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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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08th August 1944 433 Squadron Halifax III MZ895 LAC Golding / LAC Woodman

Operation: Refueling

Date: 08th August 1944 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 433 Squadron RCAF (motto: Qui s’y frotte s’y pique - 'Who opposes it gets hurt') 6 Group

Type: Halifax III

Serial: MZ895

Code: BM-S

Base: RAF Skipton-on-Swale, North Yorkshire

Location: At base RAF Skipton-on-Swale

Fitter IIA: LAC Joseph Harold Golding R/82845 RCAF Age 26. Killed

Fitter IIE: LAC William Daniel Holloway Woodman R/130601 RCAF Age 29. Killed


Halifax MZ895 was parked in a disposal bay prior to refuelling.

All the engines had been running from 09:00 hrs - 09:15 hrs then shut off. A delay of 10 minutes before refuelling commenced with bowser 97017. It was reported that the aircraft and bowser had both been earthed and the bowser engine had been switched off.

LAC Woodman and LAC Golding were filling No's 3 and 4 tanks on the port wing of the aircraft when one of the tanks overflowed forming a pool of about 6 ft under beneath the wing. Then an explosion occurred at 09:40 hrs. causing a fire on the port wing, the bowser and fuel on the floor. One airman was on the port wing and the other under the same wing by the undercarriage.

Both airman were killed during the explosion and as none of the airman shoes could be recovered it was not known if they had metal cleats.

No cause of the accident could be ascertained but it was pointed out that the service crews were under pressure to complete. It is possible that a spark may have caused the initial fire when one of the airman kicked accidentally the steel lifting lugs near the rear of nacelles of the outer port engine.

Burial details:

Both riggers were buried on 12th August 1944 at 11:15 hrs.

LAC Joseph Harold Golding. Harrogate Cemetery (Stonefall). Section E Row A Grave 14. Born on 19th May 1919 at Ottawa. Enlisted 10th February 1941. Son of Reuben (died 25th November 1942 age 61) and Ada Spence Golding (nee Smith - died 30th December 1954 age 66), of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription: 'Greater Love Hath No Man; He Gave His Life For Others'.

LAC William Daniel Holloway Woodman. Harrogate Cemetery (Stonefall). Section E Row A Grave 13. Born on the 05th December 1914 at Edmonton. Serving with 9424 Echelon at the time. Son of Thomas and Anne Mary S. Woodman, (nee Docherty) of 1054, 109th street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Grave inscription: 'In Mind A Constant Thought, In Heart A Silent Sorrow'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to John Jones who sent us detailed information and photographs, grave photographs courtesy Margaret Rose, other sources as quoted below:

KTY / JJ 31-07-2021

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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', 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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Last Modified: 31 July 2021, 13:17

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