11/12.04.1943 No 23 O.T.U. Wellington III BJ786 Fl/Sgt. Rogers crew loss
Operation: Night navigation sortie
Date: 11/12th April 1943 (Sunday/Monday)
Unit: No. 23 OTU (Operational Training Unit)
Type: Wellington III
Base: RAF Pershore
Location: Foley Cote Hill, Ripon, Yorkshire
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Frank Edward Rogers R/131020 RCAF Age 19. Killed (1)
Nav: Fl/Sgt. Joseph Onesime Thomas A.A.G. Toupin R/117511 RCAF Age 27. Killed
Nav 2: Fl/Sgt. Alexander Neil MacLellan R/135643 RCAF Age 27. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Richard Archbald Killham R/136318 RCAF Age 20. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Donald Henry Smith R/127875 RCAF Age 30. Killed (2)
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Anthony Alloysius Dorzek R/135853 RCAF Age 22. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 21.5hrs from RAF Pershore on a night navigation exercise. The reports from the Royal Observer Corps indicate that the Wellington had been flying normally when, without any sign of trouble the aircraft dived into the ground at around 01.30hrs at Foley Cote Hill which is just under 2 miles from Sawley village near Ripon in Yorkshire.
(1) Tragically Fl/Sgt. Frank Edward Rogers older brother - F/O Frederick Lennox Rogers was killed, just four months after Frank's death on the 2/3rd August 1943, when his aircraft, a Halifax V EB274 NA-H failed to return from operations against Hamburg. The other pilot, Canadian Sgt. Mack Chepil D.F.M. was killed with all 8 crew members.
Left to right: Fl/Sgt. F. Rogers, Fl/Sgt. J. Toupin, Fl/Sgt. A. MacLellan, (courtesy of Inverness Academy Memorial wall via Mike Harrison)
L-R: Sgt. Richard Archibald Kilham, Sgt. Donald Henry Smith, F/Sgt. Anthony Alloysius Dorzek
Fl/Sgt. Frank Edward Rogers. Dishforth Cemetery. Grave. 62. Son of Edward Lennox and Ethel W. of Port Colbome, Ontario, Canada. (Frederick Lennox Rogers. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 174)
Fl/Sgt. Joseph Onesime Thomas A.A.G. Toupin. Dishforth Cemetery. Grave. 60. Son of Thomas and Flore, of Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada.
Fl/Sgt. Alexander Neil MacLellan. Dishforth Cemetery. Grave. 59. Son of Ronald A. and Mary Isabella, of New York City, U.S.A.
Sgt. Richard Archbald Killham. Dishforth Cemetery. Grave. 61. Son of Henry G. and Annie M. of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Sgt. Donald Henry Smith. Warwick Cemetery. Sec. 104. Grave 10. Son of Mr. and Mrs. F.H. Smith of Elfros, Saskatchewan, Canada
Fl/Sgt. Anthony Alloysius Dorzek. Dishforth Cemetery. Grave. 58. Son of Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Dorzek of Renfrew, Ontario, Canada.
Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and RCAF specialist Colin Bamford for relatives of this crew.
(2) Smith Lake in Saskatchewan is named after Sgt. Smith