Personnel Index - Detail
The original wooden cross for the grave (only five names as Jack Bennett was buried separately and Peter Velasco managed to parachute out.
Wilfred Pearce on his wedding day.........July 1943.
(The above image is with the kind permission of Wilfred Pearce's daughter, Carol Sewell).
SEASIDE SORTIE (November 1943):
F/O Don Turner (JB229) and crew were returning over the North Sea on track, with 1,000ft showing on the altimeter. The conditions were misty, so the pilot decided to let down a little in order to determine landfall. Just as he did the Lancaster suddenly struck the sea and then moments later it was careering up a beach towards sand dunes. A startled but intact crew clambered out into waist high freezing sea water! S-Sugar had in fact come ashore at Chapel-St-Leonards on the Lincolnshire coast 5 miles north of Skegness. The freezing cold crew found much to their displeasure, that the Lincolnshire seaside, whilst perhaps popular with pre-war summertime holiday makers, was not so alluring in the middle of November 1943. The crew spent the next few days recovering in Scampton sick bay.
Pilot........F/O D G Turner
F/E..........Sgt J Finlayson
Nav........ Sgt J N Hughes
B/A.........F/O W Pearce
WOp......Sgt L Nightingale
MUG......Sgt T D Horne
RG.........Sgt J N E Bennett
Further details of the incident are recored in May Hill's WW2 diary (opens in a new window)
22/23 March, 1944; FRANKFURT:
Frankfurt again, and 49 Squadron managed to get 19 airborne.
The accurate PFF marking and bombing by over 800 aircraft ensured that Frankfurt suffered yet another heavy blow. Diversions had confused the Germans, who at first forecast Hannover as the target, but a few night-fighters did manage to find the bomber stream and 26 Lancasters and 7 Halifaxes failed to return.
Again Fiskerton had suffered losses when two crews were posted missing; F/O Donald Turner (survivor of Chapel-St-Leonards beach crash Nov 43) and crew (except Sgt Velasco A/G who became a PoW) were sadly all killed.
Lancaster ND672 (EA-U)
F/O D.G. Turner Pilot (Killed)
Sgt E. Lee F/E (Killed)
F/S S.J. Upton NAV (Killed)
Sgt L.H. Nightingale W/AG (Killed)
Sgt P. Velasco A/G (P.o.W.)
F/O W. Pearce A/B (Killed)
F/S J.N.E. Bennett RCAF A/G (Killed)
Crew on their 4th operation
Information received from Ashley Hales:
Wilfred did most of his RAF training in South Africa and lived with a family whilst over there. He had been offered a job there after the war and planned to emigrate with his wife and young daughter when the war was over. He apparently also received his 'wings' from General Smutts.
This document (which opens in a new window) is a postwar letter from Sgt Velasco to the brother of Sgt Linton Nightingale and is reproduced by kind permission of Ashley Hales who is Sgt Nightingale's nephew.