07.11.1943 No. 3 O.T.U. Wellington MP615 Fl/Lt. Northridge
Date: 07th November 1943 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 3 OTU. (Operational Training Unit) Coastal Command
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
REASON FOR LOSS:
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
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)
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.