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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
15.02.1942 No 9 Squadron Wellington III X3398 WS-? Sgt. John Wilson Dalgliesh

Operation: Training

Date: 15 February 1942 (Sunday)

Unit: No 9 Squadron

Type: Wellington III

Serial: X3398

Code: WS-?

Base: Not Known

Location: 300yds off the coast of Clacton, North Sea

Pilot: Sgt. John Wilson Dalgliesh 1005336 RAFVR Age 23 Killed (1)

Obs: Sgt. Frederick Ernest Coulson 920313 RAFVR Age 21 Killed (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Hutchinson 942809 RAFVR Age 34 Killed (3)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Hedley Brown 643275 RAF Age 20 Killed

Air/Gnr: Capt. George Rupert Buck 112847 Royal Artillery attd. RAF Age 35 Killed (4)

Wellington aircraft being refuelled (courtesy Imperial War Museum)


Wellington X3398 took off for a training flight and crashed into the North Sea off the coast of Clacton at 15.32hrs. A report by the 18 Group Royal Observer Corps, reported seven men were flying in the Wellington, four airmen and an Army Officer as identified above. There were two survivors who were admitted to Clacton Hospital. All the bodies and the survivors were recovered by lifeboat.

The aircraft may have taken off from RAF Honington where the Squadron was based, but the Squadron Operation Record Book does not show any details of this aircraft.

Map showing the area of the crash off the coast of Clacton-on-Sea

Burial details:

Top: Honington (All Saints) Churchyard, Suffolk. Bottom: Clacton Cemetery, Essex.

Sgt. John Wilson Dalgliesh. Mauchline Cemetery, Ayrshire. Grave Ref. Grave 1664. Son of David and Janet Little Dalgliesh of Mauchline, Ayrshire. B. Sc. Hons. (1) John was born 5 April 1918 in Annan, Scotland and attended Glasgow University where he gained B. Sc. Hons degree. After completing his training in the RAF John was posted to No 9 Squadron where his first flight as 2nd Pilot was on an operation to bomb Hamburg 2/3 August 1941. His first flight as Pilot was on 10/11 October 1941. Between August 1941 and February 1942 John had completed over 22 operational flights.

'Mauchline Airman Killed. Sergeant Pilot J. W. Dalgliesh, RAF

Sergeant Pilot John Wilson Dalgliesh RAF eldest son of Mr and Mrs David Dalgliesh, 'Creeca,' Mauchline, has been killed on active service. Sergeant Dalgliesh, who was 23 years of age, was educated at Mauchline Public School, Cuninock Academy and Glasgow University, from which he graduated B. Sc., with the intention of entering the teaching profession. Shortly after graduating he joined the RAF in June 1940. In due course he was promoted to Sergeant Pilot, and recently had been recommended for a Commission. His Commanding Officer has written to his parents that Sergeant Dalgliesh was one of his most experienced pilots, and that great things were expected of him. During the past year he had made many flights over enemy territory, including raids on Berlin, and had been engaged on other hazardous exploits, in one of which he met his death'.

'The body was brought home and was interred in Mauchline Cemetery on Monday afternoon. Among the mourners were a number of former fellow-students at Glasgow University and teachers in Cuninock Academy. The service was conducted by the Rev. Dr. Easson, minister of Mauchline Old Church'.

Left: John Wilson Dalgliesh. Right: John Wilson Dalgliesh with his cousin. (both courtesy Neil Leyden)

Sgt. Frederick Ernest Coulson. Portsmouth (Milton) Cemetery. Grave Ref. Ploy Y. Row 5. Grave 24. Son of Tom and Elsie Margaret Coulson of Portsmouth. Scoutmaster. (2) Frederick was Scoutmaster of the 8th Portsmouth (St. Matthews) Scout group and is remembered on the Roll of Honour for this Group in the Church of the Holy Spirit, Fawcett Road, Southsea, Portsmouth.

Sgt. William Hutchinson. Honington (All Saints) Churchyard, Suffolk. Grave Ref. Row D. Grave 10. Son of William and Ann Hutchinson of Newcastle-on-Tyne. (3) William is remembered on the Newcastle-on-Tyne war memorial in St. Ann's Churchyard.

Sgt. Hedley Brown. St. Endellion (St. Endellienta) Churchyard, Cornwall. Grave Ref. Not Known. Son of Arthur and Doris Brown of St. Endellion, Cornwall.

Capt. George Rupert Metaluf Buck. Clacton Cemetery, Essex. Grave Ref. Plot C. Grave 449. Son of Cecil Henry and Mary Strachan Buck. Husband of Joyce Isabel Buck of Cobham, Surrey. (4) George was born on the 24 October 1906 and was Baptised 19 January 1907 in Christ Church, Folkstone, Kent. George was a master at Grenham House School. Married in 1928 he and his wife Joyce were great bridge players and won the Arnold Cup in 1938. Just after the war began George joined the Royal Artillery, but was then attached to Royal Air Force. At the time of his death George's address was 55 Grovewood Case, Chorley Wood, Hertfordshire.

Researched by: Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew. Special thanks to Neil Leyden (relative John Wilson Dalgliesh), Kent County Bridge Committee minutes 1938 and the resources quoted below.

KT. Page uploaded 31.12.2016. KT. Page updated with further details of John Wilson Dalgliesh

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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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