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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 Crest
13.06.1944 No. 28 OTU Wellington X LP397 F/O. Joseph Starr

Operation: Training

Date: 13th June 1944

Unit: No. 28 OTU (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Wellington X

Serial: LP397

Code: Not known

Base: RAF Castle Donington, Derbyshire

Location: Mayfield, Staffordshire

Pilot: F/O. Joseph Starr 53473 RAF Age 29. Killed

Nav: F/O. George David Wills Buchanan J/39007 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. William Corley Davis R/193967 RCAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William George Paterson 1024471 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Richard John Taylor R/203228 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Joseph Urban Stevens R/206869 RCAF Age 19. Killed


Taking off at 14:47 hrs on a cross country exercise. The aircraft emerged from cloud cover whilst in a steep dive. Crashed at Mayfield near the Parish Church with all the crew killed.

Subsequent investigations could find no evidence of structural failure although it is thought that the aircraft may have been struck by lightning.

In May 2011 the Mayfield Heritage Group unveiled a memorial in the churchyard of Mayfield parish church.

19 year old Sgt. John Frederick Potts 1867154 RAFVR is also shown in some publications to be on this flight - however although he was killed on the same day he was on an Anson EG472.

Burial details:

F/O. Joseph Starr. Nottingham Jewish Cemetery (Wilford Hill) Grave 59. Son of Max and Bertha Starr, of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, husband of Irene Ellen Starr.

F/O. George David Wills Buchanan. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 49.J.4. Son of William and Sarah (née Mills) Buchanan of Dundee, Scotland and London, England respectively. He was born in Toronto on the 19th June 1924. "Dave" had three brothers (two serving overseas) and three sisters. At the time of enlistment he was working as a chemist for Consumer's Gas Co. in Toronto. The Recruiting Officer's assessment stated "Nice type of lad, frank and sincere, tall husky build, pleasant appearance and manner, neat and clean, composed and sufficiently assured. Keen to fly. Should absorb instruction easily. Has interrupted schooling to join. Very desirable material.

Sgt. William Corley Davis. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 49.J.5. Born in Toronto on the 19th September 1922, the son of James Corley Davis, a purchasing agent and Gertrude Helen (née Lunan) Davis. An older brother, Gordon Lunan Davis, served with the Canadian Army overseas, surviving the war.

Sgt. William George Paterson. Torryburn Cemetery. Sec. L. Grave 29. Son of Alexander and Violet Beatrice Dudley Paterson, of Torryburn, husband of Isabella Bryce Paterson, of Torryburn.

Sgt. Richard John Taylor. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 49.J.1. Born on the 19th April, 1923 in Toronto. His father, Richard, a government clerk, passed away on the 28th August 1940, leaving his mother Lucy to raise him, his two brothers and two sisters. At the time he was killed, his older brother Herbert was stationed in Italy with the Canadian army.

Sgt. James Joseph Urban Stevens. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 49.J.2. Born on the 1st September 1924, the oldest child of Urban Joseph and Dorothy Emmis (née Hummell) Stevens. He had one younger brother, Bernard Joseph Stevens and two younger sisters, Margaret and Mary. Office Clerk with Dominion Textile before enlisting at Quebec City on the 2nd January 1943.

Page researched for the son of the pilot, Richard Starr. Dedicated to all the relatives of this crew. With thanks to David Champion for detailed crew information and photographs. For further details our thanks to the following sources shown below. Also to Irish, Charlie, Finches from Find A Grave for grave photographs.

KTY 01.06.2016 - Further details and photographs added 12.10.2016.

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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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