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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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422 Squadron Crest
02.02.1944 No. 432 Squadron Lancaster II LL686 P/O Joseph G. Sieben

Mission: Training

Date: 2 February 1944 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 432 Squadron (Leaside)

Type: Lancaster II

Serial: LL686

Code: QO-F

Base: East Moor, Yorkshire.

Location: Near village of Aldborough, S.E. of Ripon, Yorks.

Pilot: P/O Joseph George Sieben, J/19846 RCAF Age 24 Killed (1)

Flt. Eng: Sgt. Kenneth Huggins, 1684923 RAFVR Age 21 Killed

Nav: F/O David Simpson Kerr, J/22198 RCAF Age 21 Killed

Air/Bmr: P/O Wilfred Lawrence Wolf, J/87092 RCAF Age 20 Killed

W/Op: Sgt.Ronald Pratt-Robinson, 1480812 RAFVR Age 20 Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O Paul Joseph Power, J/86124 RCAF Age 24 Killed (2)

Air/Gnr: P/O Donald Davies Finch, J/88383 RCAF Age 21 Killed


On the night of 2 February 1943, four of the squadrons Lancasters were placed on cross country exercises.

After taking off at 19:40 hours, LL686 returned some two hours later with a badly misfiring port outer engine. While attempting to land back at East Moor, the aircraft lost altitude and crashed into Studforth Hill, just south of the village of Aldborough, and caught fire killing all aboard.

Studforth Hill

Studforth Hill, Aldborough

© Copyright David Rogers and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

(1) Sieben Lake in Saskatchewan is named after P/O Joseph Sieben

(2) Power Bay on Oooowee Sahkaheekahn/McInnes Lake, District of Kenora, Ontario, is named after P/O Paul Power.

Burial Details:

P/O Joseph George Sieben. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery Sec. C. Row K. Grave 10. Son of John Henry and Elizabeth Sieben; husband of Mary Anne Sieben, of Macklin, Saskatchewan. No further details.

Sgt. Kenneth Huggins. Bradford (Bowling) Cemetery. Sec. D. Grave 150. Son of William and Margaret Huggins of Bradford, Yorkshire.

F/O David Simpson Kerr. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery Sec. C. Row K. Grave 13. Son of David Simpson and Kate Dorothy (née Wall) Kerr of St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada.

Further details: In third year engineering at Memorial University College, St. Johns when enlisted 23 October 1941. Posted to No.31 Operational Training Unit, Debert, N.S. Intial training at No. 5 ITS, Belleville, Ontario and then at No.8 AOS Ancienne Lorette, Quebec. Gained Air Navigation badge 3 August 1942. After training at 24 OTU and 1659 HCU he was posted to 432 Squadron 10 December 1943. (Photograph taken 6 June 1943)

P/O Wilfred Lawrence Wolf. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery Sec. C. Row K. Grave 14. Son of Jacob and Margaret Louise (née Best) Wolf, of Palmerston, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Ronald Pratt-Robinson. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery Sec. C. Row K. Grave 14. Son of Robert and Olive (née Williams) Pratt-Robinson of Liverpool, England.

P/O Paul Joseph Power. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery Sec. C. Row K. Grave 9. Son of Bernard Joseph and Margaret Mary Power, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada and husband of Mary Winnifred Power, of Toronto, Canada.

P/O Donald Davies Finch. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery Sec. C. Row K. Grave 11. Son of Eardly Oscar Finch and Anna Margaret (née Davies) Finch and husband of Robina Mary (née McNeil) Finch, of Springfield, Ontario, Canada.

Further details: Enlisted 4 August 1942 and trained at No. 4 Bombing and Gunnery School, Fingal, Ontario and No.9 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mont Joli, Quebec, graduating as an Air Gunner on 6 August 1943. During his embarkation leave he married the former Robina McNeil on 11 August 1943. Arriving in the UK on 1 September 1943, he was posted to 22 OTU on the 21st and then to 1679 HCU on 18 November, joining 432 Squadron 28 November 1943. Robina never re-married and died in 2007 in her 87th year.

Researched and written for Aircrew Remembered by Colin H. Bamford and dedicated to the families of the crew of Lancaster LL686. With thanks to Dave Champion for crew photographs - July 2017.

CB 15 May 2015 - KTY Updated 12.07.2017

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: 12 July 2017, 22:33

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