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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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R.A.F. Crest
07.11.1943 No. 3 O.T.U. Wellington MP615 Fl/Lt. Northridge

Mission: Training

Date: 07th November 1943 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 3 OTU. (Operational Training Unit) Coastal Command

Type: Wellington

Serial: MP615

Base: RAF Haverfordwest, Wales

Location: At base - RAF Haverfordwest.

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Robert Edward Hamilton Northridge 113764 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Donald Martin Thew J/22086 RCAF Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. II John Ashwood R/129078 RCAF Age 20. Killed


Wellington XIV, HE150, from 304 (Polish) Squadron had taken off at 18.55 hrs from RAF Davidstow Moor on a Leigh Light training exercise had been forced to make an emergency landing at RAF Haverfordwest. It had already attempted a landing but had overshot so had gone round again.

During a taxi run across the airfield No. 3 OTU Wellington was struck by the Polish Wellington at around 20.00hrs. Both aircraft were destroyed in the fire that followed, all the Polish crew managed to escape uninjured, pilot's Fl/Lt. Alfred A. Kasprzyk, Sgt. Karol Polanin and the W/Op. Fl/Lt. Tadeusz Kolodziejski.

Wellington taking off

Loss map

The blame was placed at both the Traffic controller for not giving the Polish crew a "Red" at their second attempt and to the pilots of the 304 Squadron for allowing aircraft to drift and that a "green" was not showing the second time around - disciplinary action was recommended. It is not known what happened regarding this.

(Haverford Road Cemetery)

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Robert Edward Hamilton Northridge. Haverford West Cemetery. Cons. Row. 1. Grave 8.

Son of the Revd. Robert Northridge, MA and Frances Charlotte Ellerker Northridge, of Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Irish Republic. BA, LL.B. (Trinity College, Dublin)

F/O. Donald Martin Thew. Haverford West Cemetery. Cons. Row. 1. Grave 6.

From Detroit, Michigan USA Awaiting further details from his son.

W/O. II John Ashwood. Haverford West Cemetery. Cons. Row. 1. Grave 7.

Son of William and Sarah Ashwood, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Researched for: Donald Thew, son of F/O. Donald Martin Thew. With thanks for further information supplied by Les Allison and Harry Hayward - "They Shall Not Grow Old", Ross Mcneill for additional information, Commonwealth Graves Commission.

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), 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 UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 30 January 2016, 00:18