10/11.04.1943 No. 420 Squadron Wellington X HE422 F/O. Charles W. Jackson
Operation: Frankfurt, Germany
Date: 10/11th April 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)
Unit: No. 420 Squadron RCAF (Snowy Owl)
Type: Wellington X
Location: Burmington near Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire, England
Pilot: F/O. Charles Warner Jackson J/20125 RCAF Age 24. Drowned.
Nav: Sgt. H.B. Elhorn RCAF Survived
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Alexander Hugh MacDonald R/124964 RCAF Survived, slightly injured (1)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. J.T. Kydd RAFVR Survived
Air/Gnr: Sgt. K.T. Allan RCAF Survived
REASON FOR LOSS:
F/O. Charles Jackson and his crew had been posted to the ‘Snowy Owl’ squadron on March 26th 1943, and this was to be their second operational sortie with the Squadron. On the night of April 10, 1943 thirteen Wellington bombers of No.420 ‘Snowy Owl’ Squadron, RCAF took off from Middleton St George, Durham en-route to bomb Frankfurt. Among these aircraft was Wellington X, serial number HE422 carrying a total of six small bomb container.
P/O. Jackson with right: his sister, Mrs. Hazel Jackson Elliott, with her husband at her brothers grave
Eight aircraft bombed the target and four returned early. HE 422 was successful in bombing the target but on return the aircraft had apparently wandered decidedly off track, becoming low on fuel the pilot gave the order to bale out as they reached the coastline in the vicinity of Tenby, South Wales. Having selected ‘George’ (automatic pilot) the crew abandoned the aircraft. All were recovered with no more than slight injuries, with the exception of F/O. Jackson who, it is believed was drowned in Carmarthen Bay.
In the early hours of April 11th, the residents of the small Warwickshire village of Burmington were awakened by the sound of an aircraft hitting the ground followed by an explosion. The crashed aeroplane turned out to be Wellington HE422 it had flown some 140 miles after the crew had left her.
Among the residents of Burmington who would later retain memories of the crash and subsequent fire, was a very small boy, Bob Aston. He and a colleague were to spend a chilly morning at the crash site 46 years later, successfully coaxing a reluctant JCB into action. A team of aviation archaeologists carried out a recovery at the scene, by kind permission of the landowner, Bill Joynes and the Ministry of Defence. Many relics of HE422 were recovered including a geodetic section, tail assembly, Hercules engine makers plate, carburettor, supercharger and main wheel and tyre.
(1) On the 6th November 1943 Sgt. Alexander Hugh MacDonald was flying with a crew from No. 1679 HCU (Heavy Conversion Unit) during conversion training on Lancaster DS649 when the aircraft crashed. Believed to be attempting an emergency landing after an apparent on board fire when the aircraft clipped trees and hit the ground at Rose Cottage Farm near Terrington. All the 6 member crew were killed.
Left: Grave of F/O. MacDonald (place mouse over image)
F/O. Charles Warner Jackson. Carew (St. Mary.) New Churchyard, South Wales. Row. B. Grave No. 6. Son of John Warner Jackson and Ella Eugene Jackson, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Left: Grave of Sgt. MacDonald (place mouse over image)
Sgt. Alexander Hugh MacDonald. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec C. Row D. Grave 14. Son of Hugh MacDonald, and of Rose MacDonald, of Bridgeport, Nova Scotia, Canada.
For further details our thanks to the following, 'Paradie Archive'. Les Allison and Harry Hayward - 'They Shall Grow Not Old', Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', ‘Bomber Command Database’, Commonwealth War Graves Commission.