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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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RAF Crest
08.01.1942 No. 1 Air Observers School Anson Mk I 6831 Cyril B. Rutherford

Operation: Night navigation flight

Date: 08th January 1942 (Thursday)

Unit: No. No. 1 Air Observers School

Type: Anson I

Serial: 6831

Base: RCAF Malton, Ontario, Canada

Location: Not known, possibly Lake Ontario

Pilot (Inst): Mr. Cyril B. Rutherford Civilian pilot instructor from Dominion Airways

Obs/U/T: LAC. Bede Bernard Sutton AUS/403769 RAAF Age 31. Missing (1)

Obs/U/T: LAC. “Jack” John Witts AUS/411569 RAAF Age 23. Missing (2)

Obs/U/T: LAC. Alexander McDonald Morgan R/102709 RCAF Age 19. Missing


Another one of the many training losses that are not generally covered or remembered.

Very little is known except that they took off at 14:00 hrs from Malton and arrived at St. Johns. Taking off again at 18:18hrs - reported over Montreal that they were on course for home. Weather at the time was reported to be clear with unlimited visibility. However south of their planned route, fog and snow had been reported. Nothing else was heard from them.

An intensive search was carried out but after the 20th January the search was called off. Some months later in June, wreckage was discovered on the USA side of Lake Ontario but no sign of the bodies. (the wreckage found was insufficient to positively identify this as Anson 6831)

(1) We have since found out that Bede and John were in fact best friends during the war.
(2) The family of Jack Witts also lost another son, Paul Witts AUS/424252 RAAF who had completed some 38 operations as a wireless operator was killed on the 25th August 1945, in a road accident - taken to Nepean Hospital, Penrith, Sydney, Australia but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Burial details:

None - bodies not recovered.

Mr. C.B Rutherford - From Toronto, Canada. Sadly, no further details - are you able to assist?

LAC. Bede Bernard Sutton. Ottawa Memorial. Panel 2. Column 1. Son of William Thomas Sutton and Mary Sutton, of 62 Ocean Beach, Manly, New South Wales, Australia. (Later of ’Carinya’ 62 Fairlight Street, Manly) Born on the 6th September 1910 at Wellington New South Wales, Australia. Enlisted on 3rd March 1941 in Sydney, Australia.

LAC. John Witts. Ottawa Memorial. Panel 2. Column 1. Son of Elmo John and Kitty Witts, of Penrith, New South Wales, Australia. Born 0n the 19th January 1918 at Parkes, New South Wales, Australia. Enlisted in Sydney.

LAC. Alexander McDonald Morgan. Ottawa Memorial. Panel 2. Column 1. From Toronto Canada. No further details are you able to assist?

Researched for Lisa Lipman an Australian currently living in Norway - relative of LAC Sutton. With thanks to John Williams on RAF Commands Forum for further information. 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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