Sgt Abbott could be said to have nearly survived the crash of Fortress BU-B however, enquiries made in 1946 at Bergharen told a tragic story. It would seem that he left it a little late bailing out for although his parachute deployed the aircraft crashed down upon him. It would seem reasonable to assume that as his parachute deployed, the aircraft's slip-stream would have pulled him out of the way.
The only conclusion is that bu.B was widely circling as it came down and caught up with him near the ground. His body, buried under the wreckage, was not discovered for several days and for reasons unknown was not buried in Uden with his fallen comrades. Instead on the 1st of July he was buried in the local civilian cemetery at Bergharen only to be later exhumed during the late 1940s and re-interred in the war cemetery at Jonkerbos some miles away.
Norman's family ran a newsagents until the late 1950's at 23 Station Parade, Hounslow Road, Feltham, Middx. Nigel Abbott's (Nephew of Sgt Abbott) father ran the newsagent shop until 1986 (50 years).
Norman was very interested in model aeroplanes and cycling.
Sgt Abbott's photograph and an obituary was published in a local Feltham newspaper around the time of his death. (we assumed that it would have been published about December 1944 as notification from the Red Cross did not arrive until them.) Apparently he had a brother named Harold but nothing further is known about him.
Source : John Cripps (nephew of Sgt Sydney Bryant) and CWGC and Mr Edward Cartwight (who had known the Abbott family, before, during, and after the war) and Nigel Abbott (Nephew of Sgt Abbott)
Date record last updated : 6 November 2010
ABREY, C W
Plt/Off Cyril William Abrey, 69490, Pilot, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, KIA 21 September 1941, Aged 26
Named on the following Memorial : No. 3 Group Bomber Command Roll of Honour in the RAF Window in Ely Cathedral.
Named on the following Memorial : RAF Chedburgh Book of Remembrance in All Saints Church, Chedburgh
Named on the following Memorial : RAF Chedburgh Memorial
Sarah Lee Writes:
John attended The Creighton School for Boys 1932-7. (This eventually amalgamed with 2 other schools to become Trinity School Carlisle. Sgt Aitken is named on the school WW2 Memorial Board.)
John lived very close to school at 87 Oswald Street. his family had been living on Oswald Street for 40 years.
John's father,Thomas, born 10 August 1885, was a Scot by birth from Annan and is listed as a Railway Clerk on the 1939 Census. John's paternal grandparents, James and Annie, had moved their family from Scotland to Carlisle between 1881 to 1891. James died in 1900 aged 49.
In 1939 John was an insurance clerk still living at home. He had five siblings, Betty M, James, Thomas, Alan and Ann.
Source : CWGC and Chorley and Sarah Lee (researcher/teacher from Trinity School) and 1939 census
Date record last updated : 5 June 2020
AKERS, R G
Sgt Roland Graham Akers, 1536320, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Nationality : United Kingdom, KIA 24 June 1943
Alford brothers Top row left to right Henry and Leonard. Bottom row left to right Donald and Philip.
There is a fifth brother Geoffrey who served in the Royal Navy who is not shown in this photograph.Taken at the family home in Winchelsea.
This was the first and last time that they were all on leave together.
Sgt Donald Eric Alford, 1393222, Air Bomber, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Nationality : United Kingdom, KIA 24 May 1943, Aged 20
Son of Walter Leonard and Elizabeth Anna Alford, of Winchelsea, Sussex.
Alford brothers Top row left to right Henry and Leonard. Bottom row left to right Donald and Philip.
There is a fifth brother Geoffrey who served in the Royal Navy who is not shown in this photograph.
Taken at the family home in Winchelsea. This was the first and last time that they were all on leave together.
He was one of 6 children, 5 sons and one daughter of Walter Leonard Alford, and Elizabeth Anna Alford, and lived in Winchelsea, near Rye in East Sussex. 3 of his brothers, one being my father, (RAFVR LAC) served in the forces during ww2 as well. The brothers names that served were Leonard, Henry, and Philip (my father) The other brothers name was Charlie and their sisters name was Sylvia.
On the 23 May 1943 at 23.15, Sgt Alford and his crew in Stirling MZ261 coded BU-T lifted off from Chedburgh, in Suffolk on the nights operations. The target for the night was a bombing raid on Dortmond which included several other 214 Squadron aircraft. Sadly, this was destined to be Donalds last flight. It is unknown exactly what happened, possibly flak or a nightfighter, but Sgt Alfords plane crashed at Unna about 15km ENE of Dortmund. Initially the crew was buried here but they were later taken to the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.
Martin Alford has created a Facebook group dedicated to his uncle Donald Eric Alford and the crew of MZ 261 BU-T. The link to the group is :
It is a closed group, so you have to click "join" to gain full access to the page.
Source : Martin Alford (nephew of Sgt Donald Alford)
Son of Gilbert Ernest Allcock. Husband of Betty Pearce. Father of Di and Jill.
