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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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No. 426 Squadron Crest
05.03.1945 No. 426 Squadron RCAF Halifax VII NP793 OW-H F/O. Humphrey Stanley Watts

Operation: Chemnitz, Germany

Date: March 5 1945 (Monday)

Unit: No. 426 Squadron RCAF - Motto: On Wings of Fire

Squadron Badge: A Thunderbird

Type: Handley Page Halifax VII

Serial: NP793

Code: OW-H

Base: RAF Linton on Ouse, North Riding of Yorkshire

Location: Crashed near Kirbymoorside, North Riding of Yorkshire

Pilot: F/O Humphrey Stanley Watts J37111 RCAF Age 28 - Killed (1)

Fl/Eng: P/O William Albert Togwell 195231 RAFVR Age 25 - Killed (2)

Nav: F/O Frank MacGregor Myers J39365 RCAF Age 20 - Killed (3)

Air/Bmr: P/O William Albert Way J94149 RCAF Age 20 - Killed (4)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O Benedict Joseph McCarthy J94463 RCAF Age 27 - Killed (5)

Air/Gnr: P/O Richard Alan Biggerstaff J95425 RCAF Age 19 - Killed (6)

Air/Gnr: P/O Maxwell Warren Coones J95426 RCAF Age 20 - Killed (7)

We appeal to anyone with further information and/or photographs to please contact us via our HELPDESK


Severe Airframe Icing. For further details see JB122 ADDENDUM: AIRFRAME ICING - Loss 2


1) F/O Humphrey Stanley Watts was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery - Sec. H Row P. Grave 16.

His epitaph reads:

He has come into

His heritage

Son of Herbert Stanley and Margaret Watts, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

F/O Watts was a chemist- BSc, MSc (McGill).

(2) P/O William Albert Togwell was buried at Derby (Nottingham Road) Cemetery - Sec. F. Grave 76127.

His epitaph reads:

He gave his life

That we might live,

For he too loved life

Son of Frederick William and Sarah Ann Togwell; husband of Florrie Togwell (nee Bettison).

(3) F/O Frank MacGregor Myers was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery - Sec. H. Row P. Grave 17.

His epitaph reads

His song is sung

He remains for ever young

Son of Frederick John and Jean Ferguson Myers, of Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada.

(4) P/O William Albert Way was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery - Sec. H. Row P. Grave 15.

No epitaph

(5) P/O Benedict Joseph McCarthy was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery - Sec. H. Row P. Grave 3.

His epitaph reads:

Son of Janet

And the late

William McCarthy.

May his soul rest in peace

Son of William and Janet McCarthy, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

(6) P/O Richard Alan Biggerstaff was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery - Sec. H. Row P. Grave 13.

His epitaph reads:

O send out

Thy light

And Thy truth:

Let them lead me

Psa. 43:3

Son of Richard William and Helen Amelia Biggerstaff, of Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.

(7) P/O Maxwell Warren Coones was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery - Sec. H. Row P. Grave 14.

His epitaph reads

He who dared

The trackless sky

Has found a faith

More strong and sure

Son of John Howard and Mary Christina Coones, of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.


Aircrew Remembered Archive Report: JB122 Addendum- Airframe Icing. Journey’s End, Kevin Wilson- Chapter Fourteen, A COLD AND SILENT KILLER pp. 266-292. Library and Archives Canada/ Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.

Photo Credits:

LAC/ Canada, WWII Service Files of War Dead, 1939-1947. A2. F/O Humphrey Watts - File 28906 Image 428. B2. F/O Frank Myers - File 28318 Image 351. C2. P/O Benedict McCarthy - File 28041 Image 163. D2. P/O Richard Biggerstaff- File 24854 Image 44. E2. P/O Maxwell Coones - File 25100 Image 215


John Naylor

Maureen Hicks

Pete Pearson

Reg Price DFC, 625 Squadron vet

Submission by John Proctor, Jack Albrecht and Nic Lewis.

JA 08-09-2019

Pages of Outstanding Interest
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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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