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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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425 Squadron Halifax III LW391 F/O. Charles Trevor Leighton Pidcock

Operation: Duisburg

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

Serial: LW391

Code: KW-J

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


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.

Burial details:

/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:

KTY/JJ 22-03-2022

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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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