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Foreign aircraft landings at Baldonnel and Collinstown Aerodromes, Dublin 1935 to 1945.

Baldonnel Aerodrome located south of Dublin city was the headquarters of the Irish Air Corps throughout the war years and remains so to this day. As it was one of only very few established airfields in Ireland at the outbreak of war the airfield was known internationally as one of the main airfields in Ireland. Indeed, as well as being the head quarters of the Air Corps, Baldonnel also functioned as the main civilian airport in Ireland. It was from here that Aer Lingus operated their airline flights to the United Kingdom. Civilian flights moved to the new airfield at Collinstown, to the north of the city, in 1940.

Collinstown Aerodrome, Ireland's new international civil aerodrome, was built north of Dublin city on the site of a former Royal Air Force airfield. Built from the offset with concrete runways, Collinstown was equipped to the latest standards when it opened for operations in 1940. It was immediately however caught in the middle of conflict and flights were greatly curtailed.

Being operational airfields, Baldonnel and Collinstown were marked on navigation charts and thus became a port of call for a small number of Allied aircraft throughout the war. These were a varied collection of mainly training types which found themselves lost and with dwindling fuel. The two Irish aerodromes allowed them a safe haven and a place to refuel, not just machines but mind and body also.

Date/Format Aircraft Identity Operator Unit Location

January 28, 1942

Hawker Hurricane I

V6573, '29'

RAF

59 O.T.U. / Crosby-on-Eden, Cumbria

Dublin Airport, Colinstown

Salvator Bassi WalcottAircraft landed and was subsequently allowed to leave. The pilot, Sgt Salvator Bassi WALCOTT R/79006, an American serving in the RCAF was allowed to depart following a rest and later transferred to USAAF after a period of internment with the Vichy French in North Africa. He served in combat with the USAAF in North Africa during the North African campaign.

His story is told in the book "Spitfire Deserter" by Bill Simpson.  One item of note from the book is that much stress is placed upon an apparent dislike or distrust of Sgt Walcott by his Squadron mates in 603 Squadron, due in part to the death of a fellow American pilot, P/O William Irving Jones J7938 RCAF on the 26 March 1942.  A history of the Squadron states that the pair collided during a practice flight.  P/O Jones aircraft, Spitfire BL510 crashed.

However, within P/O Jones' service file is the RAF Form 765 which makes no finding of a collision between him and the other aircraft. It was thought by the Squadron C/O S/Ldr D Douglas Hill on the day of the crash that, 'Pilot appears to have left if too late to pull out of a high speed dive; or he may have lost consciousness earlier."  The station commander, W/C Ian R Parker, recorded two days later:  "The case appears to be a clear one of structural failure due to excessive load.  Both wings and tail unit fell on one side of the aerodrome and the fuselage on the other.  The pilot was carrying out an authorized flight and was dog-fighting at 10,000 feet when he commenced to dive.  I heard a report when the aircraft broke up and first saw it in a flat spin at about 1500 feet.  Both the outer halves of the wings were missing and also the tail unit, I do not consider any enquiry other than A.I.B. would serve any useful purpose."

If the official record is to be believed, the animosity directed towards Sgt Walcott must stem from some other reasons rather than the crash itself.

He was recalled to USAF service in August 1946, and left again in November 1952, but remained on the reserve.  Sadly, following his wife's death, he took his own life on 5th July 1962.

April 17, 1943

Boeing B-17F-70-BO Fortress

42-29755

USAAF

Air Transport Command (Ferry Flight)

Dublin Airport, Colinstown

This aircraft was noted flying over Cavan and eastern counties. It was fired on by Irish anti-aircraft batteries around Dublin and landed at 12:30.  Following refueling with 44 gallons of 100 octane fuel, it took off again at 18:30 for a base in Northern Ireland.

The aircraft was on delivery flight from North Africa and the Irish Army recorded that, "It was obvious from the material carried that the plane was on a transport flight".


The crew of this aircraft consisted of ten men, whose names were recorded only by surname and rank, with some initials.  There were many errors in the way the names were recorded but due to the mens sad fate, it was possible to identify them as:

1/Lt Cecil WALTERS O-664094
2/Lt Sidney D. ROSBERGER O-790297
2/Lt Edward C. QUIGLEY O-733355
2/Lt James C OLSEN O-736318
S/Sgt Barnett H GOODMAN 35285949
S/Sgt Joseph A. WOLOZYN 13087777
S/Sgt Rowland DOMENICK 35390046
S/Sgt Frank G. WADE Jr. 38204123
S/Sgt Joseph H. TRUITT 35487257
S/Sgt Ralph E. LEWIS 31077856


The aircraft was assigned to the 96th Bomb Group initially but was then issued to the 533rd Bomb Squadron, 381st Bomb Group in July 1943. It survived the war and returned back across the Atlantic after the conflict. The 96th Bomb Group transferred to the UK during April 1943.

