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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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51 Squadron Crest
11.04.1946 No. 51 Squadron Avro 685 York I MW252 Fl/Lt. George E. Brooks

Operation: Transit flight

Date: 11th April 1946 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 51 Squadron

Type: Avro 685 York I

Serial: MW252

Code: -

Base: RAF Woodbridge, Suffolk

Location: At base - RAF Woodbridge

Pilot: Fl/Lt. George Edward Brooks 113665 RAFVR Age 33. Killed

PX: Fl/Lt. Richard Edwin Boyd DFC. 133418 RAFVR Seriously Injured

Other passengers: 4 - no further details - are you able to assist?

We welcome contact from the relatives of Fl/Lt. Brooks and indeed from any of the relatives of the crew/passengers on this flight.


During a 3 engined approach to land the aircraft bounced heavily on touchdown - overshoot action was taken but the pilot lost control during an attempt to climb away - the aircraft hit trees crashing and caught fire. 

The pilot, 33 year old, Fl/Lt. George Edward Brooks from Colwyn Bay, Wales was killed - 5 others injured. It is thought that he initially survived the crash - succumbing to his injuries the following day.

Top left: Richard Boyd with Timothy Tremble - right: Fl/Lt. Richard Boyd (courtesy Timothy Tremble)

We were brought to the attention of this tragic story by Timothy Trimble in the USA who is good friends with Mr. Boyd.

Timothy is in the process of restoring a Fleet PT26 WW2 aircraft and is dedicating this to Richard Boyd. 

Richard Boyd was born in London, England and was a member of the RAF Air Training Corps before joining the RAF air crew. Assigned to the United States, in 1942 received his US Army Air Corps Wings. Richard graduated from the US Air Corps Training School as an instructor (1943). Richard flew the following aircraft in training. Tiger Moth(UK). Primary Training PT-17. Basic Training BT-13. Advanced Training. AT-6. Curtiss AT-9. Beechcraft AT-10.

During 1944-1945 he returned to England and was assigned to the 3 Group Bomber Command / 195 Squadron. 

Richard Boyd's crew L-R Rear: George Webb, William Hughes, Barry Shutt, Jack Burns. Front: Richard Phillips, Leonard Cliff and Richard Boyd.  (courtesy Timothy Tremble)

He flew 33 missions over Germany and France in a Lancaster Bomber and was awarded the DFC. Assigned to transport command operating between Europe and India (1946), Richard was on board a York transport that crashed. He spent several months in the hospital and rehabilitation. Over the course of the war Richard flew 17 different aircraft. When he was released from duty he sought a position in commercial aviation.

Left: George Brooks -  Colwyn Bay Cemetery (Bronynant)

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. George Edward Brooks. Colwyn Bay Cemetery (Bronynant) Sec I. Grave 318. Son of George Henry and Ellen Brooks, husband of Edna Brooks, of Weybridge, Surrey.

With thanks to Timothy Trimble and Richard Boyd for additional information. Collin Cummins “Final Landings”. For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.

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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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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