07.11.1943 No. 3 OTU Wellington MP615 Fl/Lt. Northridge
Date: 07th November 1943 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 3 OTU. (Operational Training Unit) Coastal Command
Base: RAF Haverfordwest, Wales
Location: At base - RAF Haverfordwest.
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Robert Edward Hamilton Northridge 113764 RAFVR Age 30. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Donald Marvin Thew J/22086 RCAF Age 21. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. II John Ashwood R/129078 RCAF Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Wellington XIV, HE150, from 304 (Polish) Squadron had taken off at 18.55 hrs from RAF Davidstow Moor on a Leigh Light training exercise had been forced to make an emergency landing at RAF Haverfordwest. It had already attempted a landing but had overshot so had gone round again.
During a taxi run across the airfield No. 3 OTU Wellington was struck by the Polish Wellington at around 20:00hrs.
Both aircraft were destroyed in the fire that followed although all the Polish crew managed to escape, pilots Fl/Lt. Alfred Kasprzyk P-1327 and Sgt. Karol Jan Polanin P-2673 and the Observer. Fl/Lt. Tadeusz Kolodziejski P-1248.
Above: Fl/Lt. Alfred Kasprzyk, Sgt. Karol Jan Polanin and Fl/Lt. Tadeusz Kolodziejski.
The blame was placed at both the Traffic controller for not giving the Polish crew a 'Red' at their second attempt and to the pilots of the 304 Squadron for allowing aircraft to drift and that a 'Green' was not showing the second time around - disciplinary action was recommended. - It is not known what happened regarding this.
Fl/Lt. Robert Edward Hamilton Northridge. Haverford West Cemetery. Cons. Row. 1. Grave 8. Son of the Revd. Robert Northridge, M.A. and Frances Charlotte Ellerker Northridge, of Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Irish Republic. B.A., LL.B. (Trinity College, Dublin). Grave inscription reads: 'He Is Not Dead But Sleepeth Until The Day Break And The Shadows Flee Away'.
F/O. Donald Marvin Thew. (Shown right) Haverford West Cemetery. Cons. Row. 1. Grave 6. Born in Toledo, Ohio but raised in Detroit and was living in Detroit when he enlisted in RCAF in late 1941. He was born in 1922. Married to Violet Sullivan, a Canadian (originally of King Township, Ontario) in 1942. Married in Guelph, Ontario while in training. His son, Donald Thew was born in Guelph. Grave inscription reads: 'Breathe On Me Breath Of God So I Shall Never Die But Be With You In Eternity'.
W/O. II John Ashwood. (Shown right) Haverford West Cemetery. Cons. Row. 1. Grave 7. Son of William and Sarah Ashwood, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Grave inscription reads: 'Greater Love Hath No Man; He Gave His Life That Others Might Live'.
Photo courtesy Veterans Affairs Canada (CVWM)
Researched for: Donald Thew, son of F/O. Donald Marvin Thew. With thanks for further information supplied by Les Allison and Harry Hayward - 'They Shall Not Grow Old', Ross McNeill for additional information, Commonwealth Graves Commission.