20.10.1943 No. 10 O.T.U. Whitley V BD280 Fl/Sgt. Burton
Date: 20th October 1943 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 10 OTU (Operational Training Unit - B Flight)
Type: Whitely V
Base: RAF Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordhsire
Location: Vicarage Farm, one mile, North North West of Ivinghoe, Buckinhamshire
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. John Raymond Burton AUS/417333 RAAF Age 26. Killed
Nav U/T: W/O. Ivan Kenealy Nicoll 1002233 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Bmr: P/O. Leslie Reginald Vincent Sibley 152298 RAFVR Age 34. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Derrick Percy Burton 1515874 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. A.E. Smart 1318424 RAFVR Survived - slight injuries.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 18:40 hrs from RAF Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire on on their first night cross country exercise.
Normal frequent radio transmission made during the flight, at 22:48 base received a message that they had passed Stowmarket at 22:25 hrs.
Cloud base was at 6/10 at 3.000 ft, visibility 6-8 miles, strong south-westerly wind. The ground in the vicinity was fairly hilly reaching 800-900 ft in places.
During the flight the port engine failed Fl/Sgt Burton was forced to attempt an emergency landing but tragically at 23:30 hrs the Whitley stalled as he tried to avoid high tension wires. The aircraft was no longer controllable and subsequently crashed at Vicarage farm.
The Whitley burnt out, we have no details on how badly injured Sgt. Smart was although it seems that it was not severe, he never lost consciousness and received first aid at the site of the cash. He survived the war.
On examination of the aircraft it was decided that failure of the Port engine caused the lack of control, weather conditions also played a part and this coupled with the inexperience of the pilot led to the crash.
P/O. Leslie Sibley and his grave in Olney Cemetery, Milton Keynes. Graves of W/O. Ivan Nicoll and Sgt. John Burton (courtesy Stephen Farnell)
Fl/Sgt. John Raymond Burton. Oxford (Botley) Cemetery. Plot 1/2. Grave 92B. Born on the 15th March 1917 in Jamestown, the son of John Leonard and Winifred Burton, of Canowie Belt, South Australia.
W/O. Ivan Kenealy Nicoll. Oxford (Botley) Cemetery. Plot 1/2. Grave 92C. Son of the Revd. Peter Hill Nicoll, B.D., and Margie Vivien Nicoll, of Garvock, Kincardineshire, Scotland. His brother, 25 year old James Vivian Kenealy Nicoll, also died on service. As a pilot in the RAF. Killed just a few months earlier on the 9th April 1943. Buried in Benghazi War Cemetery, Libya.
P/O. Leslie Reginald Vincent Sibley. Olney Cemetery, Buckinghamshire. Grave 111. Son of William and Edith Sibley, husband of Elsie Gwendoline Sibley, of Olney, Buckinghamshire, England.
Sgt. Derrick Percy Burton. Sheffield (Shiregreen) Cemetery. Sec. F. Grave 5967. Son of Percy and Annie Burton, of Wincobank, Sheffield, England.
Researched for relatives of the crew with thanks for further information to sources as shown. Thanks also to Stephen Farnell for the grave photographs.