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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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Bomber Command Crest
31.01.1944 No 1660 Heavy Conversion Unit Stirling III EF232 Fg Off. Mason

Operation: Training

Date: 31st January 1944 (Monday)

Unit No: 1660 Heavy Conversion Unit (HCU)

Type: Stirling III

Serial: EF232

Code: YW:J

Base: RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire

Location: Carlton-le-Moorland, Lincolnshire

Pilot: Fg Off. James Hubert Mason DFC. J17624 RCAF Age 25. Died of Injuries

Pilot U/T: Flt Sgt Stanley Edward Martin 1390977 RAFVR Age 21. Died of Injuries

Flt Eng: Sgt. Roy Henry Appleton 1724254 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Flt Eng U/T: Sgt. George Brown Lamb 1573789 RAFVR Age 20. Died of Injuries

Nav: WO. James Bernard McNight 755362 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

Bomb Aimer: Fg Off. Harry George Trueman J25122 RCAF Age 24. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Edward Duke 1383442 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. Harold Nelson 1896358 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Above Left: Fg Off. James Hubert Mason DFC as a Sgt and Right: Fg Off. Harry George Trueman (from their service records)

Relatives would very much like contact with one another - all have a story to be told - whether they survived the war or not - many memorials and pages on the internet tell the stories of those who lost their lives - so many more exist for those who came through the war, their stories never told! The original crew of Fg Off. James Hubert Mason DFC went on to carry out further operations - some lost their lives at a later date, others survived. We are working on further pages to the crew of Fg Off. James Mason and his previous operations.


Taking off from RAF Swinderby in Lincolnshire on a night exercise, the crew, including pupil pilot and two flight engineers.

The Staff Pilot was giving night dual instruction to a U/T pilot on the Stirling. Soon after one of its take-offs at 21:32 hrs, the aircraft crashed a few miles from the airfield. An eye witness stated that the aircraft was on fire when it hit the ground at Carlton-le-Moorland, 9 mls SSW from Lincoln.

The cause of the accident was investigated by the Air Investigation Board (AIB), however, to date no record of the outcome of the investigation has been found.

Above Left: Flt Sgt. John Robert Pollock, Flt Sgt. Lenard Reginald Cook, Plt Off. W. Donald Tildsley, unknown, Bottom: Fg Off. James Hubert Mason DFC, Sgt. Fred Tweedale and Flt Sgt. Norman Stott.

Above Centre: Fg Off. James Hubert Mason DFC, Flt Sgt. Lenard Reginald Cook and Plt Off. Don Tildsley.

Above Right: unknown, Flt Sgt. Norman Stott, Flt Sgt. John Robert Pollock, Sgt. Fred Tweedale, Flt Sgt. Lenard Reginald Cook - the two unknown are from another crew (courtesy Carol Black - daughter of Bob Pollock)

Notes on photographs: The crews shown are the original crew that flew with Fg Off. James Hubert Mason DFC whilst with 50 Squadron.

Air Gunner: Flt Lt. John Robert Pollock DFM. MiD. survived the war - Further details to follow;
Bomb Aimer: Flt Lt. Lenard Reginald Cook DFM survived the war;
Flight Engineer: Plt Off. W. Donald Tildsley MiD. survived the war;
Pilot F/O. James Hubert Mason DFC - this page;
Air Gunner: Sgt. Fred Tweedale 1063624 RAFVR KiA on the 4th October 1943 whilst with 50 Squadron - Lancaster I W4905 VN:H - further details to follow;
Navigator WO. Norman Stott DFM. 1097284 RAFVR MiA on the 21st March 1945 whilst with 189 Squadron - Lancaster I RF132 CA:K - further details to follow.

Burial details:

Fg Off. James Hubert Mason DFC. Aberdeen Cemetery (Springbank) Sec. W. Grave 163. Born on the 17th July 1919 in Alberta, Canada. Son to Alvin Hugh and Lulu Spray (née Bailie) Mason of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

James was to be engaged to Doreen Duguid. The engagement ring was still in his gear and later sent to Doreen.

DFC awarded to Plt Off. Mason whilst with 50 Sqn. London Gazette 10th December 1943

Flt Sgt. Stanley Edward Martin. Harrow Weald Cemetery. Sec. D. Grave 55. Inscription: 'NOT ONCE OR TWICE IN OUR ROUGH ISLAND-STORY THE PATH OF DUTY WAS THE WAY TO GLORY'. Son of Albert and Emma Elizabeth Martin and husband of Mary Ann Martin, of Stanmore, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. Roy Henry Appleton. St. Peter-In-Thanet Churchyard. Row 46. Grave 66. Husband of Denise Marie Appleton, of St. Peter’s, Broadstairs, Isle of Thanet, Kent, England.

Sgt. George Brown Lamb. Aberdeen Cemetery, (Trinity) Broadhill Extension. Sec. 10. Grave 596. Inscription: 'NEVER SHALL HE BE FORGOTTEN'. Son of William M.P. Lamb and Georgina B. Lamb, of Woodside, Aberdeen, Scotland.

WO. James Bernard McNight. Newark-Upon-Trent Cemetery. Sec. F. Grave 310A. Inscription: 'IN MEMORY OF OUR BELOVED SON. OF YOUR CHARITY PRAY FOR THE REPOSE OF HIS SOUL R.I.P.'. Son of Joseph Patrick McKnight and Susan Mary McKnight, of St. Marks, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.

Fg Off. Harry George Trueman. Thurlby Churchyard (St. Germain). Grave C.4. Inscription: 'O CANADA, MY HOME, MY NATIVE LAND O CANADA, WE STAND ON GUARD FOR THEE'. Born on the 7th January 1920 in Ontario. Son of Thomas Henry and Rosaline Annie (née Ford) Trueman of St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Ronald Edward Duke. Thurlby Churchyard (St. Germain). Grave C.5. Inscription: '"I AM THINE, SAVE ME" HIS LIFE WAS SPENT IN HELPING OTHERS'. Son of Stephen John and Elsie Ethel Duke, of Paddington, London, England.

Sgt. Harold Nelson. Easington (Colliery) Cemetery. Sec. A. Grave 191. Inscription: 'AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN WE WILL REMEMBER THEM'. Son of Harold and Elizabeth Margaret Nelson, of Easington Colliery, County Durham, England.

Researched for and with some information supplied by Carol Black - relative of Fg Off. James Hubert Mason DFC. Page dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown. With a great many thanks to Jack Brook who advised us of the correct serial number of this aircraft (Aug 2017). Thanks to Shaun Noble for NoK details for Fg Off. Mason DFC. Thanks to Carol Black for the correction to the Next of Kin details for Fg Off. Mason DFC (Apr 2023).

Other sources listed below:

RS 18.04.2023 - Correction to Next of Kin details for Fg Off. Mason and updates.

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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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