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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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232 Squadron Crest
15.06.1945 No. 232 Squadron Liberator RY-3 JT985 Fl/Lt. Cole

Operation: Transit

Date: 15th June 1945 (Friday)

Unit: No. 232 Squadron

Type: Liberator RY-3

Serial: JT985

Code: EF-?

Base: RAF Holmsley South

Location: Polar Wood, near Kingston, Dorset


Pilot: Fl/Lt. Saxon Millis Cole C/12677 RCAF Age 32. Killed

Pilot: F/O. Donald Angus Twaddle J/40840 RCAF Age 23. Killed

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. George Frederick Wyke 1021165 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Nav: F/O. Joseph Craig Todd J/40382 RCAF Age 23. Killed (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. George Everett McPherson J/38603 RCAF Age 25. Killed


Cpl. William Herbert Berrey 1173006 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

LAC. Arthur Blackburn 1048924 RAF Age 23. Killed

LAC. Ronald Branker 1723550 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Cpl. David James Brown 1037536 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Fl/Sgt. Alan James Cottier 569227 RAF Age 25. Killed

Cpl. Albert Ernest Deveson 1245416 RAF Age 25. Killed

Cpl. Douglas Walter Ellis 1206328 RAFVR Age 33. Killed

LAC. Harrell Goldsworthy Evans 1726829 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

LAC. Aneurin Glyndwr George 1403825 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

LAC. Frederick Douglas Harrington 1410300 RAFVR Age 21. Killed (232 Sqd)

LAC. Leonard Edward Hildrow 1716485 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

LAC. Kenneth Wilkinson Kilbank 1111797 RAFVR Age 29. Killed

Cpl. Leonard George Mason 575517 RAFVR Age 21. Killed (232 Sqd)

Cpl. Marks Moses 1418295 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

LAC. George Parr 1507259 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Cpl. Donald Leslie Pratt 1139438 RAFVR Age 36. Killed (120 Sqd)

Cpl. William Frederick Stanley Riley 1178333 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Cpl. Charles Frederick Venables 1192551 RAFVR Age 33. Killed

LAC. Ronald Williams 1409283 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

LAC. Leslie Williamson 1544158 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

LAC. Dennis William Wright 1098305 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

LAC. Frederick Stanley Yates 1116152 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

Page researched by Mike McQuaid for Aircrew Remembered - January 2019


JT985, a transport version of the Liberator bomber, left RAF Holmsley South in Hampshire, in bad weather, at 07:20 on Friday 15th June 1945. Aboard were five crew, (four RCAF and one RAF) and 22 RAF ground crew bound for Palam in India. The war against Japan was still ongoing even though the war in Europe was over and the ground crew were urgently needed.

Soon after take-off, while over the English Channel, the crew reported having problems with fuel pressure and were intending to return to the airfield. At 08:15 people on the Encombe Estate, near Kingston village, Dorset saw the aircraft flying lower than the nearby hills and realised it was about to crash. It clipped the tops of trees and then hit the ground and broke up near Polar Wood, close to the present day Dorset Coastal Path. All those on board were killed.

Members of the Aircrew Association at Wool, Dorset have had a stone memorial bench installed near the crash site commemorating those who died in this crash and also the three who crew of a Fairey Swordfish (K5985) which crashed near the same spot in March 1938. (Crew of Swordfish: P/O. Frederick Edgar Williams, Cpl. Cyril John Coles and LAC. David Samuel Hurrell) Memorial photograph courtesy of Michael Day.

Burial details:


Fl/Lt. Saxon Millis Cole. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 61.B.6. The son of Norman Richard and Katherine Arletta (née Whittaker) Cole, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and husband of Peggy (née Bull) Cole, of Ottawa, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "Beloved Husband Of Peggy Cole, Ottawa, Canada".

F/O. Donald Angus Twaddle. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 61.B.7. The son of John Bunting Twaddle and Florence Ann (née McDonald) Twaddle, of Trail, British Columbia, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "In Memory Ever Dear".

