30.04.1941 No. 11 O.T.U. Wellington IC T2905 P/O. Evans
Operation: Night flight training
Date: 30th April 1941
Unit: 11 O.T.U.
Type: Wellington IC
Location: St. Andrews Park, Bristol.
Pilot 1: P/O. Kenneth Guy Evans 61048 RAFVR Age; 26Killed
Pilot 2: Sgt. Lawrence Hugh Houghton 964956 Age 21.Injured
Nav: Sgt. John Stuart Jones 741779 Age 28. Injured
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Charles John Clarke 744913 RAFVR Age 26. Killed
Air Gnr: Sgt. Richard Wish 1376456 Age 28. Injured
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Leonard Lever 979838 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from Bassingbourn near Cambridge on a night training flight. At approximately 21.50 hrs whilst 11 miles SW off course at around 2000ft the left wing struck a cable of a barrage balloon. Hugh Houghton struggled to control the aircraft when it appears the aircraft then struck a second cable from another barrage balloon. Eventually the aircraft hit the top of a pine tree in St. Andrews Park still towing between 2 - 5,000 ft of thick steel cable. The cable then tangled around an elm tree pulling it out of the ground pulling T2905 to the ground in the process. The aircraft then appeared to break into two, either by the cable or by the impact. The aircraft caught fire and several local residents and others bravely rescued some of the crew.
Left to right: P/O. Kenneth Guy Evans, Sgt. Lawrence Hugh Houghton, Sgt. John Stuart Jones
Left to right: Sgt. Charles John Clarke, Sgt. Richard Wish, Sgt. Thomas Leonard Lever
Sgt. Lawrence Hugh Houghton suffered a fractured left shin and scarring to his knees and forehead. He continued on operations until his Wellington (Z1203) crashed on 29th March 1942. He was captured and imprisoned in Stalag 8B in Poland. Lawrence still survives today (2009). Sgt. John Stuart Jones suffered several broken bones and severe burns to his face, neck, scalp and hands. John returned to flying and received treatment with the 'Guinea Pig Club'. He died in 1969 from cancer and a brain tumour. Sgt. Richard Wish had a metal plate inserted in his head after the crash and he continued flying during the war but eventually was forced to stop due to headaches. Richard died in 1994 suffering from kidney failure.
P/O. Kenneth Guy Evans. Canford Cemetery, Bristol. Sec. QQ. Grave 302B. Son of Guy Edward and Amy Evans, of Highbury, London, England.
Sgt. Charles John Clarke. Beeston and Stapleford Cemetery, Nottingham. Sec. C. Grave 27. Son of Charles Henry Clarke and Elsie Hudson, husband of Nora Litchfield and father of Charles Arthur, Francis Peter Derek and Patrick
Sgt. Thomas Leonard Lever. Toxteth Park Cemetery, Liverpool Sec. 8. Cons. Grave 671. Son of Thomas and Margaret Lever, of Wavertree, Liverpool, England.
Researched by John Clarke (Grandson of Sgt. Charles John Clarke) With thanks to the following, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses', The C.W.G.C.