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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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RAF Crest
14.01.1945 11 OTU Wellington X LN403 OP-V Fl/Lt. Herbert Tricks DFM

Operation: Training

Date: 14th January 1945

Unit: No. 11 OTU (Operational Training Unit - 92 Group)

Type: Wellington X

Serial: LN403

Code: OP-V

Base: RAF Westcott, Buckinghamshire

Location: Wotton Underwood, Buckinghamshire

Pilot (Inst): Fl/Lt. Herbert Tricks DFM. 169063 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

Pilot 2: Fl/Sgt. Norman Steventon Shaw NZ/4213940 RNZAF Age 30. Killed

Nav/W/Op: Sgt. Leslie John Tarr 1605916 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Harold Arthur Purvey 1578843 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Bertram Leslie Ireland NZ/432207 RNZAF Age 33. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. James Hollingsworth 1132602 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Brown. RAFVR - No further details Survived, injured.

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Dickie. RAFVR - No further details Survived, injured.

The daughter of Fl/Sgt. Norman Steventon Shaw would very much like contact with other relatives - in particular the wife, Win and family of Fl/Sgt. Bertram Leslie Ireland who the family had been in contact with for a number of years but lost contact! Please contact us in the first instance.


Took off from RAF Westcott at 13:35 hrs. on a simple flying practice operation.

After carrying out 2 overshoots, made a third approach, executing 2 corkscrews to line up with runway No. 7.

The 2nd was to starboard, the Wellington continued to turn with the starboard wing well down the aircraft struck a row of trees, crashed and caught fire at 16:44 hrs near Wotton Underwood Railway Station, about 8 miles north north west of Aylesbury.

Amazing that the two air gunners escaped from the inferno with only slight injuries.

The pilot, Fl/Lt. Tricks gained his DFM. in the Middle East serving with 148 Squadron. In a statement regarding the accident Sgt. Dickie wrote that he was of the opinion that the controls had jammed.

(1) Fl/Sgt. Harold Arthur Purvey was a former pupil of Moseley Grammar school (Now secondary/grammar school) We are working very closely with the school's historians to remember all the ex pupils who died whilst serving with the RAF and recorded on the school memorial.

Note: RAF crew also shown on the memorial at the Leicester City Crematorium:

20 year old Observer, LAC. Thomas Douglas Siddons 581355 RAF - killed on the 24th November 1939 whilst training with 9 AOS - Fairey Battle I L5255 in collision with Fairey Battle I L5256 - all crews killed.

29 year old Fl/Lt. Reginald Herbert Patrick Thomas 100084 RAFVR - killed on the 18th October 1943 instructing on a Miles Magister R1844 with 7 FIS when the aircraft dived into the ground near Woodborough, Wiltshire.
His pupil, 22 year old, Jacobus Adriaan Johannes Baard 150369 RAFVR from Cape Town, South Africa was also killed Buried at Upavon Cemetery in Wiltshire.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Herbert Tricks DFM. Leicester City Crematorium. Panel 6. Son of John Lawrence and Gertrude Tricks, husband of Joan Monica Tricks, of Leicester, England.

Fl/Sgt. Norman Steventon Shaw. Oxford Cemetery (Botley). Plot H/3. Grave 162. Son of Alexander and Irene Syers Shaw, husband of Bernice Violet Shaw, of Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand. At the date of the loss he had 333 hrs flying logged, 27 of these solo on the Wellington. Buried on the 19th January 1945.

Sgt. Leslie John Tarr. Easton-In-Gordano Churchyard. Somerset, England. No further details as yet - are you able to assist?

Fl/Sgt. Harold Arthur Purvey. Birmingham Cemetery (Brandwood End). Sec. B.9. C of E. Grave 183. Son of Arthur James Purvey and Sophia Purvey, of Birmingham, husband of Cissie Purvey, of King's Heath, Birmingham, England.

Fl/Sgt. Bertram Leslie Ireland. Oxford Cemetery (Botley). Plot H/3. Grave 161. Son of William Ireland and of Bertha Ireland (née Rowe), husband of Winifred Ireland, of Birkenhead, Auckland, New Zealand. At the date of the loss he had 152 hrs flying logged. Buried on the 19th January 1945.

Fl/Sgt. James Hollingsworth. Stalybridge Churchyard (New St. George) North of Church tower, Range 4. Grave 7. Cheshire, England. No further details as yet - are you able to assist?

Researched for relatives of the crew. With thanks to Keith Townsend historian of Moseley Secondary/Grammar school memorial records, Doc Wilson for Leicester City Crematorium panel photo, other sources as quoted below. Also with thanks to the daughter of the 2nd pilot, Fl/Sgt. Norman Steventon Shaw Mrs Alison Kelso who supplied his photographs in April 2016.

KTY 16.04.2016 - Update further photographs added, courtesy daughter of second pilot, Alison Kelso (née Shaw).

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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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