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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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405 squadron badge
16.06.1943 No. 405 Squadron Halifax II HR832 Fl/Lt. Lawson crew loss

Operation: Training

Date: 16th June 1943 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 405 Squadron (RCAF City of Vancouver)

Type: Halifax II

Serial: HR832

Code: LQ-?

Base: RAF Gransden Lodge, Cambridgeshire.

Location: Clifton Farm, Clenchwarton, Norfolk

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Christopher Daniel Lawson MiD 46731 RAF Age 27. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Malcolm Keith Holliday 577168 RAF Age 20. Killed

Nav: F/O. Roland Ernest Garnault Agassiz J/14194 RCAF Age 23. Killed (1)

Air/Bmr: F/O. Lawrence William Arthur Frewin 129176 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Arthur Faulkner 1030315 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Clinton Landis Pudney GM R/139022 RCAF Age 21. Killed (2)

Air/Gnr: F/O. Walter Cecil Davies J/14421 RCAF Age 23. Killed (3)


Halifax HR832 was carrying out a routine cross country training flight when the crew encountered a severe electrical storm. Before emerging into clear weather the Halifax was struck by lightning.

The aircraft then hit turbulence and HR832 began to break up. Three crew members were killed on impact and the others seriously injured when the aircraft struck high ground and burst into flames at 19.05 hrs at Clifton farm, some two miles west of Kings Lynn.

The crew that survived were too severely injured to extricate themselves from the burning wreckage. Though suffering from severe lacerations on his face, and in spite of loss of blood and shock, Sergeant Pudney entered the blazing aircraft several times and finally succeeded in bringing all his companions out. He then struggled over rough moorland for 2 miles to obtain help.

(2) Fl/Sgt. Clinton Landis Pudney survived an earlier crash, on the 28th January 1943 whilst with 1659 HCU in another Halifax W1146. Three crew members were killed and the remaining 4 injured including Fl/Sgt. Pudney. He, together with the pilot P/O. Lefebre, removed all the crew from the aircraft.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Christopher Daniel Lawson MiD. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 23.C.19. Son of Christopher George and Kathleen Victoria Lawson, of Maida Vale, London, England.

Right: Grave of Sgt Faulkner Wallesey (Rake Lane) Cemetery - courtesy Mike McQuaid.

Sgt. Malcolm Keith Holliday. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 23.C.20. Son of John and Edith Holliday, of Wallington, Surrey, England.

F/O. Roland Ernest Garnault Agassiz. Sutton Bridge (St. Mathew) Churchyard Sec. S. Grave 33. Son of Harold Romilly Garnault Agassiz and Emma Margaret Agassiz, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

F/O. Lawrence William Arthur Frewin. City of London Cemetery and Crematorium, Manor Park. Cremation. Panel 9. Son of William Frederick and Eliza Frewin, husband of Dorothy Phyllis Frewin, of Romford, England.

Sgt. Arthur Faulkner. Wallesey (Rake Lane) Cemetery. Sec. 20C. Grave 543. Son of Burton and Constance Faulkner, of Wallasey, England.

Fl/Sgt. Clinton Landis Pudney GM. Sutton Bridge (St. Mathew) Churchyard Sec. S. Grave 29. Son of Herbert (Bert) E. Pudney, and of Catherine Annie Pudney, of Belmar, New York, USA.

F/O. Walter Cecil Davies. Sutton Bridge (St. Mathew) Churchyard Sec. S. Grave 27. Son of Walter and Cora Davies, of Asquith, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and RCAF specialist Colin Bamford for Rupert Bellamy, relative of F/O. Walter Davies and dedicated to all crew relatives. With thanks to Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol. 4", Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Mike McQuaid for grave photographs - April 2016. With thanks to Bruce Fisher for age correction on pilot - June 2016.

(3) Davies Creek in Saskatchewan is named after F/O. Davies

(1) Agassiz Island in Ontario is named after F/O. Agassiz

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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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