18.11.1944 No 69 Squadron Wellington XIII HZ863 Fl/Sgt. A.H. Fairmaid
Date: 18th November 1944 (Saturday)
Unit: No. 69 Squadron
Type: Wellington XIII
Code: Not used
Base: RAF Melsbroek, Belgium
Location: Winksele-Delle, Belgium
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Allan Henderson Fairmaid NZ/424253 RNZAF Age 21. Killed
Nav: F/O. Peter John Dawson 163571 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. George Older 1390089 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Aubrey Hayes 1619077 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert Edward Atkinson 1897386 RAFVR Age ? Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a Reconnaissance operation the crew called and reported that as the port engine had failed it was returning to the base at Melsbroek.
On arrival they then made a very wide circle of the base at a low altitude. When commenting its approach to landing they lost flying speed and the aircraft spun into a wood at 21:45 hrs beside the Mechelin - Louvain road close to the village of Winksele-Delle.
Although the pilot never reported the cause of the engine loss it is thought 'probable' that they had been hit by anti-aircraft fire.
Sold on a well known auction site in 2015 a pair of WW2 RAF Leather Flying Gloves 1941 pattern that supposedly belonged to the rear gunner Sgt. Robert Edward Atkinson (103 GBP)
Fl/Sgt. Allan Henderson Fairmaid. Brussels Town Cemetery. Grave X.26.24. Son of Robert Lindsay Fairmaid and of Amy Davina Fairmaid (née Leslie), of Dunedin, Otago and husband of Betty Margaret Fairmaid, of Mosgiel, Otago, New Zealand
F/O. Peter John Dawson. Brussels Town Cemetery. Grave X.26.21. Born on 17th October 1922, the son of Colin Kieth Dawson, and Ethel Violet Dawson, of 30 Woodville Road, King's Heath, Birmingham, England. Grave inscription reads: "God Has You In His Keeping We Have You In Our Hearts. "Till We Meet Again".
Fl/Sgt. George Older. Brussels Town Cemetery. Grave X.26.23. No further details - can you assist?
Sgt. John Aubrey Hayes. Brussels Town Cemetery. Grave X.26.20. Son of Samuel Reed Hayes and Lucy Hayes, of Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England and husband of Mary Hayes. Grave inscription reads: "Jesus! Lover Of My Soul, Let Me To Thy Bosom Fly".
Sgt. Robert Edward Atkinson. Brussels Town Cemetery. Grave X.26.22. No further details - can you assist?
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: