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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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R.A.F. Crest
12.03.1943 O.A.D.U. Hudson VI FK722 Fl/Sgt. Fahie crew loss

Operation: Transit flight

Date: 12th March 1943 (Friday)

Unit: Overseas Aircraft Dispatch Unit. 44 Group

Type: Hudson VI (Manufacturers No. 47278)

Serial: FK722

Code: -

Base: Sierra Leone, West Africa

Location: Mediterranean Sea of Gibraltar

Pilot: F/O. Frank Lancelot Martyn Whibley NZ/413527 RNZAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Gilbert Eric Somerville R/106330 RCAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Percy Philip Fahie R/104192 RCAF Age ? Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Lorne Herbert York J/11607 RCAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed (1)

Air/Gnr: F/O. Denys Raymond Tuft 124883 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed


Detailed to ferry the Hudson to England via Morocco and Gibraltar, taking off from Hastings, Sierra Leone on the 03rd March.

Crashed into the Mediterranean sea approximately 2 miles off the aerodrome shortly after take off at 02:13 hrs. during a planned night flight to the U.K. Aircraft and the five crew not recovered.

The Overseas Aircraft Dispatch Unit lost another Hudson on the same detail as FK621. F/O. Brian Wallis Polson flyingHudson FK722 crashed into the sea off Gibraltar shortly after take off. All crew Missing - believed killed.

We are working very closely with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Manitoba geographical names project and the Saskatchewan Tourism Parks, culture and sports department to show with the aid of Google maps where many of the WW2 Aviators are being remembered. If you are also able to assist by sending other information please contact us. Canadian lake project.

(1) York Lake named after F/O York

Burial details:

F/O. Frank Lancelot Martyn Whibley. Malta Memorial Panel 12. Column 1. Born on the 27th January 1920 at Dannevirke. A butter maker for Matakana Dairy Company prior to service. Enlisted on the 15th June 1941 at Levin. After trying in Canada awarded his pilots badge and received his commission on the 16th January 1942. Embarked for Sierra Leone, West Africa on the 13th December 1942 for aircraft ferry duties and arrived on the 01st January 1943 at Waterloo. Son of Francis Chalmer Whibley and of Gladys Emma Whibley (nee Martyn), of Kiritaki, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. A total of 300 solo flying hours logged with 140 on the Hudson.

F/O. Lorne Herbert York. Malta Memorial Panel 10. Column 1. Son of Herbert and Myrtle York, of Tamworth, Ontario, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Percy Philip Fahie. Malta Memorial Panel 11. Column 2. Son of Henry and Cecilia Fahie, of Lower Ship Harbour East, Halifax Co., Nova Scotia, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Gilbert Eric Somerville. Malta Memorial Panel 11. Column 2. Son of James M. and Mary Somerville, of Swan River, Manitoba. Canada.

F/O. Denys Raymond. Malta Memorial Panel 6. Column 2. Son of Raymond and Leonora Gertrude Tuft, of Leicester, England.

F/O. Denys Raymond. Malta Memorial Panel 6. Column 2. Son of Raymond and Leonora Gertrude Tuft, of Leicester, England.

Researched for Graeme Dustow of NSW Australia (nephew of F/O. Frank Whibley) and dedicated to all the relatives of the crew. With thanks to Weekly News New Zealand. Auckland War Museum.

KTY Updated 24-03-2021

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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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Last Modified: 24 March 2021, 21:43

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