19.10.1945 No.435 Sqn. Dakota III KG439 F/O F.H. Seaman
Mission: Non Operational Transportation
Date: 19 October 1945 (Friday)
Unit: No. 435 RCAF Transport Squadron
Type: Douglas C47 Dakota III
Base: RAF Croydon, Surrey.
Location: 195 Mitchley Avenue, Sanderstead, South Croydon, Surrey
Pilot: F/O Frank Harry Seaman J/25101 RCAF Age 30 Killed
2nd. Pilot: F/O Gordon Angus McIntyre J/45877 RCAF Age 25 Killed
Nav: F/O Earl Joseph Shaw J/23928 RCAF Age 33 Killed
W.Op/AG: F/Sgt. A.E. MacKenzie R/252040 RCAF Injured
LAC C.R. McDougall R/263772 RCAF Injured
LAC C.C. Menard R/187964 RCAF Injured
Sgt. F. Moore 641493 RAF Age 29 Injured but died the following day in hospital.
REASON FOR LOSS
Captain Seaman and crew took off from RAF Croydon at 16:58 hours ferrying KG439 to RAF Down Ampney, Gloucestershire. Almost immediately while still climbing out over the town of Croydon, a puff of smoke was observed folowed by the failure of the port engine. Unable to maintain altitude the Dakota crashed nose first into the front garden of a house on Mitchley Avenue. Fortunately no fire ensued and four of the occupants of the aircraft although injured were able to be recovered from the damaged fuselage. Sgt. Moore however, died the following day in hospital. No residents of the house or others on the ground were killed or injured.
A later Court of Inquiry determined that the probable cause was the crew's improper positioning of the fuel selector valve whereby the engines were drawing fuel from empty tanks instead of other tanks which had been properly fueled prior to their departure.
F/O Seaman enlisted in the RCAF at Brandon, Manitoba in 1941 at the age of 26. Born and raised in British Columbia Frank was working for
the Bank of Nova Scotia at that time having previously served for a three year term in the army with the Seaforth Highlanders. Initially posted to No.33 Service Flying Training School, Carberry, Manitoba, Frank completed his initial training at No.2 Training School at Regina on 7 June 1941. He was then posted to No.18 Elementary Flying Training School at Boundary Bay, British Columbia until 26 July when he was posted to No.15 Service Flying Training School, Claresholm, Alberta where he would be awarded his Pilots Flying Badge on the 7 October 1941. Seaman would spend the next two months at No.31 General Reconnaissance School, Charlottetown, PEI before joining No.32 and then No.13 Operational Training Units in preparation to being posted to Eastern Air Command in July 1942 and finally to No.5 Squadron in August that same year. Tasked with flying anti submarine patrols over the Atlantic from RCAF Dartmouth, Nova Scotia using Supermarine Stranraer flying boats and Cosolidated Canso flying boats out of Gander and Torbay, Newfoundland tested his piloting skills and after being involved in two crashes of PBY Canso's it was recommended that he be transfered to another squadron flying other aircraft types. During his time with No.5 Squadron he became a commissioned officer on 6 December 1942 and in May of the following year married his wife the former Helen Louise Nowlan. On 1 June 1943 he was posted to Air Force Headquarters, Ottawa and placed on the Special Duties list until 13 July when he was posted to No.124 Ferry Squadron Rockcliffe, ferrying aircraft from one training school or air base to another. From there he was posted to No.164 Transport Squadron at Moncton, New Brunswick on 19 October 1943. In January 1944 he was recommended for appointment to the rank of Temporary Flying Officer which became acting on 17 March. Posted to No.1 Photograph Reconnaissance Flight, Rockcliffe 17 May 1944. In October his report reads:
TO SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, OTTAWA Please convey message to F/O Seaman, for successful completion of difficult journey. (The Acting Canadian Consul, Godthaarb, Greenland).
At the end of January 1945, Frank was posted to No.6 Operational Training Unit at Comox, British Columbia for training on Beechcraft Expeditor and Dakota transport types in preparation for his overseas duty. On successful completion of the course he was posted to "Y" Depot, Halifax landing in the UK on 28 May 1945 to join up with 435 Squadron.
F/O Frank Harry Seaman, Brookwood Military Cemetery Plot 61, Grave E4. Son of Harry Chipman and Ruby Maud (nee McArthur) Seaman; husband of Helen Louise Nowlan of vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
F/O McIntyre came from a family of four brothers, two of which, Donald and John, were also enlisted in the RCAF and a sister.