Of the crew men on board her in July 1943, all except Rosberger & Quigley died July 1943 with the 96th Bomb Group. The two officers had been injured the day before on a mission.
Walters Crew
This photo of the crew comes from Edward Quigley's family and was included in Edward's war service album with the title "Little Caeser and Crew, taken after raid to Kiel, Germany, July 5th, '43. Our crew destroyed seven nazi fighters in 'Bloody Kiel Raid".

Their aircraft, tail number 42-30370, with the nose art 'Little Caeser' was returning from a raid on Warnemunde, Germany on 22 July 1943 when it collided with another USAAF bomber from the 381st BG. All of the crew were lost on that occasion including eight of the men who landed in Dublin.  Their loss was recorded on Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) number 144 and in Sgt Barnetts records the following statement is found:

SYNOPSIS OF CASE : The above mentioned ten men formed part of crew of a B-17 which departed England on a mission to Warnenunde, Germany. On the return trip, within a few miles of English coast, another A/C from another group collided with the plane in question just behind the turret.  At an altitude of 3,000 feet, the collision was serious enough to cause subject A/C to break up and fall in flames into the water.  A search was made by Air Sea Rescue but without results.  Although the accident was said to have taken place 2 miles off Cromer, England, the body of one crew member (Goodman) was washed ashore 2 days later nearly 50 miles away.


Cecil O Walters1/Lt Cecil O WALTERS O-664094, Missing in Action, From Eastland, Texas. The son of Willie and Willie Walters of Eastland, Texas.  He was a graduate of Eastland High school.

His local newspaper carried the news of his being posted missing in late August 1943.His mother was presented with his posthumous Air Medal and Oak Leaf Clusters in November 1943 at a ceremony at Abilene Army Air Base.




2/Lt James C OLSEN O-736318 Missing in Action, from Minesota. The son of Ruth and Walter Olsen Minneapolis.

S/Sgt Barnett H GOODMAN 35285949 The son of Leah and Morris Goodman of Mile End old Town, London.  His remains were recovered two days after the collision and buried at Cambridge American Cemetery.  He enlisted from Ohio but was originally born in London, England.  He moved to Ohio in 1928.


Joseph A WolozynS/Sgt Joseph A. WOLOZYN 13087777 Missing in Action, From Franklyn, Pennsylvania, son of Nellie and Anthony Wolozyn.

Franklyn newspaper notices from August 1943 reported on the news being received by S.Sgt Wolozyn parents of his loss.  He had enlisted in July 1942, and took his basic training at Keesler Field and seen gunnery training at Las Vegas, completing this in September 1942.  He was later posted to Spokane, Washington before posting to the 96th Bomb Group at Pyote, Texas.

The photo shown is from his Franklyn High School year book of 1939, where he is described as "blustery, happy go lucky, pleasant"

S/Sgt Rowland DOMENICK 35390046 Missing in Action, from Piedmont, West Virginia, son of Concettino and Lewis Domenick.  His brother Sylvie also served during the war, in the Army.

The family celebrated a mass for Rowland on 8th September 1944 in St Peters Catholic church .


Frank G
                  WadeS/Sgt Frank G. WADE Jr. 38204123 Missing in Action, From Houstan, Texas. Son of Amelia and Frank G Wade.  His sister, Mrs Ray Brown remembered him on the wwiimemorial website with a photo.




S/Sgt Joseph H. TRUITT 35487257 Missing in Action, From Marion, Kentucky, son of Edna and Joseph Truitt, he was born in July 1919.

S/Sgt Ralph E. LEWIS 31077856 Missing in Action, from New Hampshire

Edward C Quigley returned to combat operations with the 96th Bomb Group and survived his tour of duty in Europe. He stayed in the USAAF, later the USAF, and served during the Korean and Vietnam wars. He passed away in June 2006 in his native Massachusetts. He was laid to rest in Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne, Barnstable County, MA. His family very kindly provided photos of a wonderful set of memorabilia including photos of his aircraft and crew, as well as a diary. The page from this dated July 22nd, 23rd is presented below.

