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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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RCAF Crest
09.11.1943 No 23 OTU Wellington III X3932 WE-P Sgt. Charles R.G. Long

Operation: Training exercise

Date: 9th November 1943 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 23 OTU (Operational Training Unit - 91 Group)

Type: Wellington MkIII

Serial: X3932

Code: WE-P

Base: RAF Pershore

Location: Lower Park Farm, Rowney Green, England

Pilot: Sgt. Charles Robert Gaudet Long R/157864 RCAF Age 26. Killed

Pilot 2: F/O. Hugh Hartil Barton J/25015 RCAF Age 28. Killed

Obs: P/O. Gordon John Gallagher J/27392 RCAF Age 30. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Julius Harold Magnes J/26206 RCAF Age 27. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alton James O'Neil R/161662 RCAF Age 28. Killed


RCAF pilot Sgt Charles Long from California took off from RAF Pershore at 18:38hrs with a crew of 4 fellow RCAF members in Wellington X3932 of 23 OTU on November 9th 1943.

After a successful training exercise the crew were returning at 19:40hrs when the port engine caught fire. Unable to make a safe landing Sgt Long opted to overshoot and continued flying Northwards.

At 19:49hrs as he banked right to attempt a second landing the aircraft stalled and crashed at Lower Park farm at Rowney Green killing the whole crew.

In 1982 the site was excavated by the Midland Aircraft Recovery Group, wreckage was discovered 9ft below the surface and in recent times a tree was planted with a memorial plaque placed at the site.

Burial details:

Sgt. Charles Robert Gaudet Long. Pershore Cemetery, Worcestershire. Plot Q. Grave 389. Believed to be from Lomita Park, California, USA - next of kin details not available - are you able to assist?

F/O. Hugh Hartil Barton. Pershore Cemetery, Worcestershire. Plot Q. Grave 38. Son of Richard and Cecelia Hartil Barton, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. B.A. (University of Western Ontario, London).

P/O. Gordon John Gallagher. Pershore Cemetery, Worcestershire. Plot Q. Grave 407. Son of John Henry and Ernestine Gallagher, husband of Fleurette Gallagher, of Ottawa Ontario Canada.

P/O. Julius Harold Magnes. Pershore Cemetery, Worcestershire. Plot Q. Grave 385. Son of Martin Oscar and Emma Magnes, of Lockwood, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Sgt. Alton James O'Neil. Pershore Cemetery, Worcestershire. Plot Q. Grave 424. Son of James and Kathleen O'Neil, husband of Mary Catherine O'Neil, of Prescott, Ontario, Canada.

Researcher Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered November 2016. With thanks to Julian Tansell for grave photographs, Darran Mark Walker for memorial photos. Remainder from the Michel Beckers collection.

MB - 09.11.2016

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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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