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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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Bomber Command
82 OTU Wellington X LN167 F/O. John George McCaffery Rowe

Operation: Training

Date: 30th November 1944 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 82 Operational Training Unit. 93 Group

Type: Wellington X

Serial: LN167

Code: -

Base: RAF Ossington, Newark, Nottinghamshire

Location: Crow Park Farm, Sutton on Trent, Nottinghamshire

Pilot: F/O. John George McCaffery Rowe J/41261 RCAF Age 29. Killed

Nav: F/O. Jack Alfred Smallwood J/43567 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Joseph Rodolphe Gaston Farlette J/45515 RCAF Age 26. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Samuel Lorne Wilfred McCron R/191097 RCAF Age 34. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Gladstone Clifford Morris R/278665 RCAF Age 19. Killed


Weather: visibility 2,800 yards, 5/10 cloud at 6,000 ft. surface winds south west by west 15mph

Extracted from the original Court of Enquiry dated 01st December 1944:

Wellington X LN167 took off on a Bombing detail at 10:15 hours. The aircraft was heard of over Rufford Range where one bomb was dropped. Engine was heard making abnormal noises at 11:06 hrs. Aircraft was next seen at very low height (about 300') approaching airfield from Easterly direction (Range lies to West). in a dive.

Aircraft levelled out made part right hand circuit of airfield disappeared to north of airfield, was next seen below the top level just prior to crashing. Aircraft flew round airfield in a very nose up attitude and was in a similar attitude immediately prior to crash. Crashed at field adjoining Crow Park Farm was immediately preceded by dropping of port wing.

Primary Cause of death of Pilot Officer Rowe and crew (except rear gunner) was multiple injuries and burns, cause of death of Sgt. Morris was multiple injuries only, all the result of accident to Wellington. Primary cause of accident to Wellington LN167 was loss of control by the pilot while flying at very low altitude on one engine.

Note:- Loss of control may have been due to a stall in attempting to avoid trees or may have been due to pilot attempting to turn to port at low height against the failed engine again in an effort to avoid obstructions.

Secondary causes of accident were engine failure followed by loss of height before an airfield was reached. Note:- In view of the time elapse between leaving the range and reaching airfield and the request for D/F assistance using a priority it is apparent but not proven that the pilot became lost. In view of the loss of height during this interval it is also apparent that the pilot' s ability to fly on one engine was poor, The loss of height may also have been due to the pilot not concentrating on his flying owing to being lost. The fact that Balance Cock B was found closed indicates that the full drill for manipulation of fuel cocks in event of engine failure had not been carried out.

The fact that the instructions in force regarding teaching of single engine landings, had not been complied with is not considered to have any bearing on the accident since the pilot was not in a position to make a right had circuit and landing once he had lost height to approximately i0 ft. The fact that he dived towards the airfield may have been an attempt to crash land thwarted by obstructions but this cannot be proven.

Above L-R: F/O. Rowe, F/O. Smallwood, F/O. Farlette, Sgt. McCron and Sgt. Morris (Courtesy Canadian Military files)

The court consider that the weather was a contributory secondary cause in that it prevented the pilot from seeing the airfield from a distance but that for normal flying the weather was satisfactory.

Note:- The court do not consider that the failure ol the watchkeeper in Flying Control to receive and pass on the information relating to use of a priority in the request from Wellington LN. 167 for to have any bearing in this case on the accident since every assistance was given by Flying Control from the time of sighting of the aircraft at 11:23 hours, the priority first having been received by the P/F Operator at 11.21 hours.

The court recommend that the recent extension to the engine life of Hercules Engines from 300 hours to 360 hours be reviewed by higher authority.

Burial details:

Crew buried on the 04th December 1944 at 12:00 hrs.

F/O. John George McCaffery Rowe. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 51.H.3. Born on the 26th November 1915 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Worked as a foreman with the Amalgamated Electric Company. Son of William Graham (died 15th March 1940, age 53) and Clara Rowe (née Mccaffery), of Toronto, Ontario, Canada and husband of Mary Elizabeth Rowe (married 16th August 1941), of 423 Page Avenue, Toronto. Epitaph: 'Into Thy Hands, O Lord" Till The Day Break And The Shadows Flee Away'.

F/O. Jack Alfred Smallwood. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 51.H.5. Born on the 26th September 1924. Worked as a rivet passer for Burred Dry-Docks. Enlisted on the 26th January 1943. Son of Clifford Smallwood and of Mary Jane Smallwood (née Burns), of Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada. Engaged at the time to a Miss McKinnie. Epitaph: 'Rest In Peace'.

F/O. Joseph Rodolphe Gaston Farlette. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 51.H.1. Born on the 29th June 1918. Son of Nicholas (died 1939, age 69) and Albertine Farlette (née Prud'homme - died 1956, age 73), of 82 Waller Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Epitaph: 'He Who Lies In The Midst Of Glory, We Will Always Cherish His Memory'.

Sgt. Samuel Lorne Wilfred McCron. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 51.H.4. Born on the 01st June 1910 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Enlisted on the 30th September 1942. Son of Samuel Hyslop and Florence May McCron of Barnesden, Ontario and husband of Olive McCron father to Lawrence Wilfred, of 1339 Crawford Avenue, Fort William, Ontario, Canada. Epitaph: 'Beloved Husband Of Olive. Rest In Peace'.

Sgt. Gladstone Clifford Morris. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 51.H.2. Born on the 18th February 1925 in Coleman, Alberta. Worked as a cute loader for McGillvray Coal and Coke Company. Enlisted on the 25th October 1943. Son of Adam (died 05th December 1944, age 70) and Pauline Morris (née Grisak - died 19th May 1968, age 84), of Coleman, Alberta, Canada. Epitaph: 'At Rest With Jesus'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Paradie Archive, National Archives Kew, Government of Canada.

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 16-03-2023

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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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