This photo from Edward Quigley's album shows, Jim Olsen, Edward Quigley and Cecil Walters, 'in front of Edge-water Gulf Hotel, Gulfport, Mississippi. (March '42). Two weeks here after emergency landing on Test flight.









Sidney Rosberger also returned to duty with the 96th Bomb Group, flying missions into September 1943 with the crew of 2/Lt W F Bacon. His son posted a large article about him on the Army Air Forces Forum in May 2011 however that forum was closed many years ago.  Lt Rosberger changed his name to Ross after the war and passed away in 1980.

June 29, 1943

Avro Anson I

LT985

RAF

9 (Observer) AFU

Dublin Airport, Colinstown

This aircraft was noted flying over Waterford, Kilkenny and Carlow folowed by a landing at 14:35 short of fuel. It was given 94 gallons of fuel and took off at 17:25 for Wales.  The Irish Army recorded the men by rank and surname only and this greatly hindered the identification of the men, however, using the Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force records it was possible to firmly identify the pilot, and make two very likely suggestions for the two trainee Navigators.

P/O Edward Brian CHURCHILL 123246

P/O JONES

P/O Harold Leon KEMP RCAF"



P/O Edward Brian CHURCHILL 123246

Edward Brian Churchill was born on 18th March 1918 in Dudley, Worcestershire, his parents were Edward & Kathleen Churchill.  "Brian" married  Ivis Mary Hurry, while they were both in the RAF  during World War II, at Perranporth, Cornwall. Unfortunately. Brian was killed after only seven years of marriage, leaving three children; Robert, Alan & Heather.

Brian's family were able to provide a copy of his log book page for this flight. 


One of his children reported some family lore:

"I only have word of mouth info that came from my mother - who died about 6 years ago - that my father was involved in an 'incident' where they got lost over Ireland on a training flight during the war.  He was forced to land but they allowed him to refuel and sent them off again - the story goes that they even gave them a stash of Guinness!
 (I often wonder if he let them know that his roots on his mother's side were from Ireland - she was a McDermott)."

Brian did his preliminary pilot training in Rhodesia after escaping Singapore where he had been serving as a weapons mechanic in the RAF but flying was his aim and passion.  He served at several stations in the UK but actually didn't get into a regular squadron until right at the end of the war in 9 Squadron.

His record of service is in the back of his logbooks showed he started out as a young aircraftsman in 1935 at West Drayton and ended up in Singapore 1937/41.  He remustered and trained in South Rhodesia for pilot training until July 1942. Then in several places on Oxfords and Ansons, including Strathhaird, Bournemouth, Shawbury, Condover, Stradishall, Upwood, Penrhos   He had about 425 hrs up by the time of the 29 June 1944 incident.

After that time he was in Penrhos for all 1944, then Montrose.  He was with 9 (O)AFU From May 43 to Nov 27 44. and then 10 AGS.  Transferred to 14 OTU at Market Harborough Dec 44. Thereafter, 1660 HCU Swinderby on Wellingtons then 9 Squadron in Bardney and Waddington on Lancasters.  He flew 6 raids in March 45.  Stayed with 9 Squadron untill 1949 and flew all over Europe and far east in Lincolns.  Posted to Bombing trials unit West Freugh in 1949 and in 1950, to the ATDU Gosport and Culdrose .

The ATDU was the Air Torpedo Development Unit (ATDU).

 He was flying to the Scilly Isles from Gosport and his Swordfish aircraft serial NR933 was carrying an experimental torpedo in October 1950. The aircraft was ditched following an emergency call but there were delays on the Scillies and at Culdrose and Churchill was not recovered.


October 12, 1943

Avro Anson I

LV139, ED-4

RAF

12 AGS, Bishopscourt, NI

Dublin Airport, Colinstown

This crew were on a gunnery training mission from 12 Air Gunnery School based at Bishopscourt in Country Antrim, Northern Ireland, but lost their target and then their way in poor visibility. The pilot was planning to ditch but saw land. They were refueled by the military at Collinstown and took off again at 17:40 to NI. 

Sgt Stuart CHAMBERS 1576381
It hasn't been possible yet to determine anything more about this pilot beyond his name and service number.  Since the other three members of the crew were of Aircraftman or Leading Aircraftman rank, Sgt Chambers is assumed to be the pilot of the aircraft.

LAC Sydney BIRD 1494307

Son of Joseph and Mary Ann Bird, of Normanby per the CWGC records.  Sydney was 20 years old at the time of his death according to the CWGC records. His age on the death register was given as 21 years old.

