04.05.1944 No. 19 OTU Whitley V BD385 UO-Q F/O. Arthur H. Eastment
Date: 04th May 1944 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 19 Operational Training unit ‘B’ Flight (OTU)
Type: Whitley V
Base: RAF Kinloss, Scotland
Location: Cublin Sands NNE Nairn
Pilot: Inst: F/O. Arthur Herbert Eastment 161266 RAFVR Age 27. Killed
Pilot: U/T: F/O. Terence Desmond Reilly. AFM. 55056 RAF Age ? Killed
Pilot: U/T: F/O. Anthony Duncan-Smith 152406 RAFVR Age 20. Killed (1)
Air/Bmr: P/O. Cyril Benjamin Phillips 154247 RAFVR Age 32. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Joseph Thomas Cook 1334466 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: U/T: Sgt. Robert John Clayton 1582770 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a night training exercise collided with Whitley V Z9361 UO-F Flown by F/O. J.L. Sneddon from ‘A’ Flight. That crew managed to nurse the aircraft back to RAF Kinloss despite severe damage to the tail section and rear turret. The aircraft was declared beyond economical repair and written off.
Whitley BD385 crashed in the Cublin Sands area at about 02:40 hrs. The extremely boggy ground made recovery very difficult. Bill Chorley in his research states that a number of civilians in rowing boats assisted the medical officer to recover the crews bodies. Although the Air Sea Rescue launch was placed on standby at 05:30 hrs.
In addition a further Whitley V LA838 UO-A from ‘B’ Flight flown by Fl/Sgt. Lee at 02:44 hrs called flight control to say that both engines had been lost whilst on final approach to the runway. They crashed some 300 yards west of Kinloss railway station, blocking the line between Inverness and Elgin. The crew escaped injury.
F/O. Arthur Herbert Eastment. Kinloss Abbey Burial Ground. Collective Grave 62-66. Row C. Son of Willie Charles and Florence Mary Eastment, of Horsington, Somerset, England.
F/O. Terence Desmond Reilly. AFM. Kinloss Abbey Burial Ground. Grave 63. Row C. Understood to be from Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales, husband of Doreen - no further details - are you able to assist?
F/O. Anthony Duncan-Smith. Englefield Green Cemetery. Plot 13. Grave 1431. Son of David and Bessie Louise Duncan-Smith, of Egham, Surrey, England.
P/O. Cyril Benjamin Phillips. Kinloss Abbey Burial Ground. Collective Grave 62-66. Row C. Son of Percy Benjamin and Alice Ruth Phillips; husband of Phyllis Amy Phillips, of Probus, Cornwall, England.
Sgt. Joseph Thomas Cook. Kinloss Abbey Burial Ground. Collective Grave 62-66. Row C. Son of Joseph John and Jessie Cook and husband of Margaret Joan Cook, of Kimberworth Park, Rotherham, Yorkshire, England.
Sgt. Robert John Clayton. Kinloss Abbey Burial Ground. Collective Grave 62-66. Row C. Son of Robert and Harriett Elizabeth Clayton, of Wolverhampton, England. A former pupil of Wolverhampton Municipal Secondary School.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Andrea Ruddick for grave photographs. Also to sources as quoted.