25/26.08.1944 No. 692 Squadron Mosquito B.XVI MM135 Sq/Ldr. Walter D.W. Bird
Date: 25/26th August 1944 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: 692 Squadron PFF
Type: Mosquito B. XVI
Base: RAF Gransden Lodge, Cambridgeshire
Location: Old Warden, Bedfordshire.
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Walter Douglas Wilberforce Bird 40361 RAF Age 28. Killed
Nav: Sgt. Francis William Hudson 1801746 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
This aircraft took-off from RAF Gransden Lodge in Cambridgeshire at 21.55 hrs for a bombing operation to Berlin. 36 Mosquitoes taking part on this sortie.
A busy night for Bomber Command with many other operations taking place:
412 Lancasters attacking the Opel works at Rüsselsheim, 190 Lancasters with 9 Mosquitoes to Darmstadt, 284 Halifaxes, 32 Lancasters and 18 Mosquitoes to Brest, 182 training aircraft on a diversionary sweep over the North Sea, 2 Mosquitoes on reconnaissance of targets, 22 others to 5 other targets, 68 Mosquitoes on various patrols, 6 Halifaxes on gardening operations, 6 aircraft on resistance operations - a massive night of operations.
Tragically MM135 crashed on return from this operation at 02.45 hrs, at Park Farm, Old Warden, Bedfordshire killing both crew members. Understood that the accident was due to the pilot misreading his altimeter.
The Squadron nearly lost another crew on this operation when Fl/Lt. C.H. Burbidge crash landed Mosquito MM140 at Woodbridge in Suffolk at 23.50 hrs. Both the pilot and Navigator Sgt. I.L.H. Ramage escaped injury.
Sgt. Francis William Hudson.
692 Squadron Mosquitoes at RAF Gransden Lodge
Sq/Ldr. Walter Douglas Wilberforce Bird. Worting (St. Thomas of Canterbury) Churchyard, Hants. Grave SE Corner. Son of William N.W Bird and Ruth Bird, of Worting, Hants, England.
Sgt. Francis William Hudson. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave: 13567. Son of James Arthur and Annie Florence Hudson of Appledore, Kent, England.