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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
10.02.1943 No. 1657 HCU/1427 FTF Stirling I N6008 XT-W2 P/O. Rogers

Operation: Training

Date: 10th February 1943 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 1657 Heavy Conversion Unit (1427 Ferry Training Flight)

Type: Stirling I

Serial: N6008

Code: XT-W2

Base: RAF Stradishall, Suffolk

Location: 8 Mill Hill, Keddington, Suffolk

Pilot: P/O. Sidney Clifford Rogers 141459 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. George Trevor Pierce 982034 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Patrick Samuel O’Carroll NZ/404932 RNZAF Age 25. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. B.S. Smith RAFVR Survived - seriously injured

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert William Smith 1380261 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. H.J. Howells NZ/413758 RNZAF Survived - slightly injured

Civilian: Mr. George Henry Smith Age 20. Killed

A group of volunteers from the Keddington Air Memorial Committee are hoping to erect a cast alloy sculpture to the crews lost in the area - possibly in 2018. They are appealing for relatives of the crews to contact them to advise them of arrangements etc.


1427 Flight was provided for the training of Air Transport Auxiliary pilots. When based at RAF Stradishall (formerly based at RAF Marham) it merged into 1657 Heavy Conversion Unit and on this occasion the HCU borrowed the aircraft for training.

Taking of at 09:39 hrs from RAF Stradishall when almost immediately two engines suffered total failure. The aircraft continued to fly in a south-easterly direction with the undercarriage still locked down.

Above: N6008 Wreckage (courtesy Keith Howells and family)

The Stirling failed to climb and struck high tension cables before hitting some buildings at 8 Mill Hill in Kedington.

20 year old George Smith bravely rushed to provide aid for the crew but killed - possibly by electrocution from the cables tangled in the wreckage.

Burial details:

P/O. Sidney Clifford Rogers. Haverhill Cemetery. Sec. U. Grave 144. Son of William James Rogers and Ethel Maud B. Rogers (née Chessom), of Burgess Hill, Sussex, England. The family moved from London to Sussex, where his father had a dental practice at Westview, Fairfield Road, Burgess Hill, Sussex. Sidney had a older brother, Leslie born in 1906. (see credits)

Sgt. George Trevor Pierce. Llandudno Head Cemetery (Great Orme’s). Sec E. Grave 52. Son of Edward Lloyd Pierce and Margaret Hogell Pierce, of Llandudno, Conwy, Wales.

Sgt. Patrick Samuel O’Carroll. Haverhill Cemetery. Sec. U. Grave 195. Son of Gerald Eustace and Ethel Winifred O'Carroll, of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand. A total of 269 flying hours logged. (shown right)

Sgt. Robert William Smith. Haverhill Cemetery. Sec. U. Grave 246. Son of Sidney William and Edith Mary Smith, of Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England.


Mr. George Henry Smith Home Guard. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Percy Smith, of 25 Haverhill Road, Kedington, Suffolk, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Kevin Betts for information on the planned memorial. Thanks to our Linda Ibrom and Maria O'Donnell for details on the pilot - March 2018. Also to Bill Chorley for his great research, together with Errol Martin for detailed information. Also to Julia and Keld, Stan Murphy for grave photographs. The New Zealand Cenotaph. Other sources as quoted below.

KTY - Updated 03.03.2018

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 (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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, 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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