18.12.1944 No. 51 Squadron Halifax III NP934 MH-V F/O. Bernard M. Twilley
Date: 18th December 1944
Unit: 51 Squadron
Type: Halifax III
Base: RAF Snaith, Yorkshire
Location: South of Charleroi, Hainaut, Belgium
Pilot: F/O Bernard Mark Twilley 151201 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
Pilot: F/O Edgar Harold Baron 149632 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Roy Challinor Hitchen 2203456 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Nav: Sgt. Richard Holden 1671139 RAFVR Age 27. Killed
Air/Bmr: F/O. Carl Winston Cassini 154240 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Roberts Hall 1457899 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Hugh Brenton Jones 1866363 RAFVR Age 18. Killed
Air/Gnr: W/O. Harold William John Hildebrand 1383970 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off 02:58 hrs Snaith. Crashed into a wood south of Charleroi, Belgium and all were killed. It is thought that this aircraft crashed following an explosion when two other aircraft collided, although this cannot be verified as yet. Fl/Sgt Jones is thought to be one of the youngest aircrew member to have been killed at 18.
The crew were all originally buried at Les Fosses US Military Cemetery but all have since been moved to Leopoldsburg War Cemetery.
L-R: F/O Bernard Mark Twilley, F/O Edgar Harold Baron, Sgt. Roy Challinor Hitchen, F/O. Carl Winston Cassini, Fl/Sgt. Hugh Brenton Jones, W/O. Harold William John Hildebrand, Sgt. Richard Holden (courtesy David Mole)
Some of this crew were also involved in a take off accident earlier in the year: Halifax III LV865 MH-Y. All crew escaped, except the rear gunner who was sadly killed.
F/O. Bernard Mark Twilley. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. Grave VIII.A.14. Son of William L. and Jessie G. Twilley of Grantham, Lincolnshire, England.
F/O. Edgar Harold Baron. Leopoldsburg War CemeteryGrave VIII.A.15. Son of Benjamin John and Edith May, husband of Joyce Pamela Baron of Tottenham, Middlesex, England.
Sgt. Roy Challinor Hitchen. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. Grave VIII.B.3. Son of Cecil Wiliam and Constance Hilda of Upton, Cheshire, England.
Sgt. Richard Holden. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. GraveVIII. A.16. Son of Richard and Sarah Ann of Rochdale, Lancashire, England.
F/O Carl Winston Cassini. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. Grave VIII.A.17. (B.Sc (Edin), A.R.I.C.) Son of Peter F.R.S.A., M.B.S.D. and Iris of Bandra, Bombay, India
Fl/Sgt. Roberts Hall. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. Grave VIII.A.19. Son of Robert and Alice of Irlams o'-th'-Height, Salford, Lancashire, England.
Fl/Sgt. Hugh Brenton Jones. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. Grave VIII.B.5. Son of Frederick John and Dorothy Constance of Ilford, Essex, England.
W/O. Harold William John Hildebrand. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery. Grave VIII.B.4. Son of Harold Albert Edward and Rosamond of Streatham, London, England.
This great selection of photographs has been received by us from David Mole - further information follows on other losses by David - we would like to express our sincere gratitude for this information received. This way these people will never be forgotten and for the surviving relatives and aviation researchers we can now show the faces to the names placed on graves by the CWGC who carry out such tremendous work. Further sources as quoted below.