08.01.1942 No. 1 Air Observers School Anson Mk I 6831 Cyril B. Rutherford
Operation: Night navigation flight
Date: 08th January 1942 (Thursday)
Unit: No. No. 1 Air Observers School
Type: Anson I
Base: RCAF Malton, Ontario, Canada
Location: Not known, possibly Lake Ontario
Pilot (Inst): Mr. Cyril B. Rutherford Civilian pilot instructor from Dominion Airways
Obs/U/T: LAC. Bede Bernard Sutton AUS/403769 RAAF Age 31. Missing (1)
Obs/U/T: LAC. “Jack” John Witts AUS/411569 RAAF Age 23. Missing (2)
Obs/U/T: LAC. Alexander McDonald Morgan R/102709 RCAF Age 19. Missing
REASON FOR LOSS:
Another one of the many training losses that are not generally covered or remembered.
Very little is known except that they took off at 14:00 hrs from Malton and arrived at St. Johns. Taking off again at 18:18hrs - reported over Montreal that they were on course for home. Weather at the time was reported to be clear with unlimited visibility. However south of their planned route, fog and snow had been reported. Nothing else was heard from them.
An intensive search was carried out but after the 20th January the search was called off. Some months later in June, wreckage was discovered on the USA side of Lake Ontario but no sign of the bodies. (the wreckage found was insufficient to positively identify this as Anson 6831)
(1) We have since found out that Bede and John were in fact best friends during the war.
(2) The family of Jack Witts also lost another son, Paul Witts AUS/424252 RAAF who had completed some 38 operations as a wireless operator was killed on the 25th August 1945, in a road accident - taken to Nepean Hospital, Penrith, Sydney, Australia but was pronounced dead on arrival.
None - bodies not recovered.
Mr. C.B Rutherford - From Toronto, Canada. Sadly, no further details - are you able to assist?
LAC. Bede Bernard Sutton. Ottawa Memorial. Panel 2. Column 1. Son of William Thomas Sutton and Mary Sutton, of 62 Ocean Beach, Manly, New South Wales, Australia. (Later of ’Carinya’ 62 Fairlight Street, Manly) Born on the 6th September 1910 at Wellington New South Wales, Australia. Enlisted on 3rd March 1941 in Sydney, Australia.
LAC. John Witts. Ottawa Memorial. Panel 2. Column 1. Son of Elmo John and Kitty Witts, of Penrith, New South Wales, Australia. Born 0n the 19th January 1918 at Parkes, New South Wales, Australia. Enlisted in Sydney.
LAC. Alexander McDonald Morgan. Ottawa Memorial. Panel 2. Column 1. From Toronto Canada. No further details are you able to assist?
Researched for Lisa Lipman an Australian currently living in Norway - relative of LAC Sutton. With thanks to John Williams on RAF Commands Forum for further information. For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.