View Full Version : 410718 - Unaccounted airmen - 18-7-1941

Henk Welting
2nd November 2008, 14:51
What were the places of death registration for:

AC1 William R. BAILEY - 547179;
LAC (Ag u/t) James CROMPTON - 1127256;
LAC Edwin C. ELLIS - 1216524;
F/Lt Edward C. GRIFFIN - OBE - 83792;
AC1 John L. LEACH - 1354730;
LAC John C. TAYLOR - 1054509, and
AC2 Donald WILLIAMS - 1098973.

Proposed aircraft losses for this day:

Blenheim I - L1449 - 54 OTU - flew into high ground Cleveland Hills.
Oxford I - N6295 - 11 FTS - collided with Oxford P6815 on approach Shawbury.
Oxford II - P6815 - 11 FTS - collided with Oxford N6295 on approach Shawbury.

Regards and thanks for your help.

2nd November 2008, 15:19
Richard Allenby has details of the Blenheim crash on his web site.

The ORB entry is as follows:

July 18th 1941, “There were three flying accidents in the early morning, two of which were fatal. P/O E.J. Woodhead was flying Blenheim Mk.I No.L1449 on searchlight homing exercise under R/T control: he was vectored over the Cleveland Hills and attempted to break cloud at about 1500 to 2000 feet to see the searchlights. He was apparently unaware of the height of the ground over which he was flying and flew into the hillside. He was fortunately only injured, though the aircraft was completely destroyed. P/O Woodhead was taken to hospital.

P/O A.D. McMurtrie, piloting Blenheim Mk.I No.L8729 was killed quite close to the scene of the first accident when his aircraft flew into the hills while on a similar exercise. The aircraft was destroyed.

The third accident took place about 1 ½ miles from the aerodrome No.NZ402238 Sgt C.J. Neighbour, piloting Blenheim Mk.I No.K7090 on his first night solo, was ordered to orbit the flashing beacon owing to the presence of enemy aircraft in the vicinity. It is thought that he failed to maintain equilibrium on his instruments and got into a diving turn. Sgt Neighbour was killed when his aircraft struck the ground and was wrecked.”

Henk Welting
2nd November 2008, 16:01
Thanks Al for info on L1449. Serials L8729 and K7090 were in my files; info obtained from Errol Martyn's "For Your Tomorrow" vol.1 page 132.

2nd November 2008, 17:28
Hi Henk,

BAILEY is not registered in E&W or Scotland but is buried in Belfast so may have been killed in Northern Ireland;
CROMPTON, age 29, not on registers for E&W or Scotland
ELLIS, age 20, registered at Ilford
GRIFFIN, age 59, registered at Uxbridge
LEACH, age 24, registered at Marylebone
TAYLOR, age 21, registered at Colchester
WILLIAMS, age 20, registered at Grantham

No obvious fit with any of the proposed losses.



Henk Welting
3rd November 2008, 09:55
Thanks David for info on death registrations; unfortunately no match to any proposed aircraft.

Rich Allenby
3rd November 2008, 10:25
I concur with Alan Clark. re my website and Blenheim L1449. Regards Rich

Ken MacLean
3rd November 2008, 17:01

Times lists - Crompton KOAS, Ellis, Griffin, Leach all DOAS. Bailey, Taylor, Williams not found.

Henk Welting
4th November 2008, 10:20
Thanks Ken, your help much appreciated. Will amend my files.

7th December 2008, 11:55
James Crompton 1127256, his body recovered from the sea off Rockfield, Ross-shire 18/7/41.

My friend John Fleming has turned up the loss of Botha L6404 of 8 AGS 'ditched off Rockfield 18/07/41'. No sign of any other fatalities.

I think John gets the cigar!

The reason Rockhound found no trace in the Scottish death register is because Crompton's name was incorrectly indexed under 'Royal'. I came across the entry purely by chance whilst searching for something else. I have advised Scotland's People of this error.



Henk Welting
7th December 2008, 15:11
Thanks Dave and John for info on Botha L6404 and LAC CROMPTON. Again one deleted from my list !

