Avro Anson Mk.I L7056 of 32 OTU

This crash during training out of RCAF Patricia Bay on 30 October 1942, in which four airmen were assumed perished, remained a mystery for over 70 years. They were:

RCAF R/131545 Sgt. William Baird
RAF 129395 P/O Charles George Fox
RAF 129408 P/O Anthony William Lawrence
RAF 1332144 Sgt. Robert Ernest Luckock

and it’s only recently that the wreckage of the plane and the remains of the crew have been found near Cowichan Bay, Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, British Colombia. Here are some links to the story…






RAF 153571 F/O Derek Cecil Heather of 61 Squadron

This officer died along with five of his six crew colleagues when their Avro Lancaster ED470 was shot down on 23 September 1944 near Zelhem in the Netherlands on an operation out of RAF Skellingthorpe to the Dortmund-Ems Canal.

The others who died alongside him were:
RAAF F/O Albert Hornibrook (Pilot)
RAF Sgt Tegwyn Roberts (Flight Engineer)
RAAF F/O John Condon (Navigator)
RAF Sgt Robert Stanley Meachen (Wireless Operator)
RAF Sgt Thomas Brown (Mid-Upper Gunner)

…and Sgt John Miller (Rear Gunner) managed to get out.

Their bodies were not recovered, and it’s only in recent times that a dig has been given the go-ahead so that their remains can be properly laid to rest. The story here…


City of Westminster Archives Centre


Just visited these folks for the first time. They have a substantial collection of London-specific documents, and knowledgeable staff to help you negotiate their catalogue system WESTCAT and others.

Turns out that they hold a dozen architectural drawings of RAF St. Clement Danes! Let’s hope these are useful for the work the church has planned for January.

Soldiers, both American and British!

From the Nijmegen Regional Archive, here’s an article from ‘De Gelderlander’ on 26 September 1944 (at the top of the front page), expressing the Dutch commitment to the ongoing remembrance and commemoration of those seen as their country’s liberators…


This commitment was entirely sincere, and remains so.

Eric Harper

Eric Harper v2

In case it helps the other researcher or the relatives, this newspaper item is from the Lancashire Evening Post on Fri 9 July 1943, and here’s a transcription…


Pilot Officer Eric Harper (34), only son of Mrs. Harper of 4, Mornington-road Heath Charnock, and whose wife resides at 230, Rishton-lane, Bolton, has been reported missing following recent operations. Pilot Officer Harper joined the R.A.F. in March last years, and was commissioned in November. He was on the staff of Williams Deacons Bank, Ltd., at Chorley, having started at the Bolton branch. He was for many years a member of Chorley Golf Club. He is an old boy of Rivington and Blackpool Grammar School.

683 Squadron and PL893

Went to the National Archives to look at the 683 Squadron ORBs. Found 20 entries for PL893 dating from 7 December 1944 to 21 January 1945. Here are a few of those entries…

RIMG0004 v2

RIMG0005 v2

So here we have a similar case as for PL896. As a potential serial number for the plane Brodby crashed in, it’s looking really unlikely. Without relying on the Movement Card (yet to be received) or the accuracy of its transcription on Avialogs, between 20 September and 7 December, the wreck of PL893 would have needed recovering, completely repairing, and putting back into service. The resources simply weren’t there at the time to do anything like this. Plus, what would be the motivation? The salvage value of a smashed plane must surely have been fairly low when factories were still tooled up to produce a new one, especially when you factor in the costs of that salvage and renovation.

RAF 134213 F/O Eric Harper

619 Squadron RAF memorial - Thorpe Camp, 24th August 2011

A different researcher is looking to make contact with relatives of this 619 Squadron navigator as part of a project focusing on six crashes all in the same Dutch village near Eindhoven. Eric died on 29 Jun 1943 on operation out of RAF Woodhall Spa to Köln with the crew of Avro Lancaster III ED979. His six crewmates were also killed. They were…

RAF 1246721 F/S Terence Peter Murphy
RAF 531481 Sgt Jack Adsetts
RAF 131976 F/O Alexander Mackay
RAF 1330344 Sgt Norman Evan Rivers
RAF 614065 Sgt Raymond Archibald Grace
RCAF R/64856 F/S John Harvey William Walker

His CWGC entry here…


If you’re a relative, or if you have another connection to this crash, please make contact and that contact will be forwarded to the other researcher. Thanks!