AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.
Check our Research databases: Database List


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

RAF Crest
16.01.1943 58 OTU Triple tragedy strikes Grangemouth

Operation: Formation training

Date: 16th January 1943 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 58 OTU (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Spitfire 1a

Serial: X4614 / AR254 / P8276

Base: RAF Grangemouth, Scotland.

Location: Kings Seat, North of Dollar, Clackmannan-shire

Pilot: Sgt. ‘Gordie’ Gordon Murray Duda R/128862 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Pilot: F/O. ‘Bud’ Hugh Gordon Reynolds J/9465 RCAF Age: 20. Killed (1)

Pilot: Sgt. ‘Vin’ Vincent Patrick Daly AUS/408634 RAAF Age 21. Badly Injured, survived. (2)


A triple training tragedy flying out of Grangemouth crashed in bad weather onto Kings Seat Hill above Dollar, killing 2 of the pilots and badly injuring the 3rd. The instructor, F/O. Reynolds was one of the fatalities.

The injured pilot Sgt. Vincent Daly was found 24 hours later, barely alive crawling in the snow by a shepherd. He was taken to Larbert Naval hospital.

Statement made by Sgt. Daly for the board of enquiry:

“I am a pupil attached to ‘C’ Flight 58 OTU. At 11:35 hrs on the 16th January I took off on a practice formation as Red 2 in a ‘Vic’ formation led by F/O. Reynolds. After about 10 minutes flying F/O. Reynolds led our formation into cloud. We were flying in cloud for approximately 5 minutes when F/O. Reynolds signalled us to climb and looking down I saw the ground about 100 ft below me and the hill looming in front. I pulled back the control column and endeavoured to climb, but was unable to clear the hill. I climbed from the wreckage and crawled to Sgt. Duda’s aircraft (X4614) and found him dead - the aircraft of F/O. Reynolds (AR254) was in flames and too far away for me to reach. I endeavored to crawl down the mountain and was eventually discovered by a shepherd 48 hours after the crash.”

Spitfire X4614 was one of 10 Presentation Spitfires funded by the Falkland Islands and bore the name 'Falkland Islands I' (see Addendum below for further details).

(Above courtesy Patricia Katherine Svinth Brammer)

Years later members of the 383 (Alloa) cadets ATC, the Ochil Mountain Rescue Team led by Major Brian Imrie of the REME built a memorial at the spot, on September 12th 2009 it was unveiled with a fly past from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The reverend Ray Gaston, who was the padre to 633 Alloa Squadron ATC, carried out the service of dedication. (Rev. Gaston contacted Aircrew Remembered in March 2016)

(1) The family lost three sons during the war, the other two, 23 year old W/O.II Arthur Mac Reynolds R/98064 RCAF killed just weeks later on the 31st January 1943, whilst with 227 Squadron - commemorated on the Malta Memorial. 20 year old P/O. Douglas Glen Reynolds J/38692 RCAF killed on the 15th April 1944 whilst with 31 OTU in Canada - commemorated on the Ottawa Memorial.

(2) Sgt. Vincent Patrick Daly born on 15th February 1921, of 129 Atherton Road, Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia. Injuries: Compound fracture of right tibia, Lacerations, severe bruising face, scalp and back, frostbite. Discharged from Halton hospital on the 15th June 1944. Repatriated to Australia in 1945. Sadly passed away on the 27th February 1969 of a heart condition, age just 48.

Burial Details:

Sgt. Gordon Murray Duda. Grangemouth Cemetery (Grandsable). Sec I. Grave 30. Born in Edmonton Alberta, Canada the son of Janet Duda of Second Avenue, Seattle, Washington, USA.

F/O. Hugh Gordon Reynolds. Grangemouth Cemetery (Grandsable). Sec. 1. Grave 28. Born on the 11th July 1921 the son of Arthur T. Reynolds and Gertie E. Reynolds, of Chatham, Ontario, Canada.

Researched for relatives of the pilot. With thanks to the following for further information supplied by the 1333 (Grangemouth Spitfire) Squadron and the Grangemouth Spitfire Memorial Trust who provided me with so much information and assistance during my visit.

Graves visited by Aircrew Remembered in August 2012 and again in 2014. Patricia Katherine Svinth Brammer who's daughter found the photograph in her mothers possessions after she had passed away. Any relative who would like a high resolution photo of any of the graves in Grangemouth we would be happy to send you a copy.


Spitfire X4614 'Falkland Islands I'


In 1940 the Legislative Council of the Falkland Islands voted a donation to Britain of over £70000, and expressly asked that £50000 of this amount be used for the purpose of the purchase of Spitfires. At the time the cost of a Spitfire was around £5000 so ten fighters were designated as 'Presentation Aircraft' and bore the name FALKLAND ISLANDS on each side of the fuselage beneath the cockpit. (Details courtesy Alan Tew, member of the Falkland Islands Philatelic Study Group and the Spitfire Society)

Spitfire Mk1a X4614, named Falkland Islands I, was taken on charge at 6 MU Brize Norton and allocated to 66 Squadron at Gravesend on 15 October 1940. Transferred to 92 (East India) Squadron at Biggin Hill on 13 November 1940 coded QJ-H. On 5 February 1941, based at RAF Manston in Thanet and flown by Sgt Hugh Bowen-Morris, credited with a 1/4 share in the destruction of a Ju87 Stuka* attacking shipping off the North Foreland near Ramsgate. Allocated to 53 OTU at Heston on 13 March 1941 suffering flight training damage. 39 MU Colerne on 8 April 1941 thence to 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron on 10 May 1941. Returned to 53 OTU on 17 June 1941 suffering further flight training damage. 8 MU Little Rissington 8 April 1942. 58 OTU Balado Bridge on 4 July 1942 suffering ground collision damage. 16 January 1943 crashed fatally into hills at Dollar Bank Farm, Kingseat Hill, Clackmannan with two other Spitfires. Pilot Sgt Duda RCAF killed.

*Ju87 Stuka J9 + BK, Werk No 5225, of 2./StG1, was shot down just outside Manston airfield on 5th February 1941. Pilot, Lt. Ernst Schimmelpfennig and wireless operator, OberGf. Hans Richard Kaden, were killed. Earlier, His Majesty's Coastal Patrol Tug 'Tourmaline' had been sunk near Ramsgate by Schimmelpfennig resulting in the loss of life of two of its crew members who have no known graves. Spitfire X4614 played its part in the destruction of J9+BK with pilot, Sgt Hugh Bowen-Morris, receiving a 1/4 share of the credit.

The pilots examining the wreckage of the Stuka (bottom right) are, left to right: P/O Cecil Henry Saunders, Sgt Thomas Edward John Ream, Sgt Hugh Bowen-Morris, P/O Ronald Henry Fokes (already commissioned per ORB data). Click on picture to enlarge it.

The above details, photo montage and pilot identifications, are the result of extensive investigations by Spitfire researcher Simon Gerrard in collaboration with the Falkland Islands National Museum; RAF Museum, Hendon; Dollar Museum, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Mr Martin Johnston; Mr Russ Fahey; Roy Wilcock of Aircrew Remembered and The Tom Kracker Luftwaffe Archive

KTY 30.08.2015 Map added

RW  19.10.2021 Photo and history of Spitfire X4614 added

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
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.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2023
Last Modified: 26 October 2021, 16:37

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor