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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
17th July 1940 5 Flying Training School Oxford I L4618 Sgt. Osgood

Operation: Training

Date: 17th July 1940 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 5 Flying Training School

Type: Airspeed Oxford I

Serial: L4618

Code: -

Base: RAF Sealand, Flintshire

Location: Shotton Steelworks, near airfield.

Pilot: Sgt. Ronald Arthur Osgood 742599 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Pilot: Sgt. Eric Edwin Heaton Osgood 758217 RAFVR Age 20. Killed


A week after the Battle of Britain started and following the declaration on the 16th July 1940 when Hitler issues a directive to prepare a landing operation against Great Britain – Operation Sea Lion. Britain were desperate to train new pilots.

Whilst cruising around RAF Sealand, the twin engine aircraft collided with a RAF Miles M.9 Master, N7432, also from 5 FTS and carrying a crew of two (one instructor and one student pilot). Both aircraft crashed in a field located near to the Shotton Steelworks, near the airport, killing all four crewmen.

The pilot instructor 26 year old, P/O. Ashton had recently returned from France serving with 607 squadron and had been assigned instructor duties at 5 Flying Training School as part of his rest. His pupil pilot Sgt. Griffiths was killed with him, both being buried at St. Deiniol Churchyard in Flintshire, Wales.

Ashton Lake north of Nahili Lake, Manitoba was named after P/O. John Burrows Ashton IN 1995.

Burial details:

The Rev. Cumpsty, Vicar of St. Philip's, Cosham, officiated at the double funeral at Milton Cemetery, the private mourners being Mr. and Mrs. Osgood (parents), Miss Patricia Blake (Ronald's fiancee), Mr. W. H. Osgood (uncle), Mr. and Mrs. A. Blake and Mr. H. F. Page (friends). Officers, brother pilots, and A.C. ratings represented their unit. The flowers included tokens from the bereaved parents, relatives, friends, O.C., officers, N.C.O.'s and men, of their unit.

Brothers grave shown right

Sgt. Ronald Arthur Osgood. Portsmouth Cemetery (Milton). Plot Y. Row 1. Joint grave 3. Born 02nd December 1917. Attended Portsmouth Grammar School 1929 - 1935. Joined RAF in September 1938. Son of Albert George and Elizabeth Osgood of 66, Beaconsfleld Avenue, Cosham, Portsmouth, England. It is believed that Eric and Ronald were their only children.

Sgt. Eric Edwin Heaton Osgood Portsmouth Cemetery (Milton). Plot Y. Row 1. Joint grave 3. Attended Northern Secondary School. Joined RAF in July 1939. Son of Albert George and Elizabeth Osgood of 66, Beaconsfleld Avenue, Cosham, Portsmouth, England. It is believed that Eric and Ronald were their only children.

P/O. John Burrows Ashton. Hawarden Churchyard (St. Deiniol). North part. Worked for Meladt Sellers and Company Ltd prior to service. Enlisted in October 1938. Obtained his wings in November 1939. Formerly of 607 squadron flying the Hurricane. Son of Harry W. Ashton and Frances W. Ashton, of 159 Hazel Dell Avenue, East Kildonan, Manitoba, Canada. Grave inscription: 'Yea, Though I Walk Through The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death, I Will Fear No Evil: For Thou Art With Me'.

Sgt. Donald Leigh Griffiths. Hawarden Churchyard (St. Deiniol). North part. No further details - are you able to assist?

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Portsmouth Grammar School, South-East History Board, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 27-06-2021

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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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