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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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12 OTU Crest
16.10.1944 No. 12 OTU Wellington X LN536 Sq/Ldr. Arthur L. Vipan

Operation: Training

Date: 16th October 1944

Unit: No. 12 OTU (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Wellington X

Serial: LN536

Code: -

Base: RAF Chipping Warden

Location: Lavendon, Warrington, Buckinghamshire.

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Arthur Lushington Vipan 39191 RAF Age 30 Killed (1)

Nav: Fl/Lt. Daniel John Falconer 77912 RAF Age 30. Killed (2)

Air/Bmr: Sgt. William Harold Chappell 1602941 RAFVR Age 22. Killed (3)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Victor Stephen Wright 1892957 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Peter Neville Hewitt 1812711 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Harold Desmond Hudson 1813316 RAFVR Age 20. Killed


Taking off at 19.15 hrs from RAF Chipping Warden on a night cross country exercise when after 3 and a half hours the aircraft caught fire in the air and crashed half mile from the village of Lavendon at 22.45 hrs.

The fire service from the village of Olney attended but were unable to get close enough due to exploding ammunition.

The pilot, Sq/Ldr Vipan was extremely experienced with over a thousand hours, although only 50 on the Wellington. All the crew were killed.

Right: Flying Officer A L Vipan 13th from the left. Standing in front of Fairey Battle aircraft with other Officers while serving with No 103 Squadron at Betheniville, Marne, France in 1939/1940. Left: Wellington X aircraft (both pictures courtesy of Imperial War Museum)

Graves of two of the crew (courtesy Mark Hudson for Chappell grave photo)

Sqr/Ldr A L Vipan headstone from Cambridge City Cemetery (courtesy of Len Scott) Left: Fl/Lt. D J Falconer is buried in Edinburgh (Liberton) Cemetery (courtesy Scottish War Graves Project)

Left: Fl/Lt. Daniel John Falconer

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. Arthur Lushington Vipan. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 15726. Son of Alfred Vipan and Eulalie May Vipan of London (1) Arthur was born on the 15th October 1914 in Madura, Tamil, Nadu, India and had worked for Post Office before enlisting. Arthur Lushington Vipan was granted a short service commission as Acting Pilot Officer on the 19th October 1936 and gained his "Wings" at No 9 FTS (Flying Training School) 29 April 1937. Posted to No. 103 Squadron on the 30th June 1937. Confirmed as Pilot Officer on August 24th, 1937. On the 25th May 1938 Arthur was granted the rank of Flying Officer and was promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant 24 May 1939. Promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader (Temp) 24 May 1939

F/O. A L Vipan had been involved in two previous flying accidents. The first was on the (6 August 1939) and again on the (27 September 1939) both while serving with No 103 Squadron

Fl/Lt. Daniel John Falconer. Edinburgh (Liberton) Cemetery. Sec.N. Grave 85. Son of Charles William Falconer, and of Jessie Falconer (nee Blackley), of Liberton, Edinburgh, Scotland. (2) Daniel was born 1914 in Edinburgh and had been a member of staff of Edinburgh Corporation Transport Department. Much of Daniel's training took place in Canada and he is remembered on the Edinburgh University Roll of Honour and on the memorial plaque in Liberton Kirk

Sgt. William Harold Chappell. Mangotsfield (Downend) Cemetery. Sec.A. Grave 606. Son of Harold and Edith Kate Chappell, of Staple Hill, Gloucestershire, England. (3) William is remembered on the Olney War Memorial, Buckinghamshire

Sgt. Victor Stephen Wright. Sutton-at-Hone Burial Ground. Grave 1084. Son of Sydney Gladstone Wright and Ethel Emma Wright, of Sutton-at-Hone, Kent, England.

Sgt. Peter Neville Hewitt. Eltham Cemetery, Woolwich. Sec.B. Grave 409. Son of Ernest E. Hinds Hewitt and Dorothy Cecil Hewitt, of Woolwich, England.

Sgt. Harold Desmond Hudson. Nuneaton (Oaston Road) Cemetery. Sec. Q. Grave 303. Son of Samuel and Ada Hudson, of Stockingford, Nuneaton, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Mark Hudson for grave photographs, Len Scott for the CWGC Headstone photograph Sqr/Ldr Vipan, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Beds Times and Standard. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Aircrew Remembered own Archives.

KT Page update 28.11.2015. Links added 18.12.2015

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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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