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622581 William Hutchinson Hewitt

Station Records for 17th October 1940 states:-

"Flying Battle Casualty.  Hampden X2979 of 61 Squadron.  This aircraft left RAF Hemswell at 1809hrs on the 16th to participate in a raid over enemy territory.  On the return journey it was evident that the pilot was encountering adverse conditions, as he requested and was given fixes at 0111hrs and 0136hrs on the 17th.  The aircraft ultimately crashed at Spoile near Swaffham at 0245hrs.  The crew consisted of the following:-  P/O W H Clemerson - Pilot, P/O E C Gardner - 2nd Pilot,  Sgt W H Hewitt - Wireless operator/Air Gunner,  Sgt D Flanagan - Air Gunner.  The first three were killed outright and Sgt Flanagan was seriously injured and died at 1900hrs on the 17th."

W R Chorley's "RAF Bomber Command Losses of WW2" adds that the target was Merseburg, Germany and they crashed trying to make an emergency landing at 0245hrs at Sporle, 2 miles NE of Swaffham, in Norfolk.


1. Crew of 4 in Hampden I X2979 QR- Stationed at RAF Station Hemswell, Lincolnshire.

81027 Pilot Officer W H Clemerson, Pilot. Buried in Ilkeston, Derbyshire.

72558 Pilot Officer E C Gardner, 2nd Pilot. Buried in Tacoleston, Norfolk.

622581 Sergeant W H Hewit, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner. Buried in Athlone, Co Westmeath, Ireland.

532927 Sergeant D Flanagan, Air Gunner. Buried in Swaffam Cemetery, Norfolk.

41814 Ronald Hugh Ashton

F/Lt R H Ashton was pilot of Lancaster W4954 PH-V of 12 Sqdn and was on a minelaying sortie on the night of 16-17/10/43.

His aircraft and entire crew was lost over the target area. The crew were all originally buried at Swinemunde but were re-interred in the Pozan Old Garrison Cemetery in Poland.

2. Crew of 7 in a Lancaster I, Stationed at RAF Station Wickenby, Lincolnshire.

41814 Flight Lieutenant Ronald Hugh Ashton- Pilot

1101483 Sergeant A Goodhand-Flight Engineer

1317349 Sergeant E G Buscombe-Navigator

1430161 Sergeant J Mackintosh-Air Bomber

1080386 Sergeant M Savage-Air Bomber

AUS35488 Flight Sergeant J Huggard, Royal Austrailian Air Force-Mid Upper Gunner

1578183 Srgeant P Lees-Rear Gunner


1907508 Aircraftsman 2nd Class Charles Skelly

AC2 Charles Skelly was employed as an aircraft chargehand/clerk/general duties. He was was admitted to Raf Hospital Wroughton, in England on the 17th April 1946 danerously ill and died on 27th July 1946 from "TB Pericarditis".

1911509 Aircraftsman 2nd Class John Joseph Collins

AC2 John Joseph Collins was employed as an aircraft chargehand/clerk/general duties with headquarters No3 Indian Group, Barrackpore, India. He accidently drowned on 26th February 1947 in an accident, he was swimming to retrive a football, fell of a rubber tyre and disappeared.







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