Sydney died on 4 may 1944 when Halifax BB316 aircraft of 1662 Heavy Conversion Unit crashed returning it base with engine trouble killing all but one of those on board.

He is buried in Eston Cemetery, Yorkshire.

AC Reuben Edward FOULDS 1591122

Reuben Edward Foulds was born on 19 September 1924 to Reuben Charles Foulds and his wife Beatrice (nee Miller). 

He was posted to 101 Squadron in 1944, similar to D V Dale, below.

On his sixth mission he was shot down and killed along with his entire crew.  They and their Lancaster ME565 were lost over Normandy on June 7th, 1944.

He is remembered here on the South Anston War Memorial.

AC Donald Victor DALE 1463201"

Donald appears to have been born in London in January 1908, though a birth record cannot yet be found for him.  He married in 1938 to his first wife Grace.  They were resident in Conisborough Crescent, Lewisham in the 1939 Register where his occupation was Company Secretarys Assistant.

He appears in the account given to the BBC by RAF Veteran Jack Morley, who served with a 'Cockney' Don Dale throughout 1944 from 28 OTU through to 101 Squadron.

He served with 101 Squadron in the crew of George Henry Gordon Harris, later awarded the DFC for his service.

Donald married again in 1951 and passed away in 1993 in Honiton, Devon.

The Irish officers recorded the aircraft as being an Avro Anson with serial number LU139 and carrying the code O.4.  The LU prefix was not used on any British aircraft during the war.  The correct aircraft was rather LV139, and whose history is given in the Air Britain book, the Anson File.

This aircraft is listed as having spent its entire RAF career with numbers 12 AGS and later 11 AGS at Andreas in the Isle of Man.  It entered service with the French Air Force in 1946.   It later passed to the French Naval air arm, the Aeronavale around 1949. 

March 12, 1944

Armstrong Whitworth AW38 Whitley

Unknown, 'T'

RAF

24 OTU

Dublin Airport, Colinstown

Sgt Nelson Joseph McDonald R/168240 RCAF

"F/O Albert Smitten J/35051 RCAF

F/O Charles Reginald Laing J/35099 RCAF

P/O Ernest John Simpson Wood J/88510 RCAF

F/O John Robert Thackeray J/28989 RCAF

Aircraft landed while lost on a training mission. The crew signalled to the airport that they were in distress and were given assistance to land at 17:54 hrs. The crew reported they had been in the air for the previous seven hours and must have mentioned that they were based at 24 OTU in southern England. It was noted by the military in the Irish Army report that there was no one on duty at weekends. The aircraft was recorded as having just a letter 'T; painted on the side.
Returned the next day. The serial number of the aircraft was not recorded by the Irish military and the records of 24 Operational Training Unit would not normally record individual aircraft serials other than the individual letter assigned. It is hoped that some of the mens relatives might have a log book that records the identity of the aircraft.


Four of the Canadian airmen are shown in the photo above while flying with 427 Squadron RCAF. They are, standing, at left, C R Laing and standing at far right, J R Thackeray. Kneeling from the left are E J S Wood and A Smitten.
They were posted to 427 Squadron from 61 Base on the 18 August 1944, and flew their first mission together with W B Britton on 28th August.  Laing, Thackeray and Wood were posted out in March 1945, with Smitten following a month later.

The pilot, Nelson J McDonald, was a Nova Scotia born airman who had enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He had moved with his parents Williams and Elizabeth to Illinois in 1925. The Illinois newspaper, the Suburbanite Economist, published the following short article on Wednesday, July 7th, 1943: Go To Canada to See Son Receive RCAF Wings Mr. and Mrs. William MacDonald, 7521 Normal ave,; will leave tonight for Alymer, Ontario, where they will attend the graduation of their son, Nelson J. MacDonald, who will recieve his wings and become a first lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Nelson, who is 19 years old, is the youngest pilot in his flight. He attended Harvard elementary school and was graduated from St. Carthage school and Tilden Technical high school.

He did not go on to join the other four men in 427 Squadron and instead joined the US Army Air Forces in June 1944. His service with the USAAF during the war seems to have been in fighter units and he returned to the US in August 1945 on the Queen Elizabeth troop transport. His USAAF serial number was O-887830. Post war he remained in the USAF as late as the Vietnam war where he flew F-105 Thunderchief fighter bombers. At that time he was widely reported in state side newspapers in 1967 when one of his fellow pilots shot down a North Vietnamese fighter. At that time he was a resident of Berkley Heights, New Jersey. Earlier, in 1951, he also made national newspapers when the guns of his F-84 Thunderjet accidently went off in flight over the town of Groveport, Ohio in August 1951. He was at that time a Captain in the airforce and described in news reports as a WW2 veteran.
He died in March 2000 in Albuquerque.

