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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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Bomber Command Crest
20.03.1944 82 OTU Wellington X LN181 KA:Z Fg Off. Charles R. Floyd

Operation: Training

Date: 20th March 1944 (Monday)

Unit: 82 Operational Training Unit (OTU), 93 Group

Type: Wellington X

Serial: LN181

Code: KA:Z

Base: RAF Ossington, Nottinghamshire

Location: Yardley Gobion, Northamptonshire

Pilot: Fg Off. Charles Richard 'Dick' Floyd J25830 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Nav: Fg Off. Ronald Frank Calnan J35111 RCAF Age 25. Killed

Nav: Fg Off. Ralph Northcliffe Macgillivray J19367 RCAF Age 23. Killed

Nav: Fg Off. Daniel Louis Jacobs J29518 RCAF Age 30. Killed

Bomb Aimer: Fg Off. Melville Lloyd Fullerton J28902 RCAF Age 20. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Lorne Herbert Johnston R154789 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Air Gnr: Plt Off. Harry Charles Millen C6073 RCAF Age 36. Killed

Air Gnr: Fg Off. William James Mohring J27960 RCAF Age 21. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Ossington in Nottinghamshire at 19:44 hrs on a night navigation cross-country sortie.

They were briefed that the weather forecast was 10/10 cloud at between 1,000 - 1,500 ft. Visibility 8 miles, surface winds to be North West by West 15 mph - gusting to 25 mph. Freezing level was 3,000 ft - 6,000 ft. The Sqn Ldr. in charge of the training reported that the weather was suitable for this type of flight.

Above: area of loss with insert of pilot, Fg Off. Charles Lloyd.

During the exercise wireless communications were maintained with the final signal received at 22:44 hrs requesting a QDM which was sent back a QDM of 011 - on track. (QDM - Magnetic bearing to a station)

Shortly after this witnesses observed the Wellington with its engines backfiring and blue flames coming from the port engine.

Above L-R: Fg Off. Ronald Calnan, Fg Off. Melville Fullerton, Fg Off. Daniel Jacobs, Plt off. Harry Millen (courtesy Veteran Affairs Canada via Kim LeBlanc)

The aircraft crashed at around 22:48 hrs diving steeply into the ground. The crash site was attended by a fire tender at 23:15 hrs but it found that all the crew were killed instantly but that all the crew's bodies were recovered.

Above: Official Accident Air investigators report.

Burial details:

Above: Memorial to the crew of Wellington X, LN181 located inside of the Yardley Gobion Church. (Courtesy of Graham Thorpe)

The crew were buried with full military honours were buried at 15:00 hrs on Saturday the 25th March 1944.

Fg Off. Charles Richard 'Dick' Floyd. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave: 48.A.9. Grave inscription reads: “LO, ONE WE LOVED THE LOVELIEST AND THE BEST HAS DRUNK HIS CUP .... AND SO CREPT SILENTLY TO REST”. Born on the 24th December 1921 in Toronto, Ontario. Son of Dr. Stanley Tyser Floyd and Nellie (née Storey) Floyd, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Fg Off. Floyd had a total of 170 hours flying hours logged with 42 of these on the Wellington.

Fg Off. Ronald Frank Calnan. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave: 48.A.5. Grave inscription reads: “IN LOVING MEMORY OF A DUTIFUL SON. MOM AND DAD”. Born on the 5th April 1918 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Son of Francis Harry and May Gertrude (née Patkins) Calnan of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Fg Off. Ralph Northcliffe Macgillivray. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave: 48.A.7. Grave inscription reads: “SINCERE AND TRUE IN HEART AND MIND BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES HE LEFT BEHIND”. Born on the 10th September 1919 in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Son of Andrew and Anna Rhona (née Hingley) Macgillivray of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

His father predeceased him in September 1937

Fg Off. Daniel Louis Jacobs. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave: 48.B.2. Born on the 18th May 1913 in Toronto, Ontario. Son of Louis (Louis Jacob Laufer) and Pauline (née Herohkovich) Jacobs, Both his parents predeceased him. Brother Major (Dr.) Elliott Jaques based at the Canadian Military Headquarters, London, England.

Fg Off. Melville Lloyd Fullerton. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave: 48.A.8. Grave inscription reads: “SOMEDAY WE HOPE TO MEET HIM NEVER TO PART AGAIN”. Born on the 7th October 1923 in Toronto, Ontario. Son of William Alexander and Hellen Wray (née Seymour) Fullerton of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

His father was serving in the RCAF as an LAC Air-frame Mechanic, #11 Coastal Command, Coal Harbour, British Columbia

Sgt. Lorne Herbert Johnston. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave: 48.A.20. Grave inscription reads: “LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAY, EVEN TO THE END”. Born on the 20th June 1923 in Moncton, New Brunswick. Son of Robert Herbert and Marjorie Iona (née Chapman) Johnston, of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Plt Off. Harry Charles Millen. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave: 48.B.1. Grave inscription reads: “LET US THEREFORE FOLLOW AFTER THE THINGS WHICH MAKE FOR PEACE”. Born on the 20th December 1908 in Ottawa, Ontario. Son of Charles Henry and Mary (née Scott) Millen of Ottawa, Ontario. Husband to Hilda Isobel (née MacKechnie) Millan of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Fg Off. William James Mohring. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave: 48.A.6. Grave inscription reads: “IN LOVING MEMORY OF JIM. LOVE'S GREATEST GIFT, REMEMBRANCE. MERLE”. Born on 3rd February 1924 in Red Deer, Alberta. Son of William and Nellie (née Faucher) Mohring of Calgary, Alberta. (His father predeceased him in April 1935). Husband to Merle Doreen (née Cawley) Mohring of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

We would like to point out that The Bomber Command Museum of Canada has assisted Kim LeBlanc extensively with her research and that some details contained within this page has originated from that.

For further details our thanks to Kim LeBlanc - relative of Sgt. Lorne Herbert Johnston. To Charlie for grave photographs. To the archives of our Fred Paradie RCAF. Phillip Jackson for the memorial plaque. To Kevin of the great Airfield Research Group for photographs on Fg Off. William James Mohring. Thanks to Graham Thorpe for the image of the memorial to the crew (Jan 2022). Other updates to NoK details by Aircrew Remembered (Jan 2022). Plus the sources as shown below.

RS 08.01.2022 - Addition of memorial and update to NoK details

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Acknowledgements
Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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