Date: 06th November 1943 (Saturday)
Unit: No. 1659 Heavy Conversion Unit
Type: Halifax II
Base: RAF Topcliffe, Yorkshire
Location: Cronk Moar Farm, Port St Mary, Isle of Man
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Clarence Alvin Turner R/134252 RCAF Age 20. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Percy Earl Krotz R/112534 RCAF Age 20. Killed
Nav: F/O. Stewart MacKenzie Flett J/22074 RCAF Age 27. Killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Ralph Franklin Mechin R/161462 RCAF Age 24. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Harold Joseph Ford 1031742 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alexander Basil McVean R/188529 RCAF Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Edward O'Grady R/188976 RCAF Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
W1251 had suffered damage on two previous occasions before its total loss.
On 11th September 1942, while in service with 158 squadron, it had been hit in the flight engineer's compartment by flak while over Dusseldorf. It returned to base at East Moor where it was repaired and returned to service. Three weeks later, on 6th October during landing at RAF Manston when returning from an operation to Aachen the undercarriage collapsed. The damage was repaired at the Handley Page works and the aircraft was reissued to 1659 HCU.
On the afternoon of Saturday 6th November 1943 the aircraft was seen over Port St. Mary, flying into cloud with the engines sounding rough and misfiring. A short time later it fell from the cloud, breaking up in the air and hitting the ground near Cronk Moar Farm. None of the crew survived.
A later enquiry reported that an engine fire had caused the breakup of a wing.
Turner Rapids in the North Knife River, Manitoba was named after Fl/Sgt. Clarence Alvin Turner in 1995.
Fl/Sgt. Clarence Alvin Turner. St Patrick's Churchyard, Jurby. Grave 372. The 6th child of 10 of George William and Eva Morrison (née Stewart) Turner, of Ridgeville, Manitoba, Canada.
Sgt. Percy Earl Krotz. St Patrick's Churchyard, Jurby. Grave 359. The son of Arthur Henry and Martha Elizabeth (née Thompson) Krotz, of Gowanstown, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "Asleep In Jesus. Blessed Sleep".
F/O. Stewart MacKenzie Flett. St Patrick's Churchyard, Jurby. Grave 360. The son of Thomas Robertson Flett and Annie (née Bassett) Flett, of Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "God Has You In His Keeping We Have You In Our Hearts".
Fl/Sgt. Ralph Franklin Mechin. St Patrick's Churchyard, Jurby. Grave 358. Born on the 03rd June 1919 at Oshawa, the son of Norman Franklin and Dora Mae (née Robinson) Mechin, of 16 Ritson Road South, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. His brother, Hugh also served a pilot in the RCAF. Grave inscription reads: "The Lord Is My Shepherd; I Shall Not Want".
Sgt. Harold Joseph Ford. Heywood Cemetery. Sec. J. C. of E. Grave 302. Son of Dennis and Alice Ford and husband of Beryl Ford, of Heywood, Lancashire, England.
Sgt. Alexander Basil McVean. St Patrick's Churchyard, Jurby. Grave 356. Son Of Alexander and Ellen Mary (née Ryan) McVean, of Arnprior, Ontario, Canada.
Sgt. John Edward O'Grady. St Patrick's Churchyard, Jurby. Grave 357. The son of The late John J. O'Grady and The late Margaret (née Currran) O'Grady of Berwick, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "RIP".
Researched by Mike McQuaid and HamishK for Aircrew Remembered November 2018 and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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