30.07.1944 No. 1656 Heavy Conversion Unit Halifax II BB261 P/O. Collins
Date: 30th July 1944 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 1656 Heavy Conversion Unit (HCU)
Type: Halifax II
Code: Not known
Base: RAF Lindholme
Location: Hatfield Woodhouse
Pilot: P/O. Gilson Edmund Collins 177516 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Robert John Neeson 1325312 RAFVR Age 27. Killed
Nav: Sgt. Harold Jones 1397694 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Norman Leslie Skidmore 1684303 RAFVR Age 29. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. T.W. Jones RAFVR Survived - injured
Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Francis Peter McCarthy 1893589 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. L. Marshall RAFVR Survived - injured
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 02:24 hrs on a night circuit training exercise. During take off for the second time the Halifax flew into adverse weather conditions described as “a swirl of mist” Shortly afterwards the aircraft crashed at 02:28 hrs at Hatfield Woodhouse - as shown on the map. Two gunners survived the crash injured.
P/O. Gilson Edmund Collins. Redhill Cemetery (Redstone) Plot E. Grave 3538. Son of Joseph and Gladys Emily Collins, husband of Hannah Collins, of Canton, Cardiff, Wales.
Sgt. Robert John Neeson. Glasgow Cemetery (Lambhill) Sec. R. Grave 608. Son of Robert and Jean Neeson, of Glasgow, Scotland.
Sgt. Harold Jones. Holyhead Burial Board Cemetery (Maeshyfryd) Sec. 2. Grave 768. Husband of S. Jones, of Clapham, London, England.
Sgt. Norman Leslie Skidmore. Carnoustie Cemetery (Shanwell) Sec A. Grave 85. Son of Harry and Hannah Skidmore, husband of Constance Douglas Skidmore, of Carnoustie, Scotland.
Sgt. George Francis Peter McCarthy. Hatfield Cemetery (Woodhouse) Row EE. Grave 22. No further details - are you able to assist?
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Barry Jameson for bringing this loss to our attention.