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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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Geoffrey Allison Danby R.N.V.R
18.12.1943 770 Naval Air Squadron Chesapeake Mk.I AL915 Sub Lt. (A) Geoffrey A. Danby

Operation: Training

Date: 18th December 1943 (Saturday)

Unit No: 770 Naval Air Squadron (NAS)

Type: Vought Chesapeake Mk.I

Serial: AL915

Base: RNAS Crail (HMS Jackdaw), Fife

Location: North Sea, 1½ miles off Crail, Scotland

Pilot: Sub Lt.(A) Geoffrey Allison Danby RNVR Age 21. Killed

Telegraphist/Air Gnr: LA.(A) Hugh McEntee FX86884 RN Age 20. Killed

Above left and middle: Sub Lt.(A) Geoffrey Allison Danby (courtesy Steve Farnell and Gillian Danby). Right: LA.(A) Hugh McEntee . (courtesy Tony McEntee)

Sadly we understand that Gillian Danby has since passed away


Above: Vought Chesapeake Mk.I - Dive Bomber

During a low level training run dropping bombs, the aircraft developed engine trouble and the pilot ditched in the sea some 1½ miles off Crail, Scotland.

The relatives inform us that the pilot tried to assist the Telegraphist/Air Gnr and as such was exposed to the extreme cold conditions of the North Sea. It is thought that he died from hypothermia shortly after swimming to the shore and before assistance could be sought. The body of Leading Airman (LA) Air (A) McEntee was also discovered on the shore.

LA.(A) Hugh McEntee shown above. (courtesy Tony McEntee)

Burial Details:

Graves of Sub Lt.(A) Danby and of LA.(A) Hugh McEntee (courtesy Steve Farnell and Peter Lucas)

Above: The grave of Sub Lt.(A) Danby cleaned up and flowers placed by Michael Bowers.

Sub Lt.(A) Geoffrey Allison Danby. Wakefield Cemetery. Sec C. Grave 147. Born on the 1st March 1922 in Scarborough, Yorkshire . Son of Christopher Robert (1897-1969) and May Danby (1902-1972), of Lupsett, Wakefield, Yorkshire, England.

Brother to Peter and Harvey ‘Gordon’. Peter worked during the war as a mechanical engineer within the much needed coal industry as such was exempt from serving in the forces. Gordon was too young to serve.Sub Lt.(A) Danby carried out his training as a pilot between 22nd March 1943 - June 1943 at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton (HMS Heron), Somerset, England.

LA.(A) Hugh McEntee. Leigh Cemetery. Sec. 25. Grave F.35. Grave Inscription: ‘ETERNAL REST GIVE UNTO HIM, O LORD; AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON HIM’. Born on the 16th August 1923 in Leigh, Lancashire. Son of Lawrence and Ellen Fay (née Foy) McEntee of Leigh, Lancashire, England.

Researched for relatives of this crew with thanks to Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Kate Tame and to Steve Farnell for providing photographs also to the relative of the pilot, Gillian Danby. With thanks also to Hans Houterman for additional information on the pilot, we have also contributed to his information on his website. Peter Lucas for the grave photo of LA. (A) Hugh McEntee. Tony McEntee for other photographs of LA.(A) McEntee. Michael Bowers for his careful work on cleaning the grave of Sub Lt.(A) Danby, together with placing flowers in November 2014. Thanks to Simon Danby, brother to Gillian Danby, for the correction that the aircraft was a dive bomber and not a torpedo bomber. (Apr 2024). Reviewed and updated by Aircrew Remembered (Apr 2024)

Other Sources listed below:

RS 01.04.2024 - Reviewed and updated

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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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