425 Squadron Halifax III LW391 F/O. Charles Trevor Leighton Pidcock
Date: 14/15th October 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 425 Squadron 6 Group (motto: Je te plumerai, lit - 'I shall pluck you')
Type: Halifax III
Base: RAF Tholthorpe, Yorkshire
Location: Mechelen, Belgium
Pilot: F/O. Charles Trevor Leighton Pidcock J/29197 RCAF Age 26. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. P.A McCarthy 1835800 RAFVR
Nav: P/O. Frederick Paul Cartan R/190906 RCAF Age 22. Killed
Air/Bmr: F/O. R.W England J/36227 RCAF
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Norman S Croucher R/164064 RCAF
Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Sarris R/253886 RCAF
Air/Gnr(Under): Sgt T R Munro R/271766 RCAF
Air/Gnr: Sgt Harry B. McClure R/202543 RCAF
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 23:00 hrs. with 16 others from the squadron. 1005 aircraft taking part in this operation (Hurrocane)
After bombing the target the aircraft was understood to have been hit by flak. With one engine on fire, F/O Pidcock unsuccessfully attempted to extinguish the blaze and feather the engine. When the Navigator, P/O. Cartan, determined that the aircraft was no longer over enemy-occupied territory, seven members of the crew bailed out.
F/O. Pidcock had maintained control of the aircraft long enough for all crew members to bail out. He also baled out but too low, for his parachutes to open fully.
The two crew killed also baled out after the remainder had abandoned as instructed, but too low, for their parachutes to open fully.
It was established that the surviving crew had landed behind enemy lines, but they all evaded capture,
Above and below are photographs of the funeral for F/O. Pidcock, taken by members of the Belgium Underground Army.
/O. Charles Trevor Leighton Pidcock. Heverlee War Cemetery. Grave 12.E.3. Born on the 20th of September 1917 in Victoria. Son of William Edward and Marian Jane Pidcock (née Duncalfe), of 1775 W. 32nd Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Grave inscription: 'Greater Love Hath No Man Than This'.
P/O. Frederick Paul Cartan. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. Grave VI.E.18. Born on the 18th August 1922 in Toronto. Son of Frederick Henry Cartan and Anna Theresa Cartan (née Smitzler), of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Husband of Barbara Clowes Cartan (née Noxon), whom he married on the 16th October 1943 in Winnipeg.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to John Jones for details and photographs, other sources as quoted below: