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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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97 squadron badge
24.11.1941 No. 97 Squadron Manchester I R5792 F/O. Hill

Operation: Training flight

Date: 24th November 1941 (Monday)

Unit: No. 97 Squadron

Type: Manchester I

Serial: R5792

Code: OF-L

Base: RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire

Location: Sycamore Farm, Walpole St. Andrew, Norfolk

Pilot: F/O. Henry Thomas Hill 82677 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Pilot 2: Fl/Sgt. Arthur Carriss Smith 745479 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Obs: Sgt. John Newton 994648 RAFVR Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Fred Holt 1007372 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Francis Edward Martin 1198837 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Jesse Few 614026 RAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ernest Charles Hutton AUS/407432 RAAF Age 23. Killed

UPDATE: November 2016 - A dedication ceremony attended by many and memorial placed at the crash site.


During a training flight the Manchester was in a collision with a Hurricane I V6864 from 57 OTU (see notes).

The Hurricane Pilot, Sgt. George Arthur Johnston was killed, along with all seven from the Manchester when it crashed at Walpole St. Andrew, near Kings Lynn in Norfolk.

Message received from Nanette and David Bailey (February 2016):

"My husband grew up on the farm Sycamore House, Walpole St. Andrew, Norfolk, which was the site of this crash. His parents were Oliver and Gertrude Bailey, though the farm may have been owned by his Grandfather Samuel Bailey at the time of the crash.

He remembers the story of the crash told to him by his father as well, her remembers the huge hollow in the farm field where the crash happened. As a child he found bits and pieces including live ammunition from the crash as well as bones coming to the surface after ploughing and rains. He did not keep anything found at the crash site."

Above: 2 of the crew (courtesy Stephen Farnell) (see acknowledgments below)

NOTE: Hurricane V6864: If you search for Hurricane on the internet various pages will come up stating that this aircraft is still on display today. This is a composite Hurricane that used several other Hurricanes to make the display model currently located at Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona, USA. The aircraft was once flown by W/Cdr. Robert Stanford Tuck DSO. DFC. AFC. while flying with No. 257 Squadron RAF in Summer, 1940.

Photographs of the memorial kindly supplied by Angela Warner November 2016.

Burial details:

F/O. Henry Thomas Hill. Chesterton (St. Andrew) Churchyard. Son of Henry Thomas Hill and Maud Hill, of South Norwood, Surrey, husband of Edna Hill, of Cambridge, England.

Fl/Sgt. Arthur Carriss Smith. Leicester (Gilroes) Ceemetery. Sec. M. Grave 705. Son of William Carriss Smith and Sarah Ann Varden Smith, of Leicester, England.

Sgt. John Newton. Houghton-le-Spring (St. Michael's) Roman Catholic Cemetery. Special Memorial. Next of kin details not currently available - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Fred Holt. Clitheroe Cemetery. Grave 1228A. Son of Fred and Eveline Holt, of Clitheroe, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. Francis Edward Martin. Cannock Cemetery. Div. A. Sec. 3. R.C. Grave 687. Son of Jabez Edward and Catherine Ann Martin, of Cannock, England.

Sgt. Jesse Few. Rotherham (Masbrough) Cemetery. Plt O.O. Cons. Grave 270. Son of Jesse Few and Mabel (née Clay) of Thurcroft, Rotherham, England.

Sgt. Ernest Charles Hutton. Conningsby Cemetery. Row 65. Grave 1278. Born on the 29th July 1918 in Adelaide, the son of Charles Robert Stephen and Mary Agnes Hutton, husband of Myrtle Jean Hutton, of Mallala, South Australia.

The Hurricane Pilot details:

Sgt. George Arthur Johnstone 1212187 RAFVR Age ? Killed. Sutton Bridge (St. Matthew) Churchyard. Sec R. Grave 51. Next of kin details not currently available - are you able to assist?

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Stephen Farnell. Also thanks to Nanette and David Bailey who contacted us in February 2016) Also to Angela Warner who, although not a relative of the crew attended the memorial ceremony and took the photographs for us - November 2016. With thanks to Paul Edwards and Fl/Sgt Smiths' nephew for correction to photograph of the two crew members, Other sources as quoted below.

KTY 27.11.2016 New photographs added.

KTY 24-10-2022 Photo of crew names changed.

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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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