Charles Laing was born in 1920. He served served with the R.C.A.F. for 23 years and then embarked on a 14 year career with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. Charles passed away in April 2005 just two years after making contact with the website about his short visit to Dublin. In 2003 he wrote via email: We (myself & rest of the aircrew) were on a training mission to drop a few practice bombs on a watery target. We became lost somewhere over the atlantic ocean and received a radio fix to alter course. We change course and the first land that came into view was the coast of Southern Irland.
The aircraft (Whitley) was very low on fuel and the pilot (an American) decided we couldn't make it back to England and started looking for a place to land. We flew over Dublin at a very low altitude dodging barrage balloon cables and somehow arrived over Collinstown airport.
March 12, 1944 was a Sunday and the landing field was at that time all grass. Sheep were spread out all over the field making it risky to try to land. The radio in the control tower was turned off so we used our hand held light to send a message to the people below in the tower. A dog was then sent out and cleared the sheep for us and we landed.
We were greeted by some Irish Military personel and asked for our names,ranks and numbers. I was asked to remove the bombs, hanging under the aircraft, and place them in the aircraft.
We had a pleasant few hours in the Officer's mess and eventually returned to the aircraft and tried to get some sleep.
The next morning,after some official negotiations, our aircraft was refuelled and we took off for Northern Ireland. I would like to add that there were no other military aircraft on the field while we were at Collinstown

John Robert Thackeray was born in April 1925 in Regina, Canada. He enlisted in October 1942 in Regina. Following training in Canada, he would have been posted to 24 OTU for crew training, it is expected that he would then have gone with the crew to a Heavy Conversion Unit where they would have learned to fly the Halifax bomber. He moved with his wife Marie to America in 1952 and there raised a family in California. John, known as 'Jack' to friends and family died in Ventura, California, on 19 October 2001.

April 22, 1944

Avro Anson I

LT284, B-3

RAF

7 (Observer) AFU, RAF Bishopscourt, N.I.

Baldonnel Aerodrome

This event was an early morning landing at the airfield, the aircraft having been flying from Bishopscourt, County Down on a nighttime dead reckoning navigation flight. The crew of four and aircraft flew out at midday later that day. The air men on board consisted of the pilot, F/Sgt Twyford, a wireless operator instructor Sgt Westmore and two Canadian airmen, undertaking training in navigation duties in North West European conditions. All four men survived the war although one was shot down over Germany and made prisoner of war.


Raymond Twyford was a young Warwickshire born pilot of the RAF Volunteer Reserve. Raymond was posted to Rhodesia in May 1942 for pilot training, this being completed successfully in December of that year. He was then sent home on a vessel which sailed first to Fort Slokum in New York, He transferred then to Halifax in Canada from where he then sailed presumably back to the UK. It was in September 1943 that he was posted to 7 (Observers) Advanced Flying Unit, then referred to as 7 Air Observers School. He remained there as a staff pilot for navigators who had completed their instruction in the vast empty skies of Canada or Africa. His time at Bishopscourt ended in April 1945 with a posting out to 17 Operational Training Unit at Silverstone where he converted to the Wellington bomber. His first front line unit was Transport Commands 77 Squadron which was in the summer and autumn of 1945 converting to the Douglas Dakota transport.
Following the end of hostilities in Europe, he was posted to India with 77 Squadron and in the October 1945 made his flight there. He wrote to RAF friends about the long flight which took him over the old battlefields of the Desert Campaigns. His son understands that he later flew home former prisoners of war. He remained friends with Ron Westmore and they exchanged letters after they parted ways at Bishopscourt. After the war he went on to a long career in the police service and is still well remembered as Police Inspector for the Borough. Raymond passed away in 1993.


