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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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No. 9 Squadron
30.10.1939 No. 9 Squadron Wellington Mk1 L4363 WS-? F/O. Chandler

Mission: Training Exercise

Date: 30th October 1939 (Monday)

Unit: No. 9 Squadron

Type: Wellington Mk1

Serial: L4363

Code: WS-?

Base: RAF Honington, Suffolk

Location: Nr. Sapiston, Suffolk

Pilot: F/O. John Frank Chandler. 39221 RAF Age ? Killed (1)

Obs: P/O. Colin Charles Cameron. 40987 RAF Age 22. Killed (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: ACM2. Leonard George Dicks. 613687 RAF Age 18. Killed

Air/Gnr: ACM2. Walter James Chapman. 620138 RAF Age 19. Killed


Took off from RAF Honington to practice defensive cross-over movement with two other aircraft from the Squadron. P/O. John Frank Chandler and his crew lost their lives when his Wellington collided with another 9 Squadron aircraft Wellington (L4288) at 800ft and both aircraft crashed into marshy ground near Sapiston less than three miles from RAF Honington killing all nine crew

Wellington MK1's of No. 9 Squadron in flight 1939 (courtesy IWM)

Pilot Officer Cameron. Killed in accident from the Auckland Star 1st November 1939. (courtesy New Zealand Archives) P/O. Cameron is remembered on the family headstone, Timaru Cemetery, New Zealand (courtesy Timaru District Council) P/O. Cameron headstone (courtesy Aircrew Remembered Archive)

Honington (All Saints) Churchyard, Suffolk. (courtesy of Andrew Evans/Diane Alden and Ralph McLean Director of South Africa War Graves Project) Swansea (Cwmgelly) Cemetery, Glamorganshire (courtesy CWGC) F/O. Chandler headstone (courtesy Aircrew Remembered Archive)

Burial details:

F/O. John Frank Chandler. Honington (All Saints) Churchyard, Suffolk. Row A. Grave 9. No further information as yet (1) On the 2nd November 1936 Acting Pilot Officer Chandler was posted to R.A.F. Depot, Uxbridge on appointment of a short service commission. 1937, 30th June Acting Pilot Officer Chandler was transferred to No. 99 Bomber Squadron and on the 31st August 1937 John was confirmed as a Pilot Officer. On the 30th April 1939 Pilot Officer Chandler was promoted to Flying Officer and on the 5th September 1939 F/O. Chandler was posted to No. 9 Squadron

P/O. Colin Charles Cameron. Honington (All Saints) Churchyard, Suffolk. Row A. Grave 8. Son of John Ernest Cameron and Margaret Elizabeth Cameron (nee Bryson) of Timaru, Canterbury, New Zealand. (2) John Ernest Cameron left New Zealand on the 20th May and arrived in the UK on the 24th June 1938. Acting P/O. Chandler completed his flying training at No. 2 Flying Training School, Brize Norton. On June 27th 1939 Acting Pilot Officer Chandler was promoted to Pilot Officer and was posted to No. 9 Squadron on the 8th October 1939. A keen and promising athlete Colin had held the South Canterbury mile and half-mile running titles. He was second in the championships in 1938. In England he represented the RAF against the Army and Navy and finished fourth in the mile.

ACM2. Leonard George Dicks. Swansea (Cwmgelly) Cemetery, Glamorganshire. Son of Charles and Gwendoline Dicks of Mayhill, Swansea

ACM2. Walter James Chapman. Dagenham (SS. Peter and Paul) Churchyard, Essex. Son of Walter and Rena Chapman of Dagenham

Researched by: Kate Tame for aircrewremembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew

Acknowledgements: With special thanks to Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Martin W. Bowman - Bombs Away, Volunteers Andrew Evans/Diane Alden and Ralph McLean Director of South Africa War Graves Project, Aircrew Remembered Archives, W. R. Chorley - Bomber Command Losses 1939-1940 Including Pre-war Losses July 1936 - September 1939, National Library Past Papers - New Zealand, Timaru District Council, New Zealand

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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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