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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.
Further data available at Allied Losses & Incidents database

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254 Squadron Crest
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

Serial: JL612

Code: -

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)

Burial details:

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.

KTY 31.10.2018

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', 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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