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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 Bomber Command Crest
05.07.1944 1667 HCU Halifax V DG414 Flt.Lt. Benjamin E. McLaughlin DFC

Operation: Dual instruction training

Date: 05th July 1944 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 1667 HCU (Heavy Conversion Unit)

Type: Halifax V

Serial: DG414

Base: RAF Sandtoft, Lincolnshire.

Location: Alkborough, Lincolnshire.

Pilot (Inst): Flt.Lt. Benjamin Edward McLaughlin DFC. 127223 RAFVR Age 30 Killed

Pilot (U/T): Plt.Off. Edward Barley 176232 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Flt.Eng (Inst): Sgt. Patrick. Morissey DFM. 1661466 RAFVR Age 27. Survived/injured.

Flt.Eng (U/T): Sgt. Thomas Edward Carr 1590301 RAFVR Survived/Injured

Flt.Eng (U/T): Sgt. Ivor Herbert Simmonds 1836668 RAFVR Age 25. Survived/Died

Flt.Eng (U/T): Sgt. George Beedle 1594241 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

Air Bmr: Sgt. Hubert Fryer 1623205 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Flt.Sgt. John Norman Bond 424080 RAAF Age 25. Killed

Air Gnr: Flt.Sgt. Robert Anthony Wixted 434555 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Sgt. Tracy Watson, currently serving in the Royal Air Force, places a wreath every anniversary of the death of the pilot, which coincides with the date of the loss of her own mother.


DG414 took off at 12.50 hrs from RAF Sandtoft, Lincolnshire on a dual instruction training exercise with 1 trainee pilot and 3 trainee flight engineers.

Whilst flying at 200 ft on three engines control was lost and the aircraft crashed at Alkborough, Lincolnshire on the south bank of the Humber.

Emergency crews arrived within 30 minutes with the unit's medical officer. Sgt. Carr were taken to RAF Elsham Wolds sick quarters with the other two taken to Scunthorpe War Memorial Hospital. Shortly after admission to hospital, Sgt Simmonds died of his injuries. Sgt. Thomas Carr made a full recovery and joined 166 Sqn.

Sgt. Carr was killed on the 16th January 1945 on an operation to Zeitz in Lancaster ME296 AS:V. The pilot, Flt.Lt. Ernest Patrick Burke 426303, RAAF was also killed. The remaining 5 crew were taken as PoW.

Burial details:

Flt.Lt. Benjamin Edward McLaughlin DFC. Porchester Churchyard Row 5. Grave 12. Son of George Thomas McLaughlin and Ivy Love McLaughlin of Paulsgrove, Hampshire.

Benjamin Edward McLaughlin was born 5 March 1914 and joined the Portsmouth Police force 25th March 1935 and served until 28th May 1936 when he went to Palestine to serve with the Palestine Police force. He returned to Portsmouth and was reappointed to the Portsmouth force 7 December 1937.

5th August 1942 Benjamin Edward McLaughlin was commissioned as Pilot Officer and on the 5th February Flying Officer B. E. McLaughlin was promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant. Awarded the DFC while serving with 12 Squadron, Gazetted 12th November 1943. At the time of his death his address was given as Jubilee Avenue, Paulsgrove.

Police officer Benjamin E. McLaughin and announcement for his DFC

Grave marker for Flt.Lt. Benjamin Edward McLaughlin DFC; left 2013, right 2014 (Courtesy Sgt Tracy Watson)

Plt.Off. Edward Barley. Hull Western Cemetery Compt. 267. Grave 25884. Son of Edward and Mary Frances Barley, of Hull, England.

Sgt. Patrick Morissey DFM. Died the following day and is buried in Kensal Green (St. Mary's) Roman Catholic Cemetery. Sec.X.P. Grave 3165. Son of Michael and Margaret Morissey, husband of Elizabeth Morissey, of Kingsbury, England.

Sgt. Patrick Morrissey was awarded the DFM while serving with 101 Squadron, Gazetted 19th September 1944

Grave marker for Sgt. Patrick Morissey DFM

Sgt. Ivor Herbert Simmonds. Fleur-De-Lis Church Cemetery. Block 4. Row 1. Grave 9. Son of William and Lettia L. Simmonds, of South Harrow, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. George Beedle. Fylingdales Churchyard. Son of George and Ellen Arm Beedle, of Fylingdales, husband of Elizabeth Ann Ross Beedle, of Robin Hoods Bay, England.

Sgt. Hubert Fryer. West Tanfield Churchyard. Son of Doris Harrison, of West Tanfield, England.

Flt.Sgt. John Norman Bond. Harrogate Cemetery Sec. B. Row H. Grave 6. Born on the 13th September 1918 in Kempsey NSW and enlisted in Sydney. Son of Richard Armstrong Bond and Florence Maude Bond, of Glen Innes, New South Wales, Australia.

Flt.Sgt. Robert Anthony Wixted. Harrogate Cemetery Sec. B. Row H. Grave 7. Born on the 13th June 1924 in Brisbane, Queensland.Son of Thomas Michael and Margaret Wixted, of Coorparoo, Queensland, Australia.

Grave markers left to right: Sgt. Fryer (Courtesy of Jacob Salter); Flt.Sgt. Bond; Flt.Sgt. Wixted

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Kate Tame for relatives of this crew. Thanks to Rob Davis for additional detail of Sgt. Carr's loss. Thanks to Jacob Salter for the image of the grave marker for Sgt. Fryer (Aug 2020).

RS 31.08.2020 - Addition of grave marker for Sgt. Fryer and update to structure and narrative

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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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