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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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21 Squadron Crest
10.12.1942 No. 21 Squadron Ventura AE759 YH-H W/O. Turcotte

Operation: Transit

Date: 10th December 1942 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 21 Squadron

Type: Lockheed Ventura

Serial: AE759

Code: YH-H

Base: RAF Methwold

Location: Methwold Hythe

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. (Posthumously W/O.II) Garnet Hartford Turcotte R/85200 RCAF Age 27. Killed

Obs: Sgt. John Richard Davies Jones 656040 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert Walker Dickson AUS/401030 RAAF Age 21, Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. George William Hatton 1535749 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Px (mech): Sgt. Oswald Wheatcroft Woodhead 1165031 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Px (mech): LAC Thomas Rutherford 1345498 RAFVR Age 37. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

On the morning of Thursday 10th December 1942 Flight Sgt Garnet Hartford Turcotte flew the aircraft from RAF Methwold in Norfolk to the nearby RAF Feltwell for servicing.

Shortly before noon he took off to return to Methwold carrying other personnel from 21 squadron who had been offered a lift back from Feltwell. LAC Rutherford, who had been given a lift on the Ventura, had only gone over to Feltwell on that fateful day to draw some new boots from the stores. Those boots were found intact in the wreckage.

Witnesses at Methwold saw the aircraft approaching but it suddenly dived into the ground and exploded on impact with the loss of all on board. Reports that it was seen to be on fire before it crashed were never confirmed and the official enquiry concluded that cause of crash was unknown.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Garnet Hartford Turcotte. St Nicholas Churchyard, Feltwell. Grave D.1. The son of Joseph Albert and Isabella Marjorie Turcotte, of Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Sgt. John Richard Davies Jones. St Nicholas Churchyard, Feltwell. Grave C.2. The son of Hugh Owen and Harriet Jones and the husband of Gaynor Harris (nee Oliver) Jones, of Aughton. Lancashire. (Gaynor was pregnant at the time of his death and gave birth to their daughter Bronwen Davies Jones four months later). Grave inscription reads: "Greater Love Hath No Man Than This".

Sgt. Robert Walker Dickson. St Nicholas Churchyard, Feltwell. Grave C.1. Born on the 04th August 1921 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the son of Walker James Dickson and Violet Josephine Dickson, of Toora, Victoria, Australia. Grave inscription reads: "His Duty Nobly Done".

Sgt. George William Hatton. All Saints churchyard, Glazebury. Row 16. Grave 14. The son of Edward and Elizabeth Hatton, of Leigh, Lancashire, England. Grave inscription reads: "He Died That We Might Live".

Sgt. Oswald Wheatcroft Woodhead. St Mary's churchyard, Edwinstowe. The son of Thomas and Edith Woodhead, of Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "His Life Was An Emblem Of Unselfish Devotion".

LAC Thomas Rutherford. Orwell Churchyard, Milnathort. Grave C.335. The son of William and Sarah Rutherford and the husband of Helen M. Rutherford (née Sinclair), of Milnathort, Kinross-shire, Scotland. Grave inscription reads: "Greater Love Hath No Man Than This". "Also His Wife Helen Sinclair".

Researched for Aircrew Remembered by Mike McQuaid. For further details our thanks to the following sources shown below. Also to Len, Peter Lucas, Archie Gilbert and JP on Find A Grave for some of the photo's used.

KTY 11.04.2018

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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