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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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Bomber Command Crest
31.05.1944 No. 12 OTU Wellington III BK157 F/O. Donald A. Driver

Operation: Training

Date: 31st May 1944

Unit: No. 12 OTU

Type: Wellington lll

Serial: BK157

Base: RAF Chipping Warden, Oxfordshire

Location: Swalcliffe, Oxfordshire

Pilot: F/O. Donald Arthur Driver 160678 RAFVR Age 20. Killed (1)

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Eric Cotterell 1430072 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. James Harvey McGregor 978853 RAFVR Age 29. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ernest Walter Blakeman 1837046 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Alexander Oliver 1822471 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick John Pack 1631760 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Joseph Henry Nixon 1898832 RAFVR Age 30. Killed


Took off at 10:05hrs from Chipping Warden for a cine camera gun detail. With a screened pilot, two screened air gunners and four trainee air gunners. Forty minutes into the flight the pilot made an evasive diving turn to port and before he could level out, the port wing folded and the bomber crashed to the ground and burst into flames.

(1) F/O. Donald Arthur Driver was awarded the DFM while serving with No. 104 Squadron in the Middle East. Gazetted on 9th July 1934

Burial details:

F/O. Donald Arthur Driver. Banbury Cemetery, Oxfordshire. Grave 11654. Son of Arthur William and Violet Clementina Driver of Wimbledon, Surrey, England.

F/Sgt. Eric Cotterell. Hounslow Cemetery. Row G. Old Ground. Grave 16. Son of Joseph Henry and Winifred Gertrude Cotterell of Hounslow, England.

Fl/Sgt. James Harvey McGregor. Wick Cemetery, Caithness. Sec. I.Grave 1195. Son of Signalman Thomas McGregor, R.N.R (killed in action 25th January 1917 aboard HMS Laurentic) and Johan G. H. McGregor of Wick.

Sgt. Ernest Walter Blakeman. Banbury Cemetery, Oxfordshire. Grave 11577. Son of William Walter and Fanny Blakeman, husband of Lena Ethel Blakeman of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England.

Sgt. John Alexander Oliver. Huntly Cemetery, Aberdeenshire. Sec. J. Grave 1372. Son of James and Margaret Barron Oliver of Drummuir, Banffshire.

Sgt. Frederick John Pack. Fareham (Titchfield) New Cemetery, Hampshire. Sec. C. Grave 492. Son of Frederick John and Matilda Ada Pack of Titchfield, England.

Sgt. Joseph Henry Nixon. Clough Presbyterian Churchyard, Downpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland. Son of George William and Annie Nixon of Ballywillwill, husband of Lily Mary Nixon of Fulham, London, England.

Researched by: Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the relatives of the crew. Sources as quoted 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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