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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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bomber command
23rd December 1941 21OTU Wellington IC DV422 Sq/Ldr. Williams DFC AFM

Operation: Training

Date: 23rd December 1941 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 21 Operational Training Unit. 6 Group

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: DV422

Code: -

Base: RAF Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire / RAF Edgefield, Oxfordshire

Location: Wild Spring Farm, Little Tew

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Reginald George Williams DFC AFM 43077 RAF Age 35. Killed

Pilot: P/O. Sidney Arnold Crump NZ/411978 RNZAF Age 26. Killed

Pilot: P/O. Ian Curtis Grant NZ/41898 RNZAF Age 24. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Reginald John Hopkins 111240 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Ronald Ivor Peach 645583 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Howard Gordon Kelly 1004519 RAFVR Age 20. Killed


Taking off from RAF Edgefield in Oxfordshire (satellite airfield of RAF Moreton-in-Marsh) on a training flight.

While demonstrating performance in the near stalled condition at 14:20 hrs the pilot, Sq/Ldr. Williams lost control the aircraft went into a spin and dived into the ground and caught fire.

Burial and personal details:

Sq/Ldr. Reginald George Williams DFC AFM. Moreton-in-Marsh Cemetery. Sec. K. Grave 18. No further details, are you able to assist?

P/O. Sidney Arnold Crump. Moreton-in-Marsh Cemetery. Sec. K. Grave 19. Born on the 24th November 1915 at Tauranga. Worked as a book keeper for Levin and Company at Fielding prior to service. After serving in the territorial army for a year enlisted in the RNZAF at Levin on the 23rd March 1941. Pilots bade awarded on the 11th August 1941 and received his commission on the 06th September 1941. Embarked for England on the 12th September 1941. Son of Harry and Lily Crump (nee Crosley), of Feilding, Wellington, New Zealand. A total of 138 flying hours logged.

P/O. Ian Curtis Grant. Moreton-in-Marsh Cemetery. Sec. K. Grave 6. Born on the 30th January 1917 at Inglewood. Before enlisting worked as a clerk for the Farmers Co-Op Society at New Plymouth. Enlisted at Levin on the 08th February 1941. Pilots badge awarded on the 26th July 1941 and his commission on the 06th September 1941. Embarked for England on the 12th September 1941. Son of Ian Percy and Myrtle Eileen Grant (nee Curtis), of Inglewood, Taranaki, New Zealand. A total of 140 flying hours logged.

P/O. Reginald John Hopkins. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 24. A. 11. Son of Walter and Christine Hopkins; husband of Barbara Dawn Hopkins, of Manor Park, Essex, England. Of South Africa. Grave inscription: 'Always In My Thoughts" Dawn "I Remember" Rest In God's Peace, My Reg. Mom'.

Fl/Sgt. Ronald Ivor Peach. Sheffield Cemetery (Shiregreen). Sec. A. (Gen.). Grave 233. Son of Joseph Robert and Nancie Peach of Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.

Sgt. Howard Gordon Kelly. Maltby Cemetery. Sec. B. Row 9. Grave 1. Son of Fred and Maud E. Kelly, of Maltby, Yorkshire, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 10-04-2021

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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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