29th October 2009, 17:06

i was given a copy of the latest RAFA Airmail magazine and I see that a John Fleming has two letters seeking information published:

One asking of a Plt Off Scholfield M.G. had survived the war.

Assuming a typo in the surname I take it that this man was/is:
Michael George Schofield

Gazette Issue 35183 published on the 6 June 1941. Page 17 of 64
The undermentioned are granted commissions for the duration of hostilities as Pilot Officers on probation: —
Leading Aircraftmen
26th Apr. 1941
1105990 Michael George SCHOFIELD (66030).

Gazette Issue 35565 published on the 19 May 1942. Page 7 of 48
PLt. Offs. (prob.) confmd. appts. and to be FLg. Offs. (war subs.): —
26th April 1942
M. G. Schofield (66030)

Flg. Offs. to be Flt. Lts. (war subs.)- —
26th Apr. 1943.
M. G. SCHOFIELD (66030).

Seems to be the last mention of him. He does not appear to be lsited on the CWGC database so I take it he survived the war.

I find a Michael G Schofield born in Q3 1919 in Leeds and following from that, a Michael George Schofield sailed into New York in 1946 on his way to study a course in Harvard University, MA. That man in 1946 was born in 1919 in Leeds. The address given in 1946 is Asket Hill.

I cannot find a matching death between 1985 and 2006, so he might still be alive.

He also asked about further information on crew of Botha 'L6406', I guess he means L6404. Can't help there but has he gotten the relevent pages of the ORB?

Added November 17th:

Completing the death status lists:
---> Not Found in Fllight AC1 William R. BAILEY - 547179;
KOAS LAC (Ag u/t) James CROMPTON - 1127256;
DOAS LAC Edwin C. ELLIS - 1216524;
DOAS F/Lt Edward C. GRIFFIN - OBE - 83792;
DOAS AC1 John L. LEACH - 1354730;
----> DOAS LAC John C. TAYLOR - 1054509, and
----> DOAS AC2 Donald WILLIAMS - 1098973.

23rd December 2012, 12:01
1054509 LAC Taylor.

The No.52 OTU ORB relates that he was coveying LAC Scales as a pillion passenger on a motor cycle to Brightlingsea in the early morning when he ran into the back of a stationary lorry.

Died of injuries in Colchester Hospital later that day.


1st September 2016, 22:01
Our family have in their possession 2 letters regarding the incident in Rockfield on 18 July 1941. The first from the pilot( I believe) who my father-in-law and four others rescued thanking them, and, the other from The Air Ministry saying they had been informed of the rescue of 2 occupants from a Botha Aircraft on the above date. We would like to know more of this incident as the parties involved are now deceased. I believe the first letter is signed Michael G Schofield but the surname is not clear.

30th September 2017, 17:09

LAC (Ag u/t) James CROMPTON - 1127256 - the Graves Registration Report Form confirms his unit as 8 A.G.S.



21st February 2022, 19:12
John Leslie Leach 1354730 , attached to the Air Ministry , died in the Middlesex Hospital, Goodge Street, London, of a cavernous sinus thrombosis

21st February 2022, 20:16
Leonard Edward Ayers 506139 , attached to AHQ Iraq, died in the RAF General hospital Habbaniya of hyperpyrexia

6th May 2022, 20:16
Edwin Charles Ellis 1216524 , attached to Number 9 SOTT , died in the Australian Hospital, Barkingside , of meningitis. His funeral took place at 15:30 Hours on 23 July

11th December 2022, 23:00
William Robert Bailey 547179 , ( spelt William Bailly on his death certificate) and described as a coppersmith RAF, died in the Whiteabbey Sanatorium of pulmonary tuberculosis with his uncle, R. Johnston in attendance.

Thanks to Paul's suggestion, William Bailey is the last Airman resting in All of Ireland, and the last Irish Airman worldwide to be fully accounted for

11th January 2023, 19:02
Donald Williams 1098973 , attached to Number 12 SFTS , was found dead on the main L.N.E.R. line 2 1/4 miles South of Grantham having been struck by a train