Ronald Valetine Westmore was born in 1916 on the Isle of Wight. His surviving log book contains some great narrative of his service up to the time he arrived in Northern Ireland. To quote from the log book:

Joined the RAF on July 9th 1942 - First to Padgate to be kitted out etc: There met many grand lads who I was later to be with for a considerable time! Left Padgate for Blackpool on July 14th and went into 10 (S) R.C.* D13/5 SQUAD for initial training, Square bashing, morse up to 10's & 12's.
Left Blackpool in November 1942 and went to Yatesbury for a 3 months wireless course. Our Blackpool squad is now broken up. The reason being an alphabetical posting from Blackpool. So a new squad now formed up of S's Y's W's. Left Yatesbury for Gosport on getting our 'Sparks'. 3 months spent here on ground point to point work awaiting a refresher wireless course.
On leaving Gosport in June 1943 went then to Madley nr Hereford. There meeting up with most of the boys known at Blackpool and Yatesbury.
Three months here and gain our Sergeants strips on 31 Aug 1943 after which 15 of us are posted to Cark - a staff pilots OTU where we did a course on air wireless operating in Ansons.
From Cark after another 7 days leave are posted to Bishops Court thinking we were to have a Gunnery Course here, but found that we were going to be Staff W/Ops. Now in Training Command and there I stay for the rest of my service until June 18th 1946 from Oct 8th 1943. There I had a real good time considering work with dammed good types. Photo opposite 4 of us who went to Ireland from Cark.
Alf Foster - myself - Ron Schneer
Bill Brown

Ron Schneer crashed into the sea on a trip the day after Boxing Day 1943!

* 10 (Signals) Recruit Center

The colleague Ron refers to was F/Sgt Ronald S Schneer 1684911 who was lost in the crash of Anson DG972 on December 26th, 1943. Ronald Westmore had married in 1942 and returned to live in his native home. He passed away in 1989 in the Isle of Wight. His son was very kind in providing scans of his log book.


Above shows the page from Raymond Twyford's flight log showing the flying for that day. It is noted that he accidently filled in the first column as March but corrected it to read April.


Above shows the page from Ron Westmore's flight log showing the aircraft's planned movements for the day.

The remaining two airmen on the aircraft were Canadian's undergoing acclimatisation flying having recently arrived in Europe following training in Canada.

Morris Donald Berry was a young airman from Innisfail, Alberta. Amazingly, his log also survived the war and is the third record of the days flying.

After his time in Northern Ireland he was posted to 425 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force. He completed 20 bombing missions with that unit before things went wrong in January 1945. He was the bomb aimer on Halifax NP999 on the night of January 5th/6th 1945 when the aircraft was brought down over Germany. Morris was lucky enough to survive by bailing out with 5 of his crew mates however; their English Flight Engineer lost his life. He is shown below with his crew, Morris berry is the second from the right, standing.

Morris spent the last few months of the war as a Prisoner of the Germans. He passed away in October 1986.

This summary of the fourth airman, also a Canadian named William McGregor Robinson comes from a Canadian researcherís summary of his wartime service record: ROBINSON, William McGregor (R.191608 and J.38338) - Born 6 December 1910 in Glasgow, Scotland. Enlisted in London, Ontario, 9 September 1942. To No.1 Manning Depot, 6 November 1942. To (illegible on microfilm), 6 December 1941. To (illegible again), 15 January 1942. To No.5 ITS, 1 March 1943. Promoted LAC, 12 June 1943. To No.4 AOS, 26 June 1943. Graduated and commissioned, 13 November 1943. To No.2 Aircrew Graduate Training School, 18 January 1944. To "Y" Depot for embarkation, 11 February 1944. Taken on strength of No.3 PRC, Bournemouth, 15 March 1944. Repatriated to Canada by air, No.428 Squadron, 7 June 1945. Training for "Tiger Force" when war ended; retired 10 September 1945.

Post war, William was found to have traveled to New York in April 1949 to undertake a training course with National Brewers Academy. His wife Ruth lived in London, Ontario and on the voter's lists of that time it can be seen that William worked for the Labatt's brewing company. He passed away on 30th October 1971 in London, Ontario.

October 7, 1944

Avro Anson

Unknown

RAF

Unknown

Baldonnel Aerodrome

Reviewed ACF-S-241 only and not the possible main file. Is mentioned on the lists in the F/A file A.26 in the NA; IMA #B103, Info will be in MISC 6/06 in MA and ACF-S-241

April 5, 1945

Avro Anson I

W1709, '42'

RAF

7 (Observer) AFU, RAF Bishopscourt, N.I.

Dublin Airport, Colinstown

Click on button to read the story of Anson W1709

November 12, 1945

Boeing B-17G-70-DL Fortress

44-6883

USAAF

BADA, HQ Burtonwood, UK

Baldonnel Aerodrome

Maj Frederick B. JOHNSON O-661102

S/Sgt Egon L ECK 35316683

Lt/Col James J SHOWN O-913379


According to the USAAF accident report, "The aircraft, after making a normal approach and landing set down just over the fence at the end of the runway. The pilot applied the brakes as soon as was permissible. The brakes stopped the wheels but they slid on the wet grassy surface and the aircraft slowed but would not stop and continued on into a hedge at the end of the runway. Upon striking the hedge the tail came up off the ground then dropped down hard driving the tail strut into the fuselage buckling it at that section of the aircraft."

The pilots own account in that accident report reads as follows:
I was flying B-17G #44-6883 from Burtonwod , England to Baldonnel, Dubin, Eire.  The weather at Burtonwood was bad when we left but at Baldonnel the weather was excellent.  I had landed at that field about a week before in a B-17 and had sufficient room to make a normal landing.  I circled the field several times trying to select the runway to use, because the wind was light and cross.  Finally I decided to land bearing 060 degrees, which is the longest.  I concentrated on landing on the very first part of the runway and made my approach as slow as possible.  The ship set down just over the fence on the end of the runway  I applied brakes as soon as was permissable.  The brakes stopped the wheels but they slid on the wet grassy surface and the aircraft slowed but would not stop and continued on into a hedge at the end of the runway.  Upon striking the hedge the tail came up off the ground then dropped down hard driving the tail strut into the fuselage and buckling it at that section of the aircraft.  There were no injuries to the personnel on board.
Frederick B Johnson
Major, Air Corps

The USAAF report also contains a statement from the Irish Air Corps  officer commanding, Col. W P Delemere in which he states the conditions and causes similar to Major Johnson's report above..

The aircraft was arriving from the USAAF airbase at Burtonwood, near Warrington in Cheshire. Irish Newspapers reported the aircraft carried members of the Irish Air Corps who were returning from a meeting in the UK however the USAAF crash report makes no mention of anyone other than US personnel on board. The USAAF crash report and the testimony therein from the Pilot Major Frederick B Johnson point out that he had flown into Baldonnel Aerodrome the previous week. It appears that at this time there was of talks taking place between the Irish Authorities and those of the US Government, perhaps about purchase of surplus weaponry.

The aircraft itself was a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, serial number 44-6883. This aircraft had flown in combat with the 535th Bomb Squadron, 381st Bomb Group from Ridgewell, Essex. On a mission on the 2nd March 1945 to Chemitz in Germany, a pilot of the 381st Bomb Group, Lt Charles Carpenter was forced to turn back with technical problems and upon landing was assigned a spare aircraft, 44-6883. He took off quickly again to try catch up with the remainder of the group but instead accidentally found himself among a group of RAF Lancaster's on a late war day light mission to Cologne. Online records make it unclear as to whether it was before this event or because of this event that the aircraft received in painted nose-art of 'RAFAAF', the symbolize the Royal Air Force - Army Air Forces. The 535th diary indicates that the aircraft had two engines shot out on March 24th but was brought back home safely on that occasion. The following month on April 11th the aircraft suffered the complete loss of its right hand stabilizer and elevator following a mid air collision with another B-17 while turning after bombing Germany. The pilots of the aircraft were lucky enough to be able to recover the aircraft from a diving spin and were able to return to base. Despite this damage, a new stabiliser was fitted and the aircraft returned to flying. At some point it was delivered to the USAAF base at Burtonwood and had its armament removed and used as something of a transport. it was during this period that the incident occurred in Dublin and the aircraft finished out its days as a wreck at Baldonnel, slowly being scrapped. The Irish Army archives report on this aircraft consists mainly of discussions between the Irish and American authorities regarding the disposal and use of components from the aircraft. The propellers were provided to Aer Lingus and Irish Army radio van ZC778 was equipped with devices taken from the stricken bomber. The accident report records that the aircraft was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron of BADA, the acronym for Base Air Depot Area.

The photo below appeared on an Irish newspaper that week, although the paper has not yet been identified.

44-6883
                Baldonnel


Aircraft 44-6883 carried just three American personnel on board, a pilot, Major Frederick B Johnson, an Engineer, Sgt Egon L Eck and a passenger, Col. James J Shown.


Frederick Bancroft JohnsonThe pilot of the aircraft was Major Frederick Bancroft Johnson, serial number O-661102. He was from Canton, Stark County in Ohio. He enlisted in the air force in November 1941 and was listed in his local newspaper as having graduated from the Brooks Field, Texas, training school in the summer of 1942. This airman normally went by the name 'F Bancroft Johnson'. Born in 1918 in Ohio, he died in June 1985 in Florida where he had retired. His obituary from the June 4th, 1985 Miami Herald reads: F. Bancroft "Ban" Johnson, a test pilot of bombers and fighter aircraft during World War II, died Sunday of pneumonia. He was 67. "He had the flier persona -- good looking and tall," his daughter, Lynne Price, recalled. At the age of 23, Mr. Johnson joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. He didn't know how to fly. He was soon testing new aircraft built for the Air Corps, while stationed in Texas.
Sent overseas, Mr. Johnson continued to test aircraft with Squadron No. 325 in England and Ireland. He became squadron commander. "At one time, when he was squadron commander, he lost every man under him within a period of a week," Price said. After spending nearly five years in the service during and after World War II, Mr. Johnson re-enlisted with the start of the Korean Conflict. After Korea, he remained in the reserves until he resigned in 1960, with a rank of major. Mr. Johnson was a native of Canton, Ohio. With a degree in economics from Wooster College, he became a systems analyst for the electronics industry. He worked for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Burroughs Corp. and Lincoln Laboratories. In 1965, Mr. Johnson moved to Miami. Five years later, he founded Seavale Corp. "Seavale was a pest control business -- and a play thing," Price said. Mr. Johnson was preparing to retire at the time of his death. Besides Price, survivors include a sister, Marjorie Riehl, and three grandchildren.

The Engineer was Egon L Eck, a 24 year old from Clevelan, Ohio. The son of Egon and Anna Eck, immigrants from Roumania, Egon himself having been born in Roumania in 1921 but was actually of German extraction. By the 1940 US national census, Egon was working as a car mechanic and he enlisted in the armed forces in July 1942. It is understood by friends and family that he served as an aircraft mechanic but clearly also had some flying duties. Egon returned to his native Cleveland and married Mildred Navratil in February 1950. Egon passed away in June 1973. His first cousin, Bob Teutsch remembers Egon well and was able to provide the photos of Egon with friends and colleagues from during his wartime service. Egon's cousin Bill Teutsch was completing his flying training in the USAAF having enlisted in 1943.

This image above is of Egon with two unnamed Air Force friends.

Egon is in the center of the above photo

Egon is here pictured above with two Cleveland friends,

The passenger on the aircraft was a non flying officer of the Air Force, Colonel James Joseph Shown. The crash report lists his serial number as O-913379 however, the 1948 US Army and Air Force register contains an entry for 'Shown, James J, (O41672). B-Tex. 24.Feb.05. A.Tex. B.S.M.. The list of promotions after show an officer who joined the force in August 1942 apparently as a direct entry and who had reached the rank of Lt. Col. by April 16 1945. The name also appears in the State Bar of Texas annual publication of 1943 with the following text: On April 30 James J. Shown was promoted to Captain in the Army Air Forces. He is Commanding Officer of the 877th Guard Squadron at Kelly Field.. In 1946, the Armed Forces Journal International recorded Transferred to Keesler from Randolph Field, Tex., on 23 Sept. was Lt. Col. James J. Shown of Houston, Tex. Col. Shown is to assume command of the Technical Training Command military police school at this station. The Biloxi Daily Herald on Friday, February 7, 1947 carried the following story, MP School Closes At Keesler Feb. 15 Due to the fact that Military Police training is being consolidated at Carlisle Barracks, Pa., Keesler's Military Police school is scheduled to close after the final graduation exercises which will be held in Theater No. 1, Saturday, February 15. The graduation will follow the scheduled base review with MP graduating students present in the reviewing stand. Personnel of the MP school will remain with the Air Training Command, some staying at Keesler and others being distributed to bases within the command. Lt. Col. James J. Shown, director of the school, is to be transferred to the indoctrination division of the Air Training Command at San Antonio, Texas, where he will be assigned as Provost Marshal. The Texas State bar the following year further reported: Lt. Col. James J. Shown of Houston is attending the Air Tactical School at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida. Overseas he served with the 8th Air Force in England as provost Marshal for thirty-two months, returning to the States in in May 1946.

James Shown resigned from the military in 1950 and went on to become an attorney in the state of Texas where his name appears many times in legal cases. In 1952, he was himself the subject of investigation in a fraud case involving cars but was found not guilty. Before the war, his name frequently featured in Texas newspapers as he was a member of the Texas Rangers police force. James Shown passed away Houstan in 1966 and is buried there. His first wife Rita was killed in an automobile accident in 1932, and they had one daughter.

Compiled by Dennis Burke, 2018, Dublin and Sligo.