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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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420 Squadron Crest
No. 420 Squadron Halifax III LK803 PT-H

Operation: Training

Date: 19th July 1944 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 420 Squadron RCAF

Type: Halifax III

Serial: LK803

Code: PT-H

Base: RAF Tholthorpe, Yorkshire

Location: Local area

Pilot: F/O. Stanley John Joplin J/24979 RCAF Age 20. killed (1)

Fl/Eng: P/O. Norman John Shand 179632 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Nav: W/O. George Henry Minchin AUS/421661 RAAF Age 27. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Wilfred Stanley Barnard J/92350 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Gerald Albion Kent C/90305 RCAF Age 21. Killed


Took off at 11.30 hrs from RAF Tholthorpe, Yorkshire on what is believed to be a fighter affiliation training exercise but spun and crashed within three minutes of becoming airborne. No further details as to the cause of the crash.

Fl/Lt. James Ward Stiles C/9892 was MiD (Gazetted on January 1st 1945) for the direction of fire fighters and rescue parties recovering the bodies of this crew.

The photo below is believed to have been taken on the 2nd May 1944 (Marked on the original photograph). Showing during the time that P/O. Barnard was with 424 Squadron.

Left to right are: Pilot: H. Wilton believed to be from Winnipeg, Canada, Air/Gnr: Bill Marshall from Guelph, Canada, Air/Bmr: Bud Mooney, Ontario, Canada, W/Op/Air/Gnr: Wilf Major from Vancouver, Canada, Air/Gnr: Wilfred Barnard, Vernon, Canada, Fl/Eng: Art Cubstone, Liverpool, England. Navigator not shown. (these details were written on the rear of photo and sent to Michael Argent's Grandma from her brother Joseph Barnard and his wife Sarah - parents of P/O. Barnard)

Above left: The pilot, F/O. Stanley John Joplin (courtesy Linda Triggs, this has been in the possession of Stanley’s maternal Aunt Ivy - sent to Aircrew Remembered February 2014) Right: Rear Gunner P/O. Gerald Kent (sent into Aircrew Remembered November 2014 by Mary Kent, niece)

(1) Joplin Creek in Northern Rocky Mountains Provincial Park, Peace River Land District in British Columbia is named after F/O. Joplin

Crew graves at Harrogate - we currently do not have a copy of the grave of P/O. Norman Shand (courtesy Michael Argent)

Left: The entrance to Harrogate Stonefall Cemetery (courtesy Michael Argent) Showing the stones set in between the ironwork

Burial details:

F/O. Stanley John Joplin. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec B. Row J. Grave 20. Son of Albert Edward and Emily Joplin, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

P/O. Norman John Shand. Inverurie Cemetery. Sec E. Grave 813. Son of William and Mary Shand, of Inverurie, scotland.

W/O. George Henry Minchin. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec B. Row J. Grave 17. Son of William Hugh and Esme Lynette Minchin, husband of Ivy Lorna Minchin, of Leeton, New South Wales, Australia.

P/O. Wilfred Stanley Barnard. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec B. Row J. Grave 18. Son of Joseph and Sarah Barnard, of Vernon, British Columbia, Canada.

P/O. Gerald Albion Kent. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec B. Row J. Grave 19. Son of Ira Blair Kent and Jean Frederick Allen Kent, of Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada.

With thanks to Michael Argent, relative of P/O. Wilfred Stanley Barnard, also thanks to Linda Triggs, relative of the pilot, F/O. Stanley Joplin, Mary Kent, relative of Rear gunner Gerald Kent, page dedicated to all the relatives of this crew. Acknowledgements, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', The Commonwealth Graves Commission.

Pages of Outstanding Interest
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CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
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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: 17 November 2014, 16:28

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