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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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434 Squadron Crest
14/15.10.1944 No 434 Squadron Halifax III MZ920 WL-C Fl/Lt. Donald Z.T. Wood

Operation: Duisberg, Germany

Date: 14/15th October 1944 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 434 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: MZ920 

Code: WL-C

Base: RAF Croft, Yorkshire

Location: Dunchurch

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Donald Zachary Taylor Wood C/1771 RCAF Age 26. Killed.

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Geofrey Davies Grant 2221017 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Nav: F/O. William Robert Ewing J/38699 RCAF Age 24. Killed (1)

Air/Bmr: F/O. W.R. Stirling RCAF Age ? Injured

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. O. Stamtis RCAF Survived

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Owen Parsons R/110593 RCAF Age 24. Killed (2)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Donald Mcleod William Ward J/92137 RCAF Age 21. Killed


Halifax MZ920 nicknamed 'C the Comet' took off from Croft but a serious engine fire broke out and the crew tried to divert to RAF Church Lawford.

Tragically, the blaze destroyed the main spar, resulting in most of one wing breaking off with the Halifax crashing in the parish of Dunchurch at 23:50 hours, just a mile South of of its intended destination. Two crew managed to bale out, but the remainder were killed in the crash.

(1) Ewing Lake in Manitoba is named after F/O. Ewing IN 1975.

(2) Parsons Island in Blackfish Lake in Manitoba is named after Sgt. Parsons in 1995

Bacon Cemetery, Chester, England.

Burial Details:

Fl/Lt. Donald Zachary Taylor Wood. Chester (Blacon) Cemetery. Sec. A.Grave 102. Son of Stuart Taylor Wood and Gertrude Maude Wood, husband of Marie Mignonne Helene Wood, of Ottawa, Ontario. Canada.

Right: Memorial to crew (courtesy Richard Flagg / Airfield Research Group)

Sgt. Geofrey Davies Grant. Mountain Ash (Maesyrarian) Cemetery. Grave 2036. Son of Isaac and Sarah Mary Grant, of Mountain Ash, Glamorganshire, Wales.

F/O. William Robert Ewing. Chester (Blacon) Cemetery. Sec. A. Grave 317. Son of Robert Stanley and Eva Gertrude Ewing, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, husband of Margaret Dorothy Ewing (née Shane), of Winnipeg, Canada.

Sgt. Owen Parsons. Chester (Blacon) Cemetery. Sec. A. Grave 195. Son of James John and Beatrice M. Parsons, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Sgt. Donald Mcleod William Ward. Chester (Blacon) Cemetery. Sec. A. Grave 403. Son of Wyley W. Ward and Helen Ward, of Verdun, Province of Quebec, Canada

Researched by Mike Harrison for Aircrew Remembered, dedicated to relatives / friends of the crew.

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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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