13.11.1944 No. 1 Advanced Flying Unit Anson I AX177 Fl/Sgt. McDonald
Date: 13th November 1944 (Monday)
Unit: No. 1 Advanced Flying Unit
Type: Anson I
Code: Not known
Base: RAF Wigtown, Dumfries, Scotland
Location: Cronk ny Arrey Laa, Isle of Man
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Hugh Eugene McDonald R/180655 RCAF Age 22. Killed
Nav: F/O. Charles Alfred Bardwell J/43919 RCAF Age 21. Killed
Air/Bmr: P/O. John Darlington 165474 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr (U/T): Fl/Sgt. John David Pratt AUS/432727 RAAF Age 19. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr (iNST): F/O. Percy Henry Hoyle 161369 RAFVR Age 33. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 19:28 hrs on a night navigation exercise from Wigtown in southern Scotland, to the southern point of The Isle of Man.
Having reached the Isle of Man they were on a return course to Wigton when the aircraft hit a hill known as Cronk ny Arrey Laa at around 21:30 hrs. At 437 mtrs. it is the second highest hill in that part of the island.
A later enquiry concluded that in order to avoid high ground, the pilot had climbed above his designated altitude to 3000 ft, encountered icing conditions and descended too quickly.
Fl/Sgt. Hugh Eugene McDonald. St Patricks Churchyard, Jurby, Michael, Isle of Man. Grave 367. Son of R. A. McDonald and Catherine McDonald, of Green Valley, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "Beautiful Memories, Are Left Of One We Loved And Shall Never Forget. Mother, Dad And Family".
F/O. Charles Alfred Bardwell. St Patricks Churchyard, Jurby, Michael, Isle of Man. Grave 368. Son of Alf and Christina Bardwell, of Appin, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "Greater Love Hath No Man Than This That A Man Lay Down His Life For His Friends".
P/O. John Darlington. Runcorn Cemetery. Sec. 7. Grave 142-3. The son of John and Emily (née Sidley) Darlington of Runcorn, Cheshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "Our Dear Son, Happy Smiling Always Content Loved And Remembered".
Fl/Sgt. John David Pratt. St Patricks Churchyard, Jurby, Michael, Isle of Man. Grave 369. Born on the 12th December 1924 at Cowra NSW, the son of Matthew Thomas Pratt and Mary Gertrude (née Scott) Pratt, of Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription reads: "His Duty Fearlessly And Nobly Done. Ever Remembered".
F/O. Percy Henry Hoyle. Nottingham Northern Cemetery. Grave 34 , Sec. L/18. Grave inscription reads: "Love's Last Gift, Remembrance - Winifred. Loved And Missed By Your Sons Brian, Anthony And Rodney".
Researched by Mike McQuaid for Aircrew Remembered - October 2018. Page dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Mike McQuaid, Hamish Killip and Sinead for photgraphs.