05.12.1944 84 OTU Wellington X LN231 Sgt. Hitchcock
Date: 5th December 1944 (Tuesday)
Unit: 84 Operational Training Unit (OTU)
Type: Wellington X
Base: RAF Desborough, Northamptonshire.
Location: North Sea - no further details available.
Pilot: Sgt. Norman Peter Hitchcock 1581832 RAFVR Age 20 Missing - believed killed
Flt.Eng: Sgt. Leslie Knighton 1674986 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed
Nav: Sgt. Paul Ivan Spencer 1620185 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed
Air Bmr: Sgt. Alexander Robertson 1683527 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Frederick Green 3030259 RAFVR Age 19. Missing - believed killed
Air Gnr: Sgt. Reginald Henry Beer 1170688 RAFVR Age 19. Missing - believed killed
Air Gnr: Sgt. John Bruce 1605997 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
LN231 took off from Desborough for a navigation sortie, which for part of the route, took out over the North Sea. The aircraft last made contact by wireless at 21:03 hrs
Weather in the exercise area was, according to crews of other aircraft, fine and should have presented no problems..
Above left: Pilot Sgt. Norman Peter Hitchcock on left with unknown friend - taken during training in Canada (perhaps you recognise him?) Right: Norman with his future wife Pauline from Sheffield, England. Married just 3 months prior to his tragic loss. (courtesy John Bagshaw)
Above: Sgt. Reginald Henry Beer, (Courtesy of Chris Beer)
Sgt. Norman Peter Hitchcock. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 231. Born on the 08th February 1924, the son of Alfred and Olive Hitchcock of Spondon near Derby, England and husband of Pauline. He attended a Wings Graduation Dinner on Course No 90, No 4, Service Flying Training School, on Thursday 10th February 1944, at The Bessborough, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, as one of the 53 Graduating Pilots.
Shown left, as a schoolboy (courtesy John Bagshaw)
Sgt. Leslie Knighton. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 232. Son of Charles William and Isabel Knighton, of Cross Gates, Yorkshire, England.
Sgt. Paul Ivan Spencer. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 238. Son of Arthur Joseph and Marguerite Spencer, of Sheffield, England.
Sgt. Alexander Robertson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 237. Son of William Scott Robertson and Jeannie Robertson, of Dundee, Scotland. Husband of Margaret Couttie Robertson.
Sgt. Thomas Frederick Green. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 230. Son of Thomas William and Eleanor Edith Green, of Balham, London, England.
Sgt Green had recently served with the Air Training Corps (ATC)
Sgt. Reginald Henry Beer. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 224. Born in 1925. Husband to Glenys J. (née Shannon) Beer (married in July 1941, Swansea, Glamorganshire). Father to John Henry Beer.
Sgt. John Bruce. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 226. Son of Robert and Edith Bruce, of Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey, England.
With thanks to John Bagshaw - cousin of the pilot Norman Hitchcock who contacted us in December 2017. Thanks to Chris Beer, the grandson of Sgt. Beer, for the image of his grandfather. Researched for relatives of the crew with thanks to the following sources: