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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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27th May 1942 81 Squadron Spitfire Vb BM467 P/O. Woodhead

Operation: Training

Date: 27th May 1942 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 81 Squadron (motto: Non Solum Nobis - 'Not for us alone'). 11 Group

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: BM467

Code: FL-?

Base: RAF Hornchurch, Essex

Location: East Woods Rise

Pilot: P/O. Robert Martin Woodhead J/8156 RCAF Age 21. Killed


Weather conditions: Low cloud, rain and gusts.

Taking off at 11:00 hrs on a a cine gun practice exercise BM467 collided with Spitfire Vb BM518 flown by 29 year old, Sgt. Tadeusz Bubes.

P/O. Woodhead was killed when his Spitfire crashed at location shown at 11:40 hrs.

Incredibly Sgt. Bubes managed to return to Hornchurch 10 minutes later despite the almost complete loss of aileron control.

Tadeusz Bubes 793841 PAF - born 10th October 1913 at Lwów in Poland. (now Ukraine) Escaped via Romania to France, later to England. After training joined 306 squadron in January 1941. Joined 81 squadron on the 29th March 1942. Posted to 316 squadron on the 07th July 1942 then to 182 squadron on the 28th September 1942. Survived the war and settled in England. Already a British citizen he changed his name by deed poll to Edward Tadeusz Bubess on the 09th January 1959. Lived at Frearson House, 134 Chewton Street, New Eastwood, Nottingham. Died on the 09th May 1988 age 75, buried at Newark-on-Trent.

Burial details:

P/O. Robert Martin Woodhead. Warmfield Churchyard Extension (St. Peter) (left). Row U. Grave 11. Born on the 31st January 1921 at Wapella, Canada. Prior to enlisting on the 15th January 1940 at Wapella he worked at Bragg stores as a clerk. Son of William Martin Woodhead (died 1960, age 68) and Clara Annie Woodhead (née Teal - died in 1962, age 93), of Kirkthorpe, Wakefield, West Yorkshire. Grave inscription: 'Beloved Son Of William M And Clara A. Woodhead. Formerly Of This Parish'.

Woodhead Lake, in Saskatchewan, Canada was named after P/O. Woodhead


Paradie Canadian Archive
Allied Losses & Incidents Database
Archiwum: Polish Air Force Database

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to sources as quoted below:

KTY 05-11-2021

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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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