Fl/Sgt. George Frederick Wyke. All Saints church, Speke, Liverpool. Section A. Grave 40. The son of William Edward and Emily (née Dutton) Wyke, of Speke, Liverpool, England. Grave inscription reads: "Duty nobly done".

(1) Todd Bay in Edmund Lake, Manitoba was named after F/O. Joseph Todd in 1995.

F/O. Joseph Craig Todd. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 61.B.8. The son of Joseph and Margaret Henderson (née Marshall) Todd, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "I've Trod The Sanctity Of Space, Put Out My Hand And Touched The Face Of God"

F/O. George Everett McPherson. New Albany Cemetery, Mississippi, USA. Willbanks Division. The son of George and Addie E. McPherson, of New Albany, and husband of Lois Helen McPherson, of Northmount, Ontario, Canada.


Cpl. William Herbert Berrey. Saints Peter and Paul churchyard, Aston, Warwickshire. The son of John Thomas Berrey and Annie Beatrice (née Hopwood) Berrey, of Birmingham and husband of Constance (née White) Berrey, of Aston, Birmingham, England. Grave inscription reads: "My Dear Husband. Kind, Unselfish And True, My Proudest Possessions Are Beautiful Memories Of You". (grave photo available)

LAC. Arthur Blackburn. Windhill Methodist Cemetery, Shipley. Section L.L. Grave 214. The son of Arthur and Nellie (née Stevenson ) Blackburn, of Windhill, Shipley, West Yorkshire and husband of Ellen (née Houghton) Blackburn, of Thrybergh, South Yorkshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "Silent Thoughts, Sweetest Memories".

LAC. Ronald Branker. All Saints Churchyard, Paston, Northamptonshire. Grave D.15. The son of Walter James and Ruth (née Ladds) Branker of Peterborough, England.

Cpl. David James Brown. St Mary Magdalene churchyard, Creswell, Derbyshire. Grave B51-339. The son of David and Margaret (nee Creasey) Brown, of Creswell, and husband of Edna (née Wood) Brown, of Barlborough, England. Grave inscription reads: "We Planned A Beautiful Future Only To End In A Dream. Loving Wife Edna". (grave photo available)

Fl/Sgt. Alan James Cottier. St Laurence churchyard extension, Northfield, Warwickshire. Grave X.9. The son of Thomas F. and Amy F. (née Goddard) Cottier of Chorlton, Lancashire and husband of Vera (née Morgan) Cottier of Birmingham, England.

Cpl. Albert Ernest Deveson. St Giles Churchyard, Kingston, Canterbury, Kent. The son of Ernest Albert and May (née Groombridge) Deveson and the husband of Doris Amy Peace (née Gibbs) Deveson, of Kingston, England. (grave photo available)

Cpl. Douglas Walter Ellis. Haycombe Cemetery, Bath. Plot 39. Sec. H. Row D. Grave 262. The son of Walter James Ellis and Amy Jane Ellis (née Talboys) and husband of Betty Margaret Ellis (née Ireland), of Hanham, Bristol, England. Grave inscription reads: "He Loved England, Freedom And David His Son. He Died That They Might Live".

LAC. Harrell Goldsworthy Evans. Reading Cemetery. Division 31, Grave 123. The son of James Henry and Gladys May (nee Stevens) Evans, of Reading, England. Grave inscription reads: "Sleep On, Dear Son And Take Your Rest, They Miss You Most That Loved You Best".

LAC. Aneurin Glyndwr George. Pen-Cae Chapelyard, Cardiganshire, Wales. The son of George and Mary Anna (née James) George, of Cwmfelinfach, Monmouthshire, Wales. Grave inscription reads: "Ehedodd" In Life He Flew; He Flew Away To Life. Ei Hun Mor Dawel Yw".

LAC. Frederick Douglas Harrington. Weston Mill Cemetery, Plymouth. Sec. B. Cons. Grave 19075. The son of John Henry and Bertha Beatrice (née Toms) Harrington, of Plymouth and husband of Edna May (née Sanders ) Harrington, of Swilly, Plymouth, England. (They had been married for less than three months when he was killed). Grave inscription reads: "His Life A Beautiful Memory, A Duty Nobly Done R.I.P. Edna, Mum And Dad".

