20/21.05.1941 No. 274 Squadron Miles Magister R1971 Fl/Lt. Albert Ross
Operation: Inter-base flight
Date: 20/21st May 1941 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: No. 274 Squadron
Type: Miles Magister
Base: RAF Sidi Barani, Egypt.
Location: Between Sidi Haneish and Sidi Baran, Egypt
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Albert Melville Ross 40142 RAF Age ? Missing
Passenger: P/O. Patrick Louis Villette Hutt 88210 RAFVR Age 23. Missing
We would like to appeal for any relatives of the above named crew to contact us
REASON FOR LOSS:
Details are very obscure regarding this loss and it certainly required a great amount of research to establish what happened to this crew. It seems that they left Sidi Haneish to return to Sidi Barani in a Miles Magister. When they became overdue two Hurricanes from the squadron left to search for them. No trace could be found. The following day 3 Lysanders also searched, sweeping 25 miles inland and to the coast but nothing found. Neither the aircraft or the bodies were ever discovered.
Miles Magister - similar to the aircraft the crew were flying at the time of loss. Previously during a heavy attack on Tobruk by the Germans on the 1st May, P/O. Hutt had a Bf109 confirmed as a "probable" but shortly afterwards his aircraft, Hurricane VV7755, was also hit and he was forced to carry out an emergency landing at El Gubbi. Later on the 15th May he had another Bf109 confirmed as a "probable" when he engaged 3./NJG27 that were escorting some Ju 87's in the Sofafi - Halfaya - Sidi Aziez area. This time flying Hurricane V7831.
Patrick Hutt with photo of his fiancée (courtesy Lindsay Aspin)
P/O. Patrick Louis Villette Hutt (courtesy Lindsay Aspin)
Further photographs have since followed from a source via Lindsay Aspin. These are available larger, but do you recognise the other couple in these photo's?
Left above: P/O. Patrick Hutt and next to him, Patricia. Couple unknown. Right above: P/O. Patrick Hutt 2nd from left with Patricia on his left. Other couple unknown. Can you assist? He probably is also with 274 squadron and as shown, is also a pilot.
Sgt Patrick Hutt on right, but do you know the chap he is with? (courtesy Lindsay Aspin)
Details of 'probable' route taken during the fateful 1941 trip
Patrick and George prior to flight. (Courtesy Lindsay Aspin). Prior to war breaking out Patrick Hutt flew a Miles Hawk from London to Lydda (Palestine) with an employee from Shell, George de Freitas in August 1939.
We know very little regarding this and would like to hear further from anyone who can assist us further either with details of this crew or George de Freitas.
Patrick and George in Nice - postcard to his fiancée (courtesy Lindsay Aspin)
The Miles Hawk M2 used on the London - Lydda flight. Manufactured by Phillips and Powis Aircraft Ltd on the 25th May 1933. Construction No. 5. Sold in Palestine - believed to have been broken for spares during 1940.
None - both classed as 'missing'. (However, one report states that the bodies were indeed recovered, now resting in an unmarked grave)
Fl/Lt. Albert Melville Ross. Alamein Memorial Column 240. Next of kin details currently unavailable. Further information supplied by Kate Tame: Acting Pilot Officer Albert Melville Ross was posted to No 2 Flying Training School 18 September 1937 - then to No 1 Armament Training Station, Catfoss, East Yorkshire 7th May 1938. P/O. Ross then served with No 112 Squadron from 16th May 1939 - 9th December 1940, based in Helwan, Egypt. Promoted to Flying Officer while with No 211 Squadron in Egypt. It was while he was serving with the Squadron and out on a patrol that he and two other Gladiators attacked five SM 79s. F/O. Ross's aircraft was hit by a bullet damaging the aircraft. Albert became Temporary Flight Commander of the Squadron in July 1940 after the loss of F/O. A. Gray-Worcester, England. F/O. Ross was then posted to No. 274 Squadron and on the 12 February 1941 he was promoted to Flight Lieutenant. Albert married in 1938 and at the time of his death his address was 26 South Norwood Hill, London, England.
Left: Candlesticks at St. Peters Church, Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire, England (courtesy Father Andrew Burton) One of the standards has a brass plaque with the words, 'In Memory Of Pilot Officer Patrick L.V. Hutt, RAFVR. Killed In 1941. Aged 23 Years.'
P/O. Patrick Louis Villette Hutt. Alamein Memorial Column 241. Son of John and Olive Villette Hutt. Patrick Louis Villette Hutt and twin brother Oliver L V Hutt were born on the 5th August 1917. Patrick completed part of his education for just over a year at Dulwich College. He completed his aviator's certificate on the 21 April 1939 at Misr Airwork Flying School, Almaza Airport, Egypt. Enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1939 and was granted a Commission on the 9th Oct 1940. He is also remembered in St. Peters Church, Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire, England.
For Lindsay Aspin and for any relatives / friends of the crew. With thanks to the following: Lindsay Aspin and her late mother Patricia, Brian Cull and Don Minterne, also many thanks to Wing Commander Colin Cummings for the assistance he has provided to Lindsay on this loss, also to the CWGC. Also, to Father Andrew Burton, who contacted us in October 2015 - supplying us with the photo and details of the candlestick holders in St. Peters Church, Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire, England.