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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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RAF Crest
21.09.1943 No. 13 OTU B25 Mitchell FL193 F/O. John Ledgerwood

Operation: Training

Date: 21st September 1943 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 13 OTU (Operational Training Unit)

Type: B.25 Mitchell

Serial: FL193

Base: RAF Finmere

Location: Steeple Claydon, Buckinghamshire

Pilot: F/O. John Ledgerwood AUS/421863 RAAF Age 21. Killed

Nav: P/O. Andrew Goodwin Olson J/25058 RCAF Age 20. Killed (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Eric George Bailey AUS/422375 RAAF Age 25. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Michael Justin Tymms AUS/422324 RAAF Age 19. Killed


This aircraft took off from its base at RAF Finmere on a Training Flight.

Exact details unknown, believed to have lost power on take-off and travelled some 5 miles south east of the airfield at tree top height, before crashing in fields near Steeple Claydon.

Left: F/O. John Ledgerwood Right: Fl/Sgt. Eric George Bailey

Left: L-R, P/O. Olson, Flt/Sgt. Bailey, F/O. Ledgerwood, Sgt. Tymms. Right: Fl/Sgt. Eric George Bailey

Crew funeral at Botley Cemetery

Norman White, Pat Butler and the dedicated Committee of the Steeple Claydon Remembrance Garden Group and the the people of Steeple Claydon opened a wonderful remembrance garden in September 2018. They are also planning to place a plaque to the crew within the garden. (courtesy Jacquie Cronshaw)

The webmaster for Aircrew Remembered, designed and made a ceramic plaque (2) that was presented to the relatives, a replica was also placed at the crash site in September 2008. (see Trish Masters page)

B25 - Sister aircraft FL684

(1) Olson Lake west of McTavish Lake in Saskatchewan is named after P/O Olson

Burial Details:

F/O. John Ledgerwood. Oxford Cemetery (Botley). Plot I/2. Grave 70. Born on the 24th August 1922 at Burwood, New South Wales, the son of James Francis and Constance Irene Ledgerwood, of Griffith, New South Wales, Australia. Prior to service studied as a medial student at Sydney University. Enlisted on the 28th March 1942 in Sydney, Australia. Wings awarded on the 19th March 1943. Trained on Tiger Moths, Cessna Crane and the Ventura aircraft.

P/O. Andrew Goodwin Olson. Oxford Cemetery (Botley). Plot I/2. Grave 71. Born on the 05th June 1923 at Pense, Canada, the son of Andrew and Selma Victoria (née Anderson) Olson, of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada. Prior to service worked as a clerk at the University of Saskatchewan. Enlisted on the 24th April 1942. Grave inscription reads: "To Live In The Hearts Of Those We Love Is Not To Die".

Fl/Sgt. Eric George Bailey. Oxford Cemetery (Botley). Plot I/2. Grave 72. Born on the 23rd December 1917 at Grafton, New South Wales, the son of William and Sarah Bailey, of 146 Queen Street, Grafton, New South Wales, husband of Merlin Jean Bailey of Maclean, New South Wales, Australia. Enlisted on the 22nd May 1942. Worked as a window dresser prior to service. Grave inscription reads: "It Is God That Girdeth Me With Strength And Maketh My Way Perfect".

Sgt. Michael Justin Tymms. Oxford Cemetery (Botley). Plot I/2. Grave 73. Born on the 23rd December 1923 at Launceston, Tasmania the son of Dr. Albert Oscar Vincent Tymms and Henrietta Eyre Maunsell Tymms, of Neutral Bay, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription reads: "Son Of Dr. & Mrs. A.O.V. Tymms, Launceston, Tasmania".

With thanks to Jane Mcgrath, niece of F/O. John Ledgerwood, Trish Masters (née Bailey), daughter of Fl/Sgt. Eric George Bailey, John Beswick for his kind assistance. Norman White, Pat Butler and the dedicated Committee of the Steeple Claydon Remembrance Garden Group, the people of Steeple Claydon and Jacquie Cronshaw.

(2) This was during the time that he managed and generated most of the content for a website for another association.

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'
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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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