His body was recovered at 17:15 Hours the same day

3rd August 2023, 23:42
Jack Hyland Harvey 25761 | attached to 3 AD at RAAF Amberley |

Ronald Bruce Squelch 25242 |

were both killed when a U.S. service tender collided with a civilian bus 3 miles from Ipswich. Several other Airmen and Women were injured. The accident occurred at 00:45 Hours on Amberley Road, 3 miles from Ipswich, when U.S. Army tender 4133333 driven by Private John Perdue of the 1954 QM Company hit a civilian passenger bus Q334541 operated by Ernest Charles Jowett.

Seriously injured were

101482 ACW A.V.F Atkins with a fractured spine

100261 ACW E.M. Wardroom with lacerations and concussion

3037 WO L.G. Taylor with an interracial haemorrhage

75613 LAC P.W. Chandler with a crushed chest

78137 AC1 H. Lees with lacerations and concussion