02.09.1944 No. 1656 HCU Halifax LW344 P/O. Herbert Garthwaite
Operation: Training - cross country flight
Date: 2nd September 1944 (Saturday)
Unit: No.1656 Heavy Conversion Unit (HCU)
Type: Halifax II
Base: RAF Lindholme
Location: On the outskirts of Little Casterton, Lincolnshire
Pilot: P/O. Herbert Garthwaite 179288 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Nav: Sgt. Ernest Clifford Alsop 1488179 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Nav(Screened): P/O. Douglas John Black AUS/426028 RAAF Age 24. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Stanley George Jacobs AUS/432193 RAAF Age 20. Killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Hugh Andrew Bodin 1050107 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Douglas Stanley Thompson 338267 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Campbell 1355935 RAFVR Age 38. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ambrose Trimby 1354812 RAFVR Age 32. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Extract from the Court of Inquiry into the accident - Halifax II LW344.
(A) Halifax II number LW344 was on a Y training cross country flight of the aircraft by day when it flew into bad weather and crashed one and a half miles N.N.E. of Stamford. All eight members of the crew were fatally injured. Parts of the aircraft were found scattered a considerable distance from the main wreckage and none of these showed any signs of fire. The main wreckage caught fire on impact. (12.50hrs) A search was made over a wide area for the two port engines but they could not be found.
(B) The Court consider that there is no evidence to show any mechanical failure to the aircraft. It is our opinion that the loss of the aircraft was due to the weather.
We are of the opinion that the weather could have caused the crash in two ways:
(1) The aircraft became out of control due to icing.
(2) The aircraft was struck by lightening causing partial disintegration. The twelfth witness, the only witness who could be found who saw the aircraft in the air immediately before it crashed is emphatic when he states that the aircraft appeared to him to be flying normally and that it was struck by lightening.
The Court can find no evidence of burns caused by lightening in the parts of the aircraft which fell some distance from the main crash. From the evidence it is known that severe icing conditions existed in the area and at the time of the crash. It is therefore the opinion of the court that the aircraft entered cloud and became iced up and then out of control descended at an excessive speed causing partial disintegration immediately before impact. Dated 13th December 1944.
Above left to right: Sgt. Ernest Clifford Alsop, Fl/Sgt. Stanley George Jacobs, Fl/Sgt. Hugh Andrew Bodin, Sgt. Ambrose Trimby
P/O. Herbert Garthwaite. Austerfield (St.Helena) Churchyard. Right of entrance. Son of Leonard Stanley and Ethel Garthwaite, of Austerfield.
Sgt. Ernest Clifford Alsop. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec. 12N. Grave 3886. Son of George and Clara Alsop, of Harrogate.
P/O. Douglas John Black. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 14702. Son of John William and Daphne Helen Black, of Coorparoo, Queensland, Australia.
Fl/Sgt. Stanley George Jacobs. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 14502. Son of Reuben Armitage Jacobs and Edith Jessie Jacobs, of Eastwood,New South Wales, Australia.
Fl/Sgt. Hugh Andrew Bodin. Cathcart Cemetery. Grave 905. Son of Revd. William Bodin and Elizabeth Patterson Marr Bodin, of Lochee, Dundee.
Sgt. Douglas Stanley Thompson. Walsall Ryecroft Cemetery. Sec. 1. Grave 69. Son of Alexander G. Thompson and Emily Thompson, of Walsall.
Sgt. William Campbell. Glasgow (Sandymount) Cemetery. Grave 440. Son of William John and Janet Sneddon Campbell, of Mount Vernon, Lanarkshire.
Sgt. Ambrose Trimby. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 14302. Son of Reginald Percy and Clara Jessie Trimby, of Bournemouth, Hampshire, husband of Iris Trimby, of Boscombe, Hampshire.
Thanks to Fred Trimby for supplying photos for this remembrance page. Also to Dorothy Alsop and to Graeme Clark for photographs. Roger Garland from Australia contacted us in August 2017 and submitted photo of his Great Uncle, Fl/Sgt. Stanley George Jacobs.