After leaving school Gordon worked on the family farm as well as others in the area. Upon enlisting in November 1941 desiring to be trained as a pilot, he was posted to No. 7 Initial Training School at Saskatoon from No.2 Manning Depot, Brandon in January, 1942. That August he began his pilots training at No.6 Elementary Flying Training School at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and from there to No. 4 Service Flying Training School, Saskatoon. His success here earned him his pilots badge along with a recommendation to be trained as a Flying Instructor and consequently he reported to No.3 Flying Instructor School at Arnprior, Ontario in February 1943. McIntyre passed his instructors course on 2 April 1943 with the comment "this candidate possesses considerable natural flying ability." His next posting was to No.23 Elementary Flying Training School at Davidson, Saskatchewan instructing potential new pilots from April 1943 until October 1944 during which time in March he was appointed a commission. From October 1944 Gordon was posted to various flying and bombing and gunnery schools until January 1945 when he was posted to No. 6 Operational Training Unit at RCAF Station Comox, British Columbia. After the completion of his duty there he was posted to 'Y' Depot Halifax embarking for the UK on 27 May 1945. Arriving at No.3 PRC Bournemouth on 12 June where he stayed until being posted to No.17 Air Crew Holding Unit at RAF Snaith on 1 August. From there he was attached to RAF Down Ampney arriving at 435 Squadron Croydon on 18 September 1945 where exactly one month later he would lose his life.
F/O Gordon Angus McIntyre, Brookwood Military Cemetery Plot 61, Grave E3. Son of Robert H. and Louise (nee Obelman) McIntyre of Marriott, Saskatchewan, Canada.
McIntyre Lake in Saskatchewan was named after F/O McIntyre in 2003
F/O Shaw was the eldest of eight children born to Frank and Marion Shaw. Earl worked for his father as a mechanic until 1940 when he moved east to Ontario and took up a position as an aircraft fitter at Fleet Aircraft Ltd., at Fort Erie. After two years there he enlisted at Hamilton for aircrew duties. From the Manning Depot in Toronto on 26 October 1942, he was posted to No.6 Initial Training School Course No.65 to train as a navigator which he completed that December finishing eighth out of a class of 122. The remarks on his report read:
"Intelligent and ambitious, this airman plans well ahead in all his work".
Shaw's next posting was to No.4 Air Observers School at London, Ontario on 24 January 1943 where he gained his navigators badge and commissioned with the rank of Pilot Officer on 11 June 1943. Spending a month at Central navigation School he was assigned to No.1 Air Observers School at Malton as an Instructor on 24 July 1943. After gaining promotion to Flying Officer on 11 December 1943, he was posted to Central Navigation School at Rivers, Manitoba enrolling in Course No. 3 for Staff Navigators on 13 May until 4 August 1944. His report on passing stated:
"conscientious and hardworking, a competent instructor".
Now as a staff navigator, he was posted to the Manning Depot at Lachine, Quebec and from there to No.6 Operational Training Unit at Comox, British Columbia until 27 May 1945 when he embarked at Halifax for duty overseas. Disembarking on 12 June, he was stationed to No.3 PRC Bournemouth before arriving at RAF Snaith Aircrew Holding Unit that August being attached to RAF Down Ampney on the 26 August until 9 October 1945 when he joined 435 Squadron at Croydon.
F/O Earl Joseph Shaw, Brookwood Military Cemetery Plot 61, Grave E2. Son of Francis Wilfred and Marion Monica (nee Coffee) Shaw of Vulcan, Alberta, Canada; husband of Garnette June Sims (nee Letourneau) Shaw of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
F/Sgt A.E. McKenzie. No further information available.
LAC C.R. McDougall. No further information available.
LAC C.C. Menard. No further information available.
Sgt. Frank Edward Moore 641493 RAF. Edmonton Cemetery, Middlesex, Section W, Grave 55. Son of Francis Charles and Amelia Florence Amy Moore, of Edmonton; husband of Vera Emily Moore of Lower Edmonton, Middlesex.
Researched and compiled by Colin Bamford for Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the families of the passengers and crew of Dakota KG439.
Crew members and grave headstone photographs courtesy of and copied from Veterans Affairs Canada website. Author unknown.