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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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466 Squadron Crest
18.09.1945 No. 466 Squadron Liberator VIII KN736 Fl/Lt. McNulty DFC

Operation: Training Exercise

Date: 18th September 1945 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 466 Squadron

Type: Liberator VIII

Serial: KN736

Code: HD-?

Base: RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire

Location: Potton Wood, near Cockayne Hatley, Bedfordshire

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Patrick Joseph McNulty DFC. AUS/426286 RAAF Age 22. Killed

Pilot 2: Fl/Lt. Edward John James Spiller DFC. 147197 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

Pilot 3: F/O. Francis George Doak AUS/419770 RAAF Age 21 Survived - badly injured

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Delbert Roy Turner 1863014 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Ray V. Carling 1803034 RAFVR Survived - badly injured

Nav: F/O. Noel Perrin Gilmour AUS/428664 RAAF Age 23. Survived - badly injured

W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. James Raymond Potter AUS/434008 RAAF Age 22. Killed

Pax: 'Bitsa' the dog of F/O. Noel Gilmour Survived - unhurt


Taking off at 15:46 hrs on a training exercise.

Whilst at 1,000 ft the instructing pilot feathered two engines (minimum height stipulated for this was 3000 ft.) The aircraft began to lose height and the pilot restarted the engines but there was insufficient time for them to develop power before the aircraft struck the ground.

The aircraft hit small rise at Potton Wood and caught fire. 3 of the crew were killed instantly with the 4th member dying from burns later. Some of the crew were thrown clear others were rescued by members of the public. Sgt. Gilmour was found deeper in the wood and his rescue was enabled by his dog 'Bitsa' who remained with him, barking to attract attention.

It is understood that those injured recovered.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Patrick Joseph McNulty DFC. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 15907. Born on the 19th November 1922 in Brisbane, the son of Mr. and Mrs. J.J. McNulty, of Beenleigh Hotel, Beenleigh, Queensland, Australia.

Fl/Lt. Edward John James Spiller DFC. Edmonton Cemetery, Middlesex. Sec. W. Grave 41. Son of Edward John and Annie Louisa Spiller, of Edmonton and husband of Lilian Frances Spiller, of Edmonton, Middlesex, England.

Fl/Sgt. Delbert Roy Turner. Lowestoft Churchyard ( St. Margaret) Sec. 3. Row A. Grave 9. Son of George Frederick and Gladys Turner, of Lowestoft, Suffolk, England.

W/O. James Raymond Potter. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 15908. Born on the 17th August 1923 in Texas, Queensland, the son of George Henry and Sarah Scott Potter, of Texas, Queensland, Australia.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Mr. Alan Winward for sending the information and crew photo. Also to Colin Cummings, his publication: 'Price Of Peace' and the Australian Archives for additional details.

KTY - 04.01.2018

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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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