05th October 1941 53 Operational Training Unit Spitfire I P9445 Sgt. Hiddleston
Date: 05th October 1941 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 53 Operational Training Unit. 81 Group
Type: Spitfire I
Base: RAF Llandow, Glamorgan
Location: Bristol Channel
Pilot: Sgt. Travis Arnold Hutton Hiddleston Aus/400713 RAAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking of at 15:05 hrs with two others on a formation flying exercise.
At 15:25 hrs whilst changing formation P9445 collided with K9817 flown by 22 year old, Sgt. Cyril Brennan Aus/404771 RAAF. Eye witness statements say that they saw 3 aircraft flying high and were circling. One of the aircraft dived into the channel and explode. his body was never recovered.
The auxiliary coastguard Mr. John Sim at Dunraven Castle, Southerndown called the Bridgend Police after he also saw pieces falling down. A part of the undercarriage was found on the sand which he handed over.
The Spitfire hit the water about 300 yards off Southerndown, Glamorgan. Sgt. Brennan called 'A' light control and reported to Fl/Lt. Peter Brett that his aircraft had suffered damage to his port aileron and awaited instructions. He was ordered to land which he did. On inspection Fl/Lt. Brett noticed the blades of the Spitfire's airscrew had bent with the tips sheared off. The aircraft was repaired by Vickers at the airbase and returned to service.
Sgt. Cyril Brennan was uninjured during this mid-air collision but sadly lost his life on the 25th June 1942 in Spitfire BM536. Further information here.
Sgt. Travis Arnold Hutton Hiddleston. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 62. Born on the 21st September 1918 at Mosgiel, New Zealand. Worked as a pattern weaver prior to enlistment for Federal Woollen Company prior to enlisting on the 13th October 1940 at Melbourne, Australia. Son of Thomas Hutton Stanley Hiddleston, and of Martha Hiddleston, of 24 Grandview Grove Geelong, Victoria, Australia. 175 Flying hours logged with 37 of these on the Spitfire.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, NAA, other sources as quoted below: