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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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Parish Records




War Memorials






The accident reports quoted below have come from a number of different sources - some personal, some official. Our thanks to all those who have provided this information and especially to Alan Storr  who has spent so much time recording information in Australia, relating not only to Australians but to all Commonwealth air crew.


Chivenor was a Training base for Officer and Warrant officer air crew. Sadly, after the Battle of Britain these young men were so badly needed in the front line that their period of training was brief. Planes and lives were lost as the RAF tried to keep up with the demand for more pilots and more air crew in the early 1940s.



1220625 Sgt. (Pilot) George Alexander Blackwood of the RAF VR Reserve. Son of Alexander and Catherine Blackwood of Ayr. Born in 1911. Died 7 February 1942 aged 32.


"Sergt. G. A. Blackwood was flying a Beaufort I - L9935 5(C) OTU on a night navigation exercise over the sea and became airborne at 20.32. Sadly, he lost control after take-off and stalled the engine,while carrying out a turn to port. The under carriage retracted while the flaps were in the process of coming up. The wreckage was found February 1942. The crew were:

Sgt. Victor Meldrum

Sgt. N. Battram

Sgt. Clarence C. McLennan (see Australian casualty listing)"


111271 Pilot officer Hugh Adam Campbell Cameron-Rose of the RAF VR, 235 Squadron. Son of David George and Mary Henrietta Cameron-Rose; husband of Stella Cameron - Rose of Rhos-on-Sea, Denbighshire. Born in 1909. Died 8 October 1942 aged 33. 

"PO Cameron-Rose took off for RAF St. Eval on a mission to search for a missing aircraft. His plane developed engine trouble when a crank sleeve sheered off . Attempting a forced landing, his plane hit a boulder at Trythall School, New Mill, Madron, Cornwall at 16.00 hours. The deaths of the crew were registered  in Penzance. The crew were:


PO H. A. C. Cameron-Rose of 235 Squadron

Flying officer E. V. Chandler (see below)

E. D. Neal

S. Whitfield

111271 Flying Officer (Pilot) Ewart Vincent Chandler of the RAF, 235 Squadron. Son of Leslie and Marjorie Chandler; husband of Peggy Elizabeth Chandler of Pulborough, Sussex. Born in 1912. Died 8 October 1942 aged 30 while part of the crew of the plane being flown by PO Cameron-Rose (see above for the accident report)


Flying Officer Ewart Chandler Flying officer Miroslav Cigler  
Flying Officer Ewart Chandler
Flying Officer Miroslav Cigler



82591 Flight Lieutenant (Navigator) Miroslav Cigler of the RAF VR, 311 (Czech) Squadron, Born 12  October 1913. Died 15 July 1942 aged 28. He is also commemorated on the Memorial to Fallen Airmen in prague.

He and Vilem Orlik (see below) were thought ot have lost their lives over the Bay of Biscay and it was believed that they had been shot down. Both men were flying in a Wellington Z1155 Panasonic KX-F. Neither man was the pilot and a month after this incident, the bodies of four men were washed up at Braunton - a long way from the bay of Biscay but adjacent to Chivenor. Subsequent inquiry decided that the plane may have developed a mechanical fault and failed to land.

1817720 Sergt (W.Op/Air Gunner) Donald Arthur Cox of the RAF VR, 36 Squadron. Son of Joseph and Alice Cox of Wednesfield, Wolverhampton. Born in 1924. Died 26 December 1944 aged 20.
952491 Sergeant (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) of the RAF VR 172 Squadron. Son of Charles and Margaret Daniel. Born in 1916. Died 13 April 1942 aged 26. 
47284 Pilot Officer Arthur Leo Edwards of the RAF VR. Son of Alfred and Hilda Edwards; husband of Barbara Edwards of Eastbourne. Born in 1914. Died 16 December 1941 aged 27.

1314970 Sergt. (W.Op/Air Gunner) Kenneth Harry Francis of the RAF VR 172 Squadron. Son of Arthur and Lily Francis of Yeovil, Somerset. Born in Exeter in 1923. Died 13 August 1943 aged 21.

See entry for W F O Sayle (below)

1808285 Pilot II Anthony Charles Green of the RAF VR, 691 Squadron. Son of George L. Green and Emmeline A. Green, of Woodford Green, Essex. Born in 1925. Died 3 January 1947 aged 22. His death was registered in Totnes in the March Quarter of 1947.
968451 Warrant Officer (Air Gunner)  John Nelson Hansen of the RAF VR. Son of  John H. Hansen and Helma Hansen, of Kenora, Ontario, Canada. Born  in 1913. Died 11 June 1943 aged  30.
1382529 Sergt. Sydney Charles Hasler of the RAF VR, 172 Squadron.. Son of John and Alice Hasler. Born in 1911. Died 13 August 1943 aged 32.
39791 Squadron Leader (Pilot) Ian Sutherland Jameson of the RAF, 254 Squadron. Son of Philip and Ella Jameson; nephew of Mary Paterson of Edinburgh. Born in Scotland in 1914. Died 4 May 1942 aged 28.


Squadron Leader Ian Jameson Wing Commander James Kendrick
Squadron Leader Ian Jameson
Wing Commander James Kendrick



37721 Wing Commander James Seaton Kendrick of the RAF, 612 Squadron. Son of James and Jessie Kendrick; husband of Margaret Kendrick of Wraysbury, Bucks. Born in 1912. Died 5 June 1943 aged 31.

“The aircraft was seen on the downwind leg of the circuit with its wheels down; the nose of the aircraft went down, the wheels were retracted, and the aircraft continued in a downward spiral to port . The port wing hit a tree and then passed over a small ship about 60 feet high, and crashed on sands on the estuary of the River Taw about 60 yards from the ship, and caught fire on impact.. The aircraft broke up at the ASV station and one member of the crew was thrown clear, while another extricated himself when under water. The survivors had no knowledge that anything was wrong with the aircraft, but another Pilot saw some puffs of smoke from the port engine some minutes before.”

In his remarks on the accident the Group Captain at RAF Chivenor said : “The accident appears to have been primarily caused by the failure of the engine of the aircraft." Two men survived the accident - Flight Lieut. Neale and Sergeant Trethewy.


RAF Wg Cdr Kendrick, J S (1st Pilot) Killed

RAAF 405519 Flt Sgt G E Garrett, (2nd Pilot) Killed

RAF FO Millington, P (Pilot) Killed

RCAF WO2 D Turnbull,(Navigator Bomb Aimer) Killed

RAF Fl Lt Neale, R (Wireless Air Gunner) Seriously Injured

RAF Sgt H B Trethewey, (Wireless Air Gunner) Seriously Injured

F.C.le BON
Pilot Officer Frederick Charles le Bon of the RAF, 612 Squadron. Son of Frederick and Ada le Bon of Great Barr, Birmingham. Born in 1916. Died 13 April 1942 aged 26.
904436 Sergeant (Pilot) Edward Hayman Morrison of the RAF VR 35 Squadron. Son of Abel and Dora Morrison of Johannesburg, SA.  Died 29 April 1941.
33573 Pilot Officer (Pilot) Herbert Mundy RAF.  Died 24 February 1941.

341129 Wing Commander (Pilot) Rowland Gascoigne Musson of the RAF, 172 Squadron. Son of Alfred and Alice Maude Musson. Born 7 February 1912. Died 24 August 1943 aged 31. Educated at Tonbridge School.. English cricketer whose biography appears in Wisden's Cricketer's Almanac of 1944.  He was Commanding Officer of RAF Chivenor for a time.

117021 Pilot Officer (Observer) Leslie Noble of the RAF VR, 172 Squadron. Son of Charles and Jane Noble; husband of Marion Winifred Noble of Shortlands, Kent. Born in 1912. Died 13 April 1942 aged 30.

787081 Sergeant Frantisek Novak, was considered the best Czechoslovak aerobatic pilot of all time. At the outbreak of War in 1939, he escaped to Poland and from there, managed to get to England where he joined the RAF VR, serving as a pilot Instructor in 311 (Czech) Squadron. He was born in Prague in  1914. Died 15 July 1942 aged 28.

"Flying in Vickers Wellington VIII HX396 WN-J of 172 Squadron from RAF Chivenor, the plane crash landed at RAF Portreath after sustaining damage in combat with an Arado Ar196 while on anti-submarine patrol. "


787088 Sergeant Vilem Orlik (Air Gunner) of the RAF VR, 311 (Czech) Squadron. Born in 20 September 1916. Died 15 July 1942 aged 25.

Believed to have been in the same Wellington bomber as Miroslav Cigler (above) which was thought to have come down over the Bay of Biscay. His body was  washed up at Braunton one month later.


Sergeant Vilem Orlik Sergeant Rudolf Pancir
Sergeant Vilem Orlik
Sergeant Rudolf Pancir



787612 Sergeant Rudolf Pancir of the RAF VR, 311 (Czech) Squadron. Died 15 July 1942 aged 27.

"Crew member of Vickers Wellington VIII HX396 WN-J of 172 Squadron, RAF Chivenor. The plane crashed at RAF Portreath (Cornwall) after being damaged by an ARADO A/r 196 while on anti-submarine patrol. "This was the same accident that killed Frantisek Novak (see above).

60773 Flying Officer (Observer) Harry Cuthbert Pearce of the RAF VR, 502 Squadron. Son of Cuthbert and Florence kate Pearce of Chelsworthy, Suffolk.  In civilian life he was a solicitor. Died 25 April 1942 aged 25.  Mentioned in despatches

"While a crew member on Whitley Z6733, the starboard engine cut out at 05:19 hrs and the aircraft was ditched in position 49 48N 005 40W while on a search for Whitley Z6552, 502/Z. The Court of Inquiry suggested that the cause of the engine failure was the probable blocking of the oil cooler by wood chippings from the camouflaged runways. "

The crew were all killed:

Sgt Fogarty rests in Birkdale Roman Catholic Cemetery, Southport, Lancashire, P/O Brown in Cathcart Cemetery, Renfrewshire and F/O Pearce in St. Augustine Churchyard, Heaton Punchardon, Devon. Sgt Goodman, from Bracebridge, Ontario, Sgt Freeman and P/O Densem, a New Zealander from Deborah Bay, Port Chalmers, Otago are all comemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


918435 Flight Sergeant Douglas William Pike of the RAF (Pilot) Son of Albert Harold and Frances Pike of Goole, Yorks. Died 14 January 1942 aged 24.

"The aircraft on which Flight Sergeant Pike was acting as Air Gunner  - Beaufort I - N1025 - 5 OTU - flew into the ground 3 miles E of Braunton, Devon. The plane was already damaged before this event. All four crew members were killed" (see also Sergeant Smith below)


Sgt [Obs] H.N.Smith- 1052893  (See below)

572537 Pilot II Mervyn Frederick Rees of the RAF 691 Squadron. Son of Granville and Elsie Rees of Ebbw Vale, Mons; husband of Jane Marie Rees. Died 29 May 1947 aged 26.

1073271 Sergeant Edward Robinson of the RAF VR (Wireless operator/ Air Gunner) . Son of Wilson and Ethel Robinson of Fence Houses, County Durham. Died 28 December 1941 aged 20.

At 1530hrs Bristol Beaufort I N1086 of 5 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit, from Chivenor, Devon. returning from a training sortie with the port engine stopped. The plane crashed at South Coombe Farm, Stokeclimsland, 1 mile West of Stokeclimsland Police House. The aircraft was completely burnt out and all four occupants were killed.



P/O Philip Hastings Isted 89823, Pilot; Sgt G G Sinclair, (see below) Observer; Sgt F C Baker, WOp/AG were all killed. Sergent E Robinson (W.Op/Air Gunner)


918435 Donald Weston Rose of the RAF VR (Pilot). Son of Percival and May Rose of Alverstoke, Hants. Died 15 May 1941 aged 22. Very little information about this crash is available - at the time, this flight was considered top secret as  it onvolved carrying a number of VIP passengers to a destination outside Europe. The proposed destination for the first leg of the journey from London was Portreath, Cornwall.

"Weather was bad in Portreath and this was communicated to the 10th squadron at Hendon. It was decided to go instead to RAF Chivenor where the weather was also poor, but manageable. The Hudson IIIA aircraft embarked and was seen approaching for a landing on the East/West runway at Chivenor, when the aircraft stalled and crashed, killing all on board, including Major General Harry Salmon."

In 1943, Canadian Major General Harry Leonard Nowell Salmon MC and bar, was appointed to head the Canadian involvement in the Sicily landings which would be the beginning of the end of the war. On April 29, 1943, Salmon, along with other important potential participants in the military planning process embarked for a key planning meeting in Cairo. Their aircraft was scheduled to embark from Hendon in north London, land in Portreath and from there make their way around occupied Europe to attend the meeting.
1027426 Corporal Alexander Profit Rutherford of the RAF VR. Died 23 February 1942.

112349 Sergeant William Frederick Owen Sayle (W.Op/Air Gunner) of the RAF VR, attached to 172 Squadron. Born in Birkenhead in 1915. Died 13 August 1943.

"Wellington MP630 took off on the night of 12/13th August 1943 detailed to carry out a night anti submarine patrol. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off ."

The aircraft flew over the drome and asked for permission to land. The Air Field Controller gave the green and switched on the chance light. The aircraft answered by switching the  downward recognition light on and commenced a circuit prior to approaching to land. The aircraft disappeared over the brow of the nearest hill and almost immediately a violent crash and explosion followed. No U-boats had been found so a full load of depth charges was still on board. These were detonated, killing all of the crew. All the drome lighting was on but the weather was deteriorating at the time and may have been a factor."

Crew :
RAF Sgt E R H Widdows, Captain (Pilot)
RF Sgt J S Lockwood, (2nd Pilot)
RAAF 414601 Flt Sgt R G Salter, (Observer)
RAF Sgt KL H Francis, (Wireless Air Gunner) (See above)
RAF Sgt W F O Sayle, (Wireless Air Gunner)
RAF Sgt G C Hasler,(Wireless Air Gunner)


931093 Sergeant Observer George Gordon Sinclair of the RAF VR  Son of George Gordon and Margaret Sinclair; husband of Olga Sinclair of Moortown, Yorks.  Died 28 December 1941 aged 24.

"At 1530hrs Bristol Beaufort I N1086 of 5 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit, from Chivenor, Devon. wasreturning from a training sortie with the port engine stopped. It crashed at South Coombe Farm, Stokeclimsland, 1 mile West of Stokeclimsland Police House. The aircraft was completely burnt out and the four occupants P/O Philip Hastings Isted 89823, Pilot; Sgt G G Sinclair, Observer; Sgt E Robinson, WOp/AG and Sgt F C Baker, WOp/AG were all killed.(See sergeant Robinson above)


Sergeant Gordon Sinclair Sergeant Harry Smith
Sergeant Godon Sinclair
Sergeant Harry Smith



1052893 Sergeant (Observer) Harry Noel Smith of the RAF VR. Son of Henry Edward and Agnes Elizabeth Smith, of Edinburgh. He had a B.A.(Oxon.) and studied at Worcester College. Died 14 January 1942. aged 30.

"Beaufort 1 N1025 5- OTU crashed about 3 miles east of Braunton, North Devon while taking off for a Naval excersise at 00:45 hrs. It was thought that the pilot leaned forward to set the course on the compass and allowed the aircraft to go into a shallow dive.  The plane actually flew into the ground. All 4 onboard were killed."


Sergeant (Observer) H. N. Smith

Flight Sergeant Douglas W. Pike ( Air Gunner) (See above)

No trace of the pilot's name has yet  been found or that of the 4th man.


81647 Flying Officer Robert Frank Spencer-Schrader (Pilot instructor) of the RAF VR . Son of Eric and Emily Ruth Spencer-Schrader of Newdigate, Surrey. Died 6 February 1942 aged 23.

"On 6 February 1942, FO Spencer-Schrader, FSgt Heavisides and PO Reffell prepared for dual night flying training in Bristol Beaufort Mk I, registration L4499. Their flight took off from RAF Chivenor at 06:05 when the aircraft suffered an port engine failure in the initial climb out. This was a common occurrence on the Beaufort, which then crashed on in front of a house called 'Sundown' in Down Lane Braunton. There were no survivors and sadly one civilian was also killed on the ground at a local house called "Sundown".

"Miss Esther Cantor from Braunton was a spinster aged 54 and ironically had been evacuated from Ramsgate in June 1940. Esther died the following morning, from injuries sustained in the fire which followed the crash, in the North Devon Infirmary in Barnstaple. There was an inquest held into her death and this was reported in the North Devon Journal without any reference at all to the plane crash, only reporting that her house had caught fire."


748556 Sergeant (Pilot) Reginald Frederick Tatnell of the RAF VR, 235 Squadron. Son of William and Jessie of Hillingdon, Middlesex, Died 18 May 1941 aged 25. He was a Battle of Britain pilot and is commemorated  on the London Monument.

"Tatnell was killed on 18th May 1941 as a Sergeant with 272 Squadron when Beaufighter Ic T3302 dived into the ground after a night take-off from Chivenor. "


614848 Flight Sergeant James Scott Walker (W.Op/ Air Gunner) of the RAF, 172 Squadron. Son of Thomas and Annie Walker of Lasswade, Midlothian. Died 24 August 1943 aged 25. 

A Wellington, MP630. piloted by Edgar Widdowson,  was returning to base at Chivenor. It was equipped with a Leigh Light for illuminating U-boats travelling on the surface. No U-boats had been detected so the plane still carried a full load of depth charges. The weather worsened as they neared Chivenor. On the final approach, the aircraft hit a building and crashed, detonating the full load of depth charges and killing all 6 crew members.


1380668 Sergeant (Pilot) John Charles Warburton of the RAF VR, 235 Squadron. Died 17 January 1943.

"His Bristol beaufighter VIc T 5322 of 235 Squadron crashed at stwoe farm, Kilkhampton, 3 Miles west of the police station. The machine was completely smashed and the crew of 2 was killed "


1387840 Sergeant (Pilot) John Peter Williams of the RAF VR. Son of John Charles and Mary Frances Williams of Haywards heath, Sussex.. Died 27 August 1943 aged 20.

"Having been refused permission to land his Halifax DG4 12 at Chivenor or Winkleigh aerodromes owing to runway limitations, the plane crashed at Buda farm, near the parish church at Langtree."


Sgt John Peter Williams, pilot

Flying Officer William Graham, 28; wireless operator

Sgt James Taylor, 23, mid-upper gunner

Sgt Peter Bartle, 29mid upper gunner (Australian)

Sgt Hugh Henry, 22, rear gunner

Sgt Stainsby navigator

Sgt Wheatley, flight engineer.


81904 Flight Lieutenant Stanislav Zimprich of the RAF VR, 310 (Czech) Squadron. Escaped to England from France in June 1940. Born 3 March 1916 in what was then Germany.  Died 12 April 1942 aged 26.

"Two Supermarine Spitfire Vb aircraft - BL497 & AD420 of 310 Czechoslovakian Squadron, collided in mid-air near RAF Perranporth. F/Lt Zimprich 81904 flying BL497 severed the tail of aircraft AD420 causing it to crash on Gear Sands, 1 mile NE of Perranporth Police Station. This aircraft was badly damaged and the pilot F/Sgt Halama 788017 was killed. Flight Lieutenant Stanislav Zimprich ditched his aircraft in the sea 1 mile N of Perranporth Police Station but he was washed away and drowned. His body was washed ashore 3 months later at Coombe Martin, North Devon. "

Zimprich flew with the RAF during the Battle of Britain and is ocmmemorated on the Memorial of that event. For more information, visit the official Battle of Britain Monument site 



Flight Lieutenant Stanislav Zimprich

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Flight Lieutenant Stansilav Zimprich


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