16.02.1943 No 254 Squadron Beaufighter VI JL612 Fl/Lt. Stephenson
Operation: Test Flight
Date: 16th February 1943 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 254 Squadron (Coastal Command)
Type: Beaufighter VI
Base: RAF Manby
Location: Great Carlton
Pilot: Fl/Lt. John Geoffrey Stephenson 64918 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Nav: P/O. Thomas William Dennis White 143874 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a test flight and on approach to the airfield the starboard engine failed. The aircraft then went into left turn and dived into the ground at 11:50 hrs.
It would appear that the navigator may may have initially have survived the crash as the CWGC have listed his death as that of the 17th February.
The village of Steeple Claydon (home of the navigator) opened a wonderful remembrance garden in September 2018. All due to the efforts of Norman White, Pat Butle, the dedicated Committee of the Steeple Claydon Remembrance Garden Group and the people of Steeple Claydon (courtesy Jacquie Cronshaw)
Fl/Lt. John Geoffrey Stephenson. Leicester Cemetery (Welford Road) Sec. E. Uncons. Grave 802. Son of Major S.G. Stephenson, OBE, and of F.E. Stephenson, of Queniborough, Leicestershire, England.
P/O. Thomas William Dennis White. Steeple Claydon Churchyard (St. Michael) Son of Samuel and Beatrice Maud White, of Steeple Claydon, Buckinghamshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "Many A Lonely Heart-Ache Many A Silent Tear But Happy Memories Of A Dear Son".
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources indicated below. Also to Norman White, Pat Butler and the dedicated Committee of the Steeple Claydon Remembrance Garden Group for sharing photographs of their wonderful Remembrance garden and Jacquie Cronshaw.