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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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07th November 1943 5 (Pilots) AFU Anson I N4934 P/O. Rothwell

Operation: Training

Date: 07th November 1943 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 5 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit. 21 Group

Type: Anson I

Serial: N4934

Code: -

Base: RAF Tern Hill, Shropshire

Location: Near Martin’s Farm, Longford, Shropshire

Pilot (Inst): P/O. John Rothwell NZ/413990 RNZAF Age 24. Killed

Pilot (U/T): Fl/Sgt. Clement James Walsh Aus/425470 RAAF Age 21. Killed

Crew member: Fl/Lt. Verdun Frederick McDonald J/3711 RCAF Age 27. Killed

Wireless Equipment Mechanic: Cpl. Lawrence Allen Manners 1485911 RAFVR Age 22. Killed


Weather described as quite good some haze near the ground.

The Master EM281 took off at 13:25 hrs on a dual instruction exercise with Fl/Sgt. Carter as pupil pilot.

Anson N4934 took off at 13:50 hrs on a authorised ground controlled interception exercise.

The Anson was seen to climb to port, after it had turned through 90 degrees and had reached a height of between 800 and 1,000 ft when the two aircraft collided at 14:05 hrs

The Master continued a short distance an then caught fire and spun to the ground, blew up and burnt out. The Anson righted itself momentarily and then seen to fly from side to side before he nose dived into the ground. All six crew from both aircraft were killed.

Burial details:

P/O. John Rothwell. Chester Cemetery (Blacon) . Sec. A. Grave 111. Born on the 08th November 1918 at Leigh, Lancashire, England.Emigtrated to New Zealand in 1925. Worked as a butcher/driver for Ward Coal Company prior to enlisting on the 06th July 1941 at Levin. Awarded pilots badge and promoted to sergeant on the 20th December 1941. Received his commission on the 01st November 1943. Son of Thomas Green Rothwell and Agnes Rothwell (nee Smith) and husband of Nancy Ethel Dorothy Rothwell (also nee Smith), of Orakei, Auckland, New Zealand. Instructing at the PAFU since February 1943, Rothwell flew his two ops during a fortnight’s attachment to 12 Squadron flying the Lancaster, the preceding May. He died a day short of his 25th birthday.

Fl/Sgt. Clement James Walsh. Chester Cemetery (Blacon) . Sec. A. Grave 68. Born on the 03rd February 1922 at Townsville, Queensland. A linotype operator prior to service for Causeway Printers of Townsville. Enlisted on the 28th February 1942 at Brisbane. Obtained his flying badge on the 05th March 1943. Son of Adam and Amelia Walsh, brother of Lyn, of Sandgate, Queensland. Australia. Grave inscription: 'In Memory Of Our Darling "Clem" Who Gave All For His Country'.

Fl/Lt. Verdun Frederick McDonald. Chester Cemetery (Blacon) . Sec. A. Grave 1042. Son of Robert Donald and Mary McDonald and husband of Phyllis Marie McDonald (nee Glendenning), of 313 8th Street, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Grave inscription: 'In Loving Memory'.

Cpl. Lawrence Allen Manners. Stand Churchyard (All Saints). Lower Ground. Grave 702. Son of Arthur and Elsie Manners, of Bramhall, Cheshire.

Miles Master Crew

Pilot (Inst): F/O. James Orville Cross J/24116 RCAF Age 27. Killed. Chester Cemetery (Blacon) . Sec. A. Grave 996. Son of George V. Cross and Gertrude A. Cross, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription: 'Not Lost But Gone Before'. 285 flying hours logged with 76 hours on single engine aircraft.

Pilot (U/T): Fl/Sgt. Denis Frank Carter 658594 RAF Age 24. Killed. Braintree Cemetery. Grave 8179. Son of Arthur and Lois Hannah Carter, of Guilden Morden, Cambridgeshire. Grave inscription: 'So He Passed Over And All The Trumpets Sounded For Him On The Other Side'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, NAA, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 12-03-2021

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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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