19.07.1945 No. 1675 H.C.U. Liberator VI EV817 Lt. Smit
Operation: Training flight
Date: 19th July 1945 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 1675 H.C.U. (Heavy Conversion Unit)
Type: Liberator VI
Base: RAF Abu Sueir, Egypt
Location: RAF Abu Sueir airfield, Egypt
Pilot: Lt. P. Smit 207230V SAAF Age 21. Killed
Pilot 2: Lt. Eric Frederick Houseman 581301V SAAF Age ? Killed
Air/Bmr: P/O. John Bennett Handy 193177 RAFVR Age 21. Killed (1)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Benjamin Bishop 1876580 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Aircraft climbed to a height of 500 ft. immediately after taking off. It then began to lose height, before climbing again.
What followed was the aircraft then made a steep diving turn to port, from which it crashed and then destroyed by fire.
The cause of the erratic flying was not positively determined but may have been a faulty artificial horizon or simply poor instrument flying. (Always easy to place the blame on pilot error!)
(1) P/O. Hardy attended the Mosley Secondary/Grammar School and is mentioned on the School Memorial
Lt. P. Smit. Moascar War Cemetery. Grave 2. E. 15. Son of Izak T. Smit and Bermina F. Smit, of Oudtshoorn, Cape Province, South Africa.
Lt. Eric Frederick Houseman. Moascar War Cemetery. Grave 2. E. 11. Next of kin details not available - are you able to assist?
Sgt. Thomas Benjamin Bishop. Moascar War Cemetery. Grave 2. E. 9. Son of Thomas Francis and Frances Martha Bishop, of Rotherhithe, London, England.
P/O. John Bennett Handy. Moascar War Cemetery. Grave 2. E. 13. Killed. Son of Thomas Alfred and Descima Janet Handy, of Moseley, Birmingham, England.
Researched for the Moseley Secondary/Grammar school memorial records and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Colin Cummings - 'The Price Of Peace'. Commonwealth War Graves Commission.