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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
01.12.1942 No. 12 OTU Wellington III BK250 Sgt. B.F. McMurchy

Operation: Training

Date: 01st December 1942 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 12 OTU (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Wellington III

Serial: BK250

Base: RAF Chipping Warden, Northamptonshire

Location: At base RAF Chipping Warden

Pilot: Sgt. B.F. McMurchy RCAF

Obs: Sgt. Harry Walters 1125354 RAFVR Age ? Injured

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt Eugene Thomas John O'Donoghue 913527 RAFVR Age 24. Injured

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. D.J. Phillips Injured

Air/Gnr: Sgt. G.A. Hutchinson Injured


Civilian worker: Mr. William Wooton Age 48. Killed

Civilian worker: Mr. William Francis Fitzgibbon Age 35. Killed


Taking off from RAF Chipping Norden on a training exercise, when in strong cross winds the aircraft swung out of control and headed towards the fire tender bay. The pilot managed to avoid this and a group of civilians workers at the base. 

The aircraft continued at high speed and struck the control tower, then swerved hitting a civilian car. Finally coming to rest against one of the hangers where it caught fire.

Many people on the camp including F/O. M.L. Gaudin the assistant medical orderly and later the Station Medical Officer tendered first aid to the many injured personnel. 

Over 20 people required hospital treatment for injuries from shock to lacerations and burns. Two civilians killed within the hanger.

Sadly Sgt. Eugene O’Donoghue and Sgt. Harry Walters succumbed to their injuries and died the following day.

Researched for the Wimbledon College Roll Of Honour - Sgt. Eugene O’Donoghue having been a former student.

Burial details:

Sgt. Harry Walters. Middlesbrough Cemetery (Acklam) Sec. A. Grave 1369. Next of kin details not available, are you able to assist?

Sgt Eugene Thomas John O'Donoghue. Banbury Cemetery. Grave 11572. Son of Thomas Henry and Bridget Mary O'Donoghue; husband of Marjorie Holmes O'Donoghue, of West Kirby, Cheshire, England.

Mr. William Wooton. Son of Joseph Butlin and Catherine Elizabeth Wootton, of Sulgrave, husband of Dorothy Clara Wootton, of 6 Council Houses, Sulgrave, Northamptonshire, England.

Mr. William Francis Fitzgibbon. Son of Thomas Fitzgibbon, of Fort West, Charleville, Co. Cork, Irish Republic.

Researched for the Wimbledon College Roll Of Honour - Aircrew Remembered have offered to provide basic information for the school records. For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.

KTY 22.06.2015

Acknowledgements: 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 (both 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', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', 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: 22 June 2015, 21:20

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