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View Full Version : 430226 - Unaccounted airman - 26-2-1943 (Malta Memorial)



Henk Welting
20th March 2010, 17:39
Looking for info on the death of:
Sgt William B. RICHARDS - 1263952 - 39 Squadron - commemorated Panel 9 Column 1 of the Malta Air Forces Memorial.
39 Sqn lost this day Beaufort DD910 whilst attacking a convoy off Ustica. For the crew of this a/c I already have on file:
P/O J.C.W. HEWETSON - 80457 - Malta Mem. - Panel 7 Column 1;
F/Sgt H.J. BRICE - 924325 - PoW;
Sgt A.J. COLES - 1187358 - PoW (4B/227089), and
Sgt R.W. BRADFORD - 1197443 - PoW (4B/260742).
PoW's first interned in Campo 66 at Naples.
Is it possible that DD910 had a crew of five ?
Regards and thanks for your help.
Henk.

CZ_RAF
20th March 2010, 21:56
Hi Henk,

I found following about P/O J.C.W. HEWETSON:

Whilst taking part in nighttime attack with his aircraft Beaufort [DD910] on enemy shipping on the 25th February 1943 his aircraft was brought down in the sea. He was killed but his three crew members survived the crash and climbed out of the plane and managed to launch the rubber dinghy, being picked up later by an Italian torpedo boat and taken into captivity.]

http://www.unithistories.com/officers/RAFVR_officers_H01.html

So it looks like there were at four aboard - 2 pilots, navigator and WOP/AG or pilot, navigator, WOP and AG, what I think was an usual crew. And also P/O J.C.W. HEWETSON is listed as KIA on 25.2. while Sgt William B. RICHARDS on 26.2...
So the question is - the Beaufort was on night attack on 24/25 or 25/26?

From the first sight it seems to me he was not aboard, but ...

Pavel

Henk Welting
21st March 2010, 15:43
Thanks Pavel, RICHARDS will for the time being remain on my list of airmen unaccounted for.
Best regards,
Henk.

dennis_burke
22nd March 2010, 09:52
There is only one Sgt W b Richards on CWGC for the 1939-1943 period, so with some confidence,

Sgt W B Richards appears 'Missing' in Cas Comm 227, Flight, May 6th 1943.
J C W Hewetson appears Missing, in CAs Comm 228, Flight, May 6th 1943.
Sgt W B Richards then appears PREVIOUSLY REPORTED MISSING, NOW PRESUMED
KILLED IN ACTION in CAs Comm 316, Flight magazine 9 Dec 1943
J C W Hewetson next it seems appears PREVIOUSLY REPORTED MISSING, NOW PRESUMED
KILLED IN ACTION in the CAs Comm 318 in Dec 16th Magazine.

Might Richards have bailed out of an aircraft or something like that?

Henk Welting
22nd March 2010, 13:51
Hello Dennis (and Ross),
39 Sqn was Coastal Command (as far as I know) and may 'our Ross' perhaps have an answer !
Regards,
Henk.

Ross_McNeill
22nd March 2010, 13:58
Hi,

Only Hewetson and the three other crew you have noted on the Beaufort.

Regards
Ross

CZ_RAF
22nd March 2010, 14:49
Bingo!
Many thanks Ross, my guess was correct:-)

Pavel

Kevin
9th August 2020, 11:11
Sgt William B Richards was lost on Beaufort DD878. Took off from Luqa at 00.35hrs to attack a convoy but during the attack crashed into the sea. Sgt William is commemorated on the Malta Memorial. The other three survived and were taken prisoners.

Pilot F/O D N Tweedie, RAF (VR), 112439 POW
Obs Sgt L J Brown, RAF (VR), 1316341 POW
WOp/AG Sgt A E Elwell, RAF (VR), 1265133 POW
WOp/AG Sgt William Benjamin Richards, RAF (VR), 1263952 +

Regards

Kevin



Looking for info on the death of:
Sgt William B. RICHARDS - 1263952 - 39 Squadron - commemorated Panel 9 Column 1 of the Malta Air Forces Memorial.
39 Sqn lost this day Beaufort DD910 whilst attacking a convoy off Ustica. For the crew of this a/c I already have on file:
P/O J.C.W. HEWETSON - 80457 - Malta Mem. - Panel 7 Column 1;
F/Sgt H.J. BRICE - 924325 - PoW;
Sgt A.J. COLES - 1187358 - PoW (4B/227089), and
Sgt R.W. BRADFORD - 1197443 - PoW (4B/260742).
PoW's first interned in Campo 66 at Naples.
Is it possible that DD910 had a crew of five ?
Regards and thanks for your help.
Henk.