18.09.1945 No. 466 Squadron Liberator VIII KN736 Fl/Lt. McNulty DFC
Operation: Training Exercise
Date: 18th September 1945 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 466 Squadron
Type: Liberator VIII
Base: RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire
Location: Potton Wood, near Cockayne Hatley, Bedfordshire
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Patrick Joseph McNulty DFC. AUS/426286 RAAF Age 22. Killed
Pilot 2: Fl/Lt. Edward John James Spiller DFC. 147197 RAFVR Age 28. Killed
Pilot 3: F/O. Francis George Doak AUS/419770 RAAF Age 21 Survived - badly injured
Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Delbert Roy Turner 1863014 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Ray V. Carling 1803034 RAFVR Survived - badly injured
Nav: F/O. Noel Perrin Gilmour AUS/428664 RAAF Age 23. Survived - badly injured
W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. James Raymond Potter AUS/434008 RAAF Age 22. Killed
Pax: 'Bitsa' the dog of F/O. Noel Gilmour Survived - unhurt
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 15:46 hrs on a training exercise.
Whilst at 1,000 ft the instructing pilot feathered two engines (minimum height stipulated for this was 3000 ft.) The aircraft began to lose height and the pilot restarted the engines but there was insufficient time for them to develop power before the aircraft struck the ground.
The aircraft hit small rise at Potton Wood and caught fire. 3 of the crew were killed instantly with the 4th member dying from burns later. Some of the crew were thrown clear others were rescued by members of the public. Sgt. Gilmour was found deeper in the wood and his rescue was enabled by his dog 'Bitsa' who remained with him, barking to attract attention.
It is understood that those injured recovered.
Fl/Lt. Patrick Joseph McNulty DFC. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 15907. Born on the 19th November 1922 in Brisbane, the son of Mr. and Mrs. J.J. McNulty, of Beenleigh Hotel, Beenleigh, Queensland, Australia.
Fl/Lt. Edward John James Spiller DFC. Edmonton Cemetery, Middlesex. Sec. W. Grave 41. Son of Edward John and Annie Louisa Spiller, of Edmonton and husband of Lilian Frances Spiller, of Edmonton, Middlesex, England.
Fl/Sgt. Delbert Roy Turner. Lowestoft Churchyard ( St. Margaret) Sec. 3. Row A. Grave 9. Son of George Frederick and Gladys Turner, of Lowestoft, Suffolk, England.
W/O. James Raymond Potter. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 15908. Born on the 17th August 1923 in Texas, Queensland, the son of George Henry and Sarah Scott Potter, of Texas, Queensland, Australia.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Mr. Alan Winward for sending the information and crew photo. Also to Colin Cummings, his publication: 'Price Of Peace' and the Australian Archives for additional details.