06.05.1942 No. 16 OTU Hampden I AD826 Fl/Sgt. Maxwell crew loss
Date: 6th May 1942 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 16 OTU (Operational Training Unit)
Type: Handley Page Hampden I
Base: RAF Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire
Location: Bourne End Farm, Wootton, 4 miles SW of Bedford, Bedfordshire
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Arnold Grant Maxwell R/95390 RCAF Age 20. Killed (1)
Obs: Fl/Sgt. John Patrick Hancock R/76975 RCAF Age 20. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Donald Kempton O'Brien R/76409 RCAF Age 32. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Lloyd Brown R/70880 RCAF Age 24. Killed (2)
REASON FOR LOSS:
This aircraft took off from its base at Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, on a night-cross country and bombing exercise. After completing the first part of their task over the bombing range it would appear that a fire started somewhere on the aircraft. At a height of only 500 feet the Hampden suddenly dived to the ground at 02.57 hrs. killing the Canadian crew instantly.
Mr. William Cook of Bourne End Farm was 18 years old at the time and was the second person to arrive at the crash site. Although he did not see the aircraft crash it was reported locally that the aircraft was on fire before the fatal crash. The aircrafts cockpit canopy was found by William lying in a field about a mile away from the crash site a few weeks after the incident.
Hampden I (courtesy "The Aeroplane")
Fl/Sgt. Arnold Grant Maxwell
Kempston Cemetery, Bedfordshire (courtesy CWGC)
Fl/Sgt. Arnold Grant Maxwell Kempston Cemetery, Kempston, Bedfordshire. Block J, Grave 100
Son of Thomas Edward and Mary Irene Maxwell, of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada.
Fl/Sgt. John Patrick Hancock Kempston Cemetery, Kempston, Bedfordshire. Block J, Grave 101
Son of Charles F. Hancock and Esther A. Hancock, of Strome, Alberta, Canada.
Fl/Sgt. Donald Kempton O'Brien Kempston Cemetery, Kempston, Bedfordshire. Block J, Grave 89.
Son of Edward Kempton O'Brien and Elizabeth Marie O'Brien, of Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Sgt. Thomas Lloyd Brown Kempston Cemetery, Kempston, Bedfordshire. Block J, Grave 77.
Son of John S. Brown and Eliza J. Brown, of Wolseley, Saskatchewan, Canada
Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and RCAF specialist Colin Bamford for relatives of this crew. With thanks to Les Allison and Harry Hayward - "They Shall Grow Not Old", Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol. 3", Commonwealth Graves Commission.
(1) Maxwell Island in Sasaginnigak Lake, Manitoba is named after Fl/Sgt. Maxwell
(2) Brown Falls in Saskatchewan is named after Sgt. Brown