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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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RAF Crest
06.07.1942 No. 22 O.T.U. Wellington IC R1465 LT-Y Fl/Sgt. John Kemp

Operation: Training

Date: 06th July 1942 (Monday)

Unit: No. 22 OTU (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: R1465

Code: LT-Y

Base: RAF Wellesbourne Mountford, Warwickshire.

Location: Waen Rhydd, Brecon Beacons, Wales.

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. John Beverley Kemp R/88687 RCAF Age 21. Killed (1)

Obs: Fl/Sgt. Ernest Edward Mittell R/71725 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Obs 2: Sgt. Kenneth Ferguson Yuill R/106035 RCAF Age 30. Killed (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Harold Creighton Beatty R/75332 RCAF Age 28. Killed (3)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Patrick Hayes R/82352 RCAF Age 22. Killed (4)


On a training night cross country run when the aircraft came down at 00.30 hrs on Waen Rhydd in the Brecon Beacons. The aircraft was carrying practice bombs and reconnaissance flares at the time.

It is thought that during heavy low cloud the pilot decided to descend from his cruising height of 10,000 ft to try and fix his position. During his descent the Wellington hit the summit of Waen Rhydd with the loss of all five Canadian crew.

Simon Cooper visited the crash site and kindly submitted the photographs for use on this remembrance page.

The Brecon Beacons Memorial Cairn is the UK's highest situated war memorial standing in a rough and exposed Beacons' area at SO062201 near Cwar-y-Gigfran. The Cairn was built in 1980 by the Tredegar Comprehensive School's Outdoor Activities Group. R1465 took part in the first ever Thousand-Bomber-Raid on Cologne carrying two 500lb bombs but, during a similar attack the following night, it suffered radio failure and was forced to return to base. R1465 was thereafter employed for training. On the fateful night other crews reported bad weather and icing at 10,000' over the Brecon Beacons.

The aircraft's wreckage surrounds the Memorial Cairn, while both engines lie in the valley below.
Each Remembrance Sunday hill walkers converge on this site to pay their respects. A member of the group gives a short talk and then the two minutes silence is observed. At least two wreathes are laid, one on behalf of all Canadian veterans and the other on behalf of The Brecon Beacons Memorial Cairn Association.

Memorial Cairn - 11 November 2018 (courtesy Keith Williams - Retired teacher (Tredegar Comprehensive School))

Crash site images 2012 (courtesy Simon Cooper)

Although it is great that many walkers visit this crash site, it must be remembered that it is protected. So, please, take only photos - leave only footprints or a poppy in remembrance!

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. John Beverley Kemp. Hereford Cemetery. Plot A. (C. of E.) Joint grave 5619. Son of John Beverley Oxborough Kemp and Emma Donovan Kemp; husband of Freda Rose Kemp, of Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Ernest Edward Mittell. Hereford Cemetery. Plot A. (C. of E.) Joint grave 5640. Son of Edward Lancelot and Annie Edna Mittell, of Clinton, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Kenneth Ferguson Yuill. Hereford Cemetery. Plot A. (C. of E.) Joint grave 5619. Further information: Son of James and Agnes Yuill (nee McCirick) brother of Grenville, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Educated at Principal Sparling School and Daniel McIntyre College. Prior to enlistment in May, 1941 he worked for Ronald Griggs and Co.

Fl/Sgt. Harold Creighton Beatty. Hereford Cemetery. Plot A. (C. of E.) Joint grave 5640. Son of Robert H. Beatty and Ina E. Beatty, of Belbic, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Sgt. James Patrick Hayes. Hereford Cemetery. Plot A. (C. of E.) Grave 5660. Further information: Son of Edward Emmanuel and Mabel Frances Hayes, of Souris, Manitoba, Canada. Main interest prior to joining the R.C.A.F. was scouting and that the had reached the level of King's Scout. A shopman prior to his enlistment in 1940.

(1) Fl/Sgt. Kemp's brother, F/O. Kenneth D. Kemp was also killed in action. Flying with 405 Squadron as an air bomber, on an operation to Kiel when his Lancaster III PB239 LQ-D was lost off the coast of Denmark. Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery. Grave A.13.12.

(2) Yuill Lake East of Etawny Lake in Manitoba is named after Sgt. Kenneth Yuill

(3) Beatty Point on Wollaston Lake,Saskatchewan is named after Fl/Sgt. Harold Beatty

(4) Hayes Lake, north of Tadoule Lake, Manitoba is named after Sgt. James Hayes

Researched for relatives of the crew. With thanks to Simon Cooper for the use of the photographs, Colin Bamford our Canadian researcher for additional valuable information, Les Allison and Harry Hayward - 'They Shall Grow Not Old', Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol. 5 and 7'. Commonwealth Graves Commission. Many thanks to Keith Williams for the added information regarding the memorial.

RS 30.11.2018 - Update to memorial detail for 2018

Pages of Outstanding Interest
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CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
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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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Last Modified: 30 November 2018, 09:57

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