LAC. Leonard Edward Hildrow. Haycombe Cemetery, Bath. Plot 39. Sec. H. Row D. Grave 261. The son of Son of Edward Martin and Millie (née Hutchins) Hildrow of Stoke Newington, Hackney, London, England. (grave photo available)

LAC. Kenneth Wilkinson Kilbank. Kirkburton (All Hallows) New Churchyard. Grave 84. The son of John William and Edith (née Lee ) Kilbank and husband of Nora (née Lumb) Kilbank, of Waterloo, England.

Cpl. Leonard George Mason. Stockton-On-Tees (Durham Road) Cemetery. Sec. L.1. C. of E. Row N. Joint grave 35. The son of Ernest Albert and Ellen (née Littlefair ) Mason, of Stockton-on-Tees, England. His grave is shared with his younger brother, 19 year old Sgt. Alan Ernest Mason 575569 RAFVR. Alan was killed flying as a Fl/Eng. with 1651 Heavy Conversion Unit when Stirling BF314 crashed during a training operation on the 28th October 1942. Grave inscription reads: "Treasured Memories Of Two Broken Lives".

Cpl. Mark Moses. Gelderd Road English Hebrew Cemetery, Leeds. Row BL Grave 1. The son of Louis and Miriam (née Shrenski) Moses, of Hull and husband of Zena (née Bransky) Moses, of Hull, England. Grave inscription reads: "Deeply Mourned By His Sorrowing Wife Zena, Daughter Maureen, Parents, Brothers And Family". (grave photo available)

LAC. George Parr. St. Nicholas Cemetery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Sec. K. Grave 246. The son of the late William and Elsie Mary (née Hinks) Parr and the stepson of the late Edward Warneford, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. Grave inscription reads: "God's Greatest Gift Remembrance".

Cpl. Donald Leslie Pratt. Thornton Garden of Rest, Lydiate Lane, Litherland, Merseyside. Sec. A. Grave 511. The son of Frederick James Pratt and Sara Elizabeth (nee Horspool) Pratt and husband of Matilda (née Bentley) Pratt, of Netherton, Liverpool. Grave inscription reads: "Proud And Loving Memories Of My Dear Husband, Don's Daddy. Duty Well Done". (grave photo available)

Cpl. William Frederick Stanley Riley. St Laurence churchyard extension, Northfield, Warwickshire. Grave G. G9. The son of Arthur and Elizabeth (née Brookes ) Riley and husband of Joan (née Guildford) Riley, of Northfield, Birmingham, England.

Cpl. Charles Frederick Venables. Manor Park Cemetery and Crematorium. Screen Wall. Square 241. Coll. grave 108030. The son of William David and Rose Louise (nee Loveridge) Venables and husband of Doris May (nee Russell) Venables, of Romford, England.

LAC. Ronald Williams. Haycombe Cemetery, Bath. Plot 39. Sec. H. Row E. Grave 261. The son of Joseph and Jane (née Hocking) Williams, of Par, Cornwall, England. (grave photo available)

LAC. Leslie Williamson. Saltwell Cemetery, Gateshead. Div. C. Grave 2515. The son of John and Theresa (nee Jennings) Williamson, of Gateshead England. Grave inscription reads: "He Gave His All To Set Us Free. May He Rest In Peace With Thee. R.I.P".

LAC. Dennis William Wright. St Lukes Churchyard, Duston, Northamptonshire.The son of Philip Charles and Harriet Louisa (née Perkins) Wright, of Duston, England. Grave inscription reads: "The Eternal God Is Thy Refuge, And Underneath Are The Everlasting Arms".

LAC. Frederick Stanley Yates. Haycombe Cemetery, Bath. Plot 39. Sec. H. Row E. Grave 262. The son of Charles and Eleanor Gertrude (née Stanley) Yates of Walsal, Staffordshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "Always Remembered By Mother, Father Family And Friends".

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the following who have provided permission for photographs: Dafydd Williams, Kevin Chatfield, Brad Evans, Wayne Bywater, Keith Grant, JohnM, Charlie, Mike McQuaid.

MM/KTY 13.01.2019

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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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