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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
07/08.6.1944 No. 1667 H.C.U. Halifax V LL459 P/O. Raymond L. Francis

Operation: Training exercise

Date: 07/08th June 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 1667 HCU (Heavy Conversion Unit)

Type: Halifax V

Serial: LL459

Base: RAF Sandtoft, North Lincolnshire.

Location: Howden Dyke Island, River Humber, Yorkshire

Pilot: P/O. Raymond Leslie Francis AUS/418380 RAAF Age 25. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Frederick William Reed 1181898 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. William Robert Rex Porter AUS/40230 RAAF Age 27. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. William Edgar Laurence Moody AUS/422623 RAAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Gilbert Francis Brown AUS/418699 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Kevin William Hennessy AUS/437579 RAAF Age 21. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 21:40 hrs from RAF Sandtoft, North Lincolnshire on a night cross-country exercise.

At around 02:10 hrs the Halifax dived out of control, it is thought that the aircraft had stalled. LL459 crashed killing all the crew onto the banks of the Humber in a field belonging to Hook House Farm at a place called Howden Dyke Island in a position about 600 yards North from the Church of St. Mary.

Above Halifax DG235 awaiting delivery - served with 1667 Heavy Conversion Unit.

Left: Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery

Burial details:

P/O. Raymond Leslie Francis. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec B. Row E. Grave 12. Born on the 03rd July 1918 the son of Arthur John and Elizabeth Marion Francis, of Main Street, Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia. Prior to service employed as a Bank Clerk. Epitaph reads: ‘We Loved Him In Life, Let Us Not Forget Him In Death.’

Sgt. Frederick William Reed. Charing (Kent County) Crematorium. Son of Frederick and Ada Annie Reed, of Benenden, Kent, England.

Fl/Sgt. William Robert Rex Porter. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec B. Row E. Grave 13. Born on the 04th June 1917 the son of Winfred Rex and Florence Eva Porter, of 65 Thistle Street, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. Epitaph reads: ‘Lovingly Remembered.’

Fl/Sgt. William Edgar Laurence Moody. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec B. Row E. Grave 14. Born on the 23rd January 1922 the son of Gilbert Raymond and Agnes Elizebeth Moody, of Hazelbrook, New South Wales, Australia. Epitaph reads: ‘Nobly He Lived And Nobly He Died. For Ever Remembered.’

Fl/Sgt. Gilbert Francis Brown. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec B. Row E. Grave 10. Born on the 09th July 1923 the son of William John and Josephine Mary Brown, of Tolmie, Victoria, Australia. Epitaph reads: ‘His Duty Fearlessly And Nobly Done. Ever Remembered.’

Fl/Sgt. Kevin William Hennessy. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec B. Row E. Grave 11. Born on the 12th November 1922 the son of William Henry and Mary Agnes Hennessy, of 16 Mora Avenue, Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia. Epitaph reads: ‘His Duty Fearlessly And Nobly Done. Ever Remembered.’

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Diane Gollop for bringing this loss to our attention, Peter Lucas for grave photographs, other sources as shown below.

KTY 16.02.2014

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 15 March 2017, 12:08

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