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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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R.A.F. Crest
24.07.1942 No. 25 O.T.U. Wellington IC DV476 P/O. Richard Beck DFM

Operation: Night exercise

Date: 24th July 1942 (Friday)

Unit: No. 25 OTU (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: DV476

Base: RAF Finningley, Yorkshire 

Location: Near airfield

Pilot: P/O. Richard Colvin Seddon Beck DFM NZ/402158 RNZAF Age 30 Killed (1)

Pilot 2: P/O. John Vernon Robinson 119240 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Bmr: P/O. William Caufield Waterson 116706 RAF Age 22. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Harry Champion Jellyman 1381350 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Obs 2: Sgt. Norbron Basil Hyde 1088309 RAFVR Age 21. Kiled

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Stanley James Plume 1376309 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Frederick Colin Ethell 950909 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


Took off at 03.20 hrs from Finningley with the intention of participating in a night training exercise. 

It is thought that a technical fault that developed in the aircraft prompted the pilot to abandon this and make a early return to rectify it. 

During the return DV476 collided with Wellington T27801 (2) from the same unit with both aircraft bursting into flames prior to crashing north west of Finningley airfield. A total of 11 crew members losing their lives in this tragic accident.

(1) P/O. Richard Beck earned his DFM whilst serving with 408 (RCAF) Squadron

(2) Wellington IC T2701 Flown by W/O. John Smith.


Left: Grave of Sgt. Norman Hyde (courtesy Steve Farnell) Above - the various crew local cemeteries.

Burial details:

P/O. Richard Colvin Seddon Beck D.F.M. Finningley (Holy Trinity and St. Oswald) Churchyard Row B. Grave 2. Son of Richard and Catherine McCulloch Beck, of Hokitika, Westland, New Zealand.

P/O. John Vernon Robinson. Sefton St. Helen Churchyard. Sec N. Grave 93. Son of John and Ada Robinson, of Great Crosby, Liverpool, England.

P/O. William Caufield Waterson. Uphall Cemetery Sec P. Grave 84. Son of George and Jean Waterson, of Broxburn.

Sgt. Harry Champion Jellyman. Llantrisant (Trane) Cemetery Sec E. Grave 2894. Son of Kate Radcliffe, of Gilfach Goch.

Sgt. Norbron Basil Hyde. Wombwell Cemetery New Cons. Sec. Grave 1654. Son of Ernest and Mabel Hyde, of Wombwell.

Sgt. Stanley James Plume. Chingford Mount Cemetery Screen Wall Sec. F13. Coll Grave 40131. Son of Richard James Plume and Laura Plume; husband of Maud Florence Plume of Leyton, England.

Fl/Sgt. Frederick Colin Ethell. Manchester Crematorium. Panel 11. Son of the Revd. Thomas Frederick Ethell and Bertha Annie Ethell, of The Rectory, Whalley Range, Manchester, England.

Researched for the relatives of the crew. Acknowledgments: With thanks to the following: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions',  The CWGC 

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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