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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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Coastal Command Crest
27.02.1943 7 OTU Wellington VIII HX779 Flt Sgt. Donald F. Sutterby

Operation: Night Flare dropping exercise

Date: 27th February 1943 (Saturday)

Unit No: 7 Operational Training Unit (OTU), Coastal Command, 17 Group

Type: Wellington VIII

Serial: HX779

Code: Not known

Base: RAF Limavady, Northern Ireland

Location: Balnakill Hill, Loch Ciaran, Kintyre, Scotland

Pilot: Flt Sgt. Donald Frank Sutterby R97324 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Pilot: WO2. John Noble Mitton R84834 RCAF Age 26. Killed

Observer: Sgt. William Evans Davies NZ414598 RNZAF Age 21. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Herbert Gordon Brooks 1023964 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. James Michael Wilson 1367522 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

Above left: Flt Sgt. Sutterby from his service file and right: Sgt. Davies


The aircraft veered some 60 miles off course and during poor weather conditions struck the hill leading down to Loch Ciaran at 01:35 hrs.

Some reports state that the aircraft had been in trouble and that the pilot reported that he was attempting a force landing on the Loch which they had thought was open country. We are unable to confirm this.

Burial Details:

Flt Sgt. Donald Frank Sutterby. Cambletown Cemetery (Kilkerran) Argyllshire, Scotland. Division 4. Grave 605. Inscription: "BEHOLD I AM WITH THEE AND WILL KEEP THEE IN ALL PLACES WHITHER THOU GOEST". Born on the 11th July 1920 in Toronto, Ontario. Son of Walter Everett and Beatrice Alice (née Gosling) Sutterby of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

WO2 John Noble Mitton. Cambletown Cemetery (Kilkerran) Argyllshire, Scotland. Division 4. Grave 607. Born on the 14th May 1917 in Moncton, New Brunswick. Son of Arthur W. and Jessie Violet (née Horseman) Mitton of Hillsborough, New Brunswick, Canada. Husband of Ada Clarabel Duffy of Dawson Settlement, Albert County, New Brunswick, Canada (Married on the 13th September 1941 at Hillsboro, Albert County, New Brunswick, Canada).

Sgt. William Evans Davies. Cambletown Cemetery (Kilkerran) Argyllshire, Scotland. Division 4. Grave 604. Son of Samuel Evans Davies and Margaret Naismith Davies, of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. Had a total of 216 hours flying time logged.

Sgt. Herbert Gordon Brooks. Cambletown Cemetery (Kilkerran) Argyllshire, Scotland. Division 4. Grave 606. Inscription: 'OUR MEMORIES, A SACRED TREASURE'. Son of Thomas and Helen Mary Brooks, of Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

Sgt. James Michael Wilson. Edinburgh Crematorium (Warriston), Scotland. Panel 4. Born on the 20th August 1917 in Edinburgh. Son of James Michael Wilson Snr. and Isabella Brebner who married in Edinburgh on 18 February 1898. Husband to May McLean Willison, daughter of James Michael Willison and Isabella McLean, both of Edinburgh, on 28 April 1939 at Nicholson Street Church of Scotland church (now “Southside Community Centre”) on Nicholson Street, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Researched for Arthur Mitton by Kelvin Youngs (Webmaster), nephew of WO2. John N. Mitton. Also to Errol W. Martyn for details on Sgt. Davies. Dr. Steve Bolton for his assistance on details for WO2. Mitton. (Aug 1016). Cutting added for Flt Sgt. Sutterby by Roy Wilcox (Mar 2017). Thanks to Andrew McLean for the Next of Kin details for Sgt. James Michael Wilson (Oct 2023).

Other sources listed below:

RS 04.10.2023 - Updated with Next of Kin Details for Sgt. Wilson

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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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