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.

Bomber Command Crest
07/08.6.1944 No. 1667 H.C.U. Halifax V LL459 P/O. Raymond L. Francis

Operation: Training exercise

Date: 07/08th June 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 1667 HCU (Heavy Conversion Unit)

Type: Halifax V

Serial: LL459

Base: RAF Sandtoft, North Lincolnshire.

Location: Howden Dyke Island, River Humber, Yorkshire

Pilot: P/O. Raymond Leslie Francis AUS/418380 RAAF Age 25. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Frederick William Reed 1181898 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. William Robert Rex Porter AUS/40230 RAAF Age 27. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. William Edgar Laurence Moody AUS/422623 RAAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Gilbert Francis Brown AUS/418699 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Kevin William Hennessy AUS/437579 RAAF Age 21. Killed


Taking off at 21:40 hrs from RAF Sandtoft, North Lincolnshire on a night cross-country exercise.

At around 02:10 hrs the Halifax dived out of control, it is thought that the aircraft had stalled. LL459 crashed killing all the crew onto the banks of the Humber in a field belonging to Hook House Farm at a place called Howden Dyke Island in a position about 600 yards North from the Church of St. Mary.

Above Halifax DG235 awaiting delivery - served with 1667 Heavy Conversion Unit.

Left: Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery

Burial details:

P/O. Raymond Leslie Francis. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec B. Row E. Grave 12. Born on the 03rd July 1918 the son of Arthur John and Elizabeth Marion Francis, of Main Street, Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia. Prior to service employed as a Bank Clerk. Epitaph reads: ‘We Loved Him In Life, Let Us Not Forget Him In Death.’

Sgt. Frederick William Reed. Charing (Kent County) Crematorium. Son of Frederick and Ada Annie Reed, of Benenden, Kent, England.

Fl/Sgt. William Robert Rex Porter. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec B. Row E. Grave 13. Born on the 04th June 1917 the son of Winfred Rex and Florence Eva Porter, of 65 Thistle Street, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. Epitaph reads: ‘Lovingly Remembered.’

Fl/Sgt. William Edgar Laurence Moody. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec B. Row E. Grave 14. Born on the 23rd January 1922 the son of Gilbert Raymond and Agnes Elizebeth Moody, of Hazelbrook, New South Wales, Australia. Epitaph reads: ‘Nobly He Lived And Nobly He Died. For Ever Remembered.’

Fl/Sgt. Gilbert Francis Brown. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec B. Row E. Grave 10. Born on the 09th July 1923 the son of William John and Josephine Mary Brown, of Tolmie, Victoria, Australia. Epitaph reads: ‘His Duty Fearlessly And Nobly Done. Ever Remembered.’

Fl/Sgt. Kevin William Hennessy. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec B. Row E. Grave 11. Born on the 12th November 1922 the son of William Henry and Mary Agnes Hennessy, of 16 Mora Avenue, Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia. Epitaph reads: ‘His Duty Fearlessly And Nobly Done. Ever Remembered.’

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Diane Gollop for bringing this loss to our attention, Peter Lucas for grave photographs, other sources as shown below.

KTY 16.02.2014

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 - 2024
Last Modified: 25 March 2021, 19:46

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