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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
13.11.1944 No. 1 Advanced Flying Unit Anson I AX177 Fl/Sgt. McDonald

Operation: Training

Date: 13th November 1944 (Monday)

Unit: No. 1 Advanced Flying Unit

Type: Anson I

Serial: AX177

Code: Not known

Base: RAF Wigtown, Dumfries, Scotland

Location: Cronk ny Arrey Laa, Isle of Man

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Hugh Eugene McDonald R/180655 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Nav: F/O. Charles Alfred Bardwell J/43919 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr: P/O. John Darlington 165474 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr (U/T): Fl/Sgt. John David Pratt AUS/432727 RAAF Age 19. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr (iNST): F/O. Percy Henry Hoyle 161369 RAFVR Age 33. Killed


Taking off at 19:28 hrs on a night navigation exercise from Wigtown in southern Scotland, to the southern point of The Isle of Man.

Having reached the Isle of Man they were on a return course to Wigton when the aircraft hit a hill known as Cronk ny Arrey Laa at around 21:30 hrs. At 437 mtrs. it is the second highest hill in that part of the island.

A later enquiry concluded that in order to avoid high ground, the pilot had climbed above his designated altitude to 3000 ft, encountered icing conditions and descended too quickly.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Hugh Eugene McDonald. St Patricks Churchyard, Jurby, Michael, Isle of Man. Grave 367. Son of R. A. McDonald and Catherine McDonald, of Green Valley, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "Beautiful Memories, Are Left Of One We Loved And Shall Never Forget. Mother, Dad And Family".

F/O. Charles Alfred Bardwell. St Patricks Churchyard, Jurby, Michael, Isle of Man. Grave 368. Son of Alf and Christina Bardwell, of Appin, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "Greater Love Hath No Man Than This That A Man Lay Down His Life For His Friends".

P/O. John Darlington. Runcorn Cemetery. Sec. 7. Grave 142-3. The son of John and Emily (née Sidley) Darlington of Runcorn, Cheshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "Our Dear Son, Happy Smiling Always Content Loved And Remembered".

Fl/Sgt. John David Pratt. St Patricks Churchyard, Jurby, Michael, Isle of Man. Grave 369. Born on the 12th December 1924 at Cowra NSW, the son of Matthew Thomas Pratt and Mary Gertrude (née Scott) Pratt, of Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription reads: "His Duty Fearlessly And Nobly Done. Ever Remembered".

F/O. Percy Henry Hoyle. Nottingham Northern Cemetery. Grave 34 , Sec. L/18. Grave inscription reads: "Love's Last Gift, Remembrance - Winifred. Loved And Missed By Your Sons Brian, Anthony And Rodney".

Researched by Mike McQuaid for Aircrew Remembered - October 2018. Page dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Mike McQuaid, Hamish Killip and Sinead for photgraphs.

KTY 22.10.2018

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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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