26.03.1942 No. 410 Squadron (RCAF) Defiant I N3364 Sgt. Frank E. Haines
Date: 26th March 1942
Unit: No. 410 Squadron (Cougar - RCAF)
Type: Boulton Paul Defiant I
Base: RAF Drem, East Lothian, Scotland
Location: West Field, Beacon Hill Farm, Morpeth, England
Pilot: Sgt. Frank Ernest Haines R/73306 RCAF Age 19. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Joseph Alphonse Jean Gerard Pelletier R/53763 RCAF Age ? Baled out, survived, injured (1)
With many thanks to Chris Davies for his valued assistance with this loss. Also to Pierre Lagacé and Chantal Gaudreault (niece) for additional information on Fl/Sgt. Pelletier - March 2017.
REASON FOR LOSS:
After taking off at 20:45 hrs from RAF Drem near Edinburgh on a routine night patrol they were ordered to circle over the base to find any raiders.
However, the weather deteriorated with heavy fog and cloud they soon became lost with the instruments apparently out of order. The pilot lost control with the aircraft crashing in the west Field of Beacon Hill Farm, Morpeth - killing the pilot. The W/Op. Fl/Sgt. Pelletier managed to bale out suffering some injuries. It seems that he survived the war.
Chris Davies discovered the crash site and researched the loss with little information available and with the permission of the land owners found small fragments of the aircraft. Chris has written a book on Northumberland Air crashes with another volume due for release in 2016.
Almost Forgotten - The search for aviation accidents in Northumberland. Publish by Amberley Publishing. ISBN: 978-1445603339 - 224 pages complete with black and white photographs of the various locations and crews.
The page was instigated by Peter Emery, a good friend to the son of the brother of Frank Haines who died in December 2015.
(1) Details have since emerged that Fl/Sgt. Joseph Pelletier was classed as 'missing, believed killed' along with his pilot on the 03rd September 1942. Defiant N1804 had been on an air to sea firing practice which failed to return. The Royal Observes Corps reported the aircraft crossing the coast at the south end of Druridge Bay, Northumberland (south of Amble) at 15:53 hrs. A search was instigated but apart from a patch of oil on the sea no wreckage trace of the crew were found. The Polish pilot, 32 year old, F/O. Stanisław Józef Sowiński P-0151 from Nowy Sacz, Poland also missing.
Sgt. Frank Ernest Haines. Chevington Cemetery. Sec H. Grave 202. Son of Elwood and Alberta Haines, of Mouth of Keswick, York County, New Brunswick, Canada.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Peter Emery, Chris Davies, Pierre Lagacé and Chantal Gaudreault (niece) for additional information on Fl/Sgt. Pelletier - March 2017 - other sources quoted below.