Joined RAF August 1939
Promoted to Pilot Officer 16 August 1939
Suffered from several bouts of malaria whilst serving in the Middle East
Promoted to Flying Officer 3 September 1940
52 Squadron August 1939 to November 1940
15 OTU November 1940
214 Squadron 20 November 1940
216 Squadron 26 November 1940
39 Squadron 4 August 1941
Promoted to Flight Lieutenant 3 September 1941
223 Squadron 25 September 1941
44 Squadron 29 July 1942
214 Squadron on 16 October 1942
1651 Conversion Unit 10 November 1942
Promoted to Assistant Squadron Leader on 16 November 1942
Awarded DFC and noted in the London Gazette dated 1 January 1943 :
Acting Squadron Leader Gilbert Meston ALLCOCK (36215), No. 214 Squadron. This flight commander served with a transport squadron in the Middle East and since his return to this country has taken part in a number of night sorties against Germany and Italy. - One night in December, 1942, he was detailed to attack Duisberg. While over the target area his aircraft was attacked by a Junkers 88.
During the ensuing engagement the bomber sustained damage and 3 members of the crew were wounded. Undaunted Squadron Leader Allcock continued and bombed the target. On the return flight the port inner engine caught fire. Despite the crippled state of his aircraft, the grave possibility of the fire spreading and with both rear guns out of action, Squadron Leader Allcock flew the bomber safely back to base. This officer's courage, determination and skill set an example of the highest order.
One of the most successful of the autumn 1942 attacks on Germany was the raid against Duisberg on 20 December 1942, when crews found unusually good visibility and were able to deliver a concentrated attack. Allcock was at this time serving as flight commander with No. 214 Squadron in Bomber Command. He had previously completed bombing missions in the Middle East and had also flown with a transport squadron, carrying troops and stores to the front line and evacuating wounded.
75 Squadron 15 January 1943
214 Squadron on 29 January 1943. His title is now Squadron Leader Allcock DFC
Married Betty Pearce on 8th April 1943 at the Parish Church in Hinckley, Leicester. Her address was 3 Swans Hotel, Market Harborough Northants. This is noted on his medical boards listing, where his surname Allcock has been crossed out and replaced with Attwood.
84 OTU 10 November 1943
OATS 17 May 1944
Transferred to the Reserve and retired from active list 16 August 1944
7 Squadron 30 January 1945
Promoted to Squadron Leader (W) 3 June 1945
South Filton 19 September 1945
Awarded Bar to DFC which was recorded in FLIGHT dated 31 January 1946
Selected for extended service commission.
Commission relinqueshed 1 July 1959, retaining the rank of Squadron Leader.
He survived the war and moved back to New Zealand when Philip and Steve Trease's mother was very young, so she never got to know him or know anything about out his service career.
From London Gazette 30 October 1964:
Notice is hereby given that GILBERT MESTON ATTWOOD, D.F.C. Of Flintstones Brockenhurst Road, South Ascot, Berkshire, a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by birth lately called Gilbert Meston Allcock, has assumed on behalf of himself, his wife and his two infant daughters Joanne and Karen and intends henceforth upon all occasions and at all times to sign and use and to be called and known by the name of Attwood in lieu of and in substitution for their former name of Allcock and that such change of name is formally declared and evidenced by a Deed under his hand and seal dated the 29th day of September 1964, duly executed and attested and enrolled in the Central Office of the Supreme Court of Judicature on the 29th day of October 1964.
He is mentioned in several books:
The Fire Was Bright by Leslie Kark, MacMillan, 1943
Forever Strong: The Story of 75 Squadron RNZAF 1916-1990 by Norman Franks, 1991, ISBN 1-86941-102-1
Avenging in the Shadows by Ron James, 1992, ISBN 1-900604-26-4
He remarried when he returned to New Zealand and is believed to have died in the mid 1980's.
Source : Philip and Steve Trease (grandsons) and 214 Squadron ORB and Medical Boards listing and London Gazette
Date record last updated : 19 January 2009
Sgt Jack Allen, Wireless Operator, Royal Canadian Air Force, Nationality : Canadian
Son of John Wilfred and Hannah Bowman Anderson, of Fulwell, Sunderland, Co. Durham.
Source : Eric Matthews (relative of Eric Greenhalgh) and CWGC
Date record last updated : 2 October 2010
ANDREW, G I
Taken on 1 January 1958, when he was on Special Duties with the RAF Liaison Party at Base Aérienne 115, Istres, Armée de l'Air, a year before he joined 214 Sqdn for the 1st time
Cpl/Tech George Ian 'Andy' Andrew, 1926495, Air Radar Fitter / Bomber, Royal Air Force, Nationality : United Kingdom
Born 17 March 1937
Born in Redcar, Yorkshire
Son of George Fall and Winifred Elizabeth Andrew
Enlisted on 22 May 1952.
Demobed on 17 March 1965.
Served on 214 Squadron twice, firstly from February 1959 to October 1962 and then October 1964 to 17 March 1965.
Nicki Fenton writes :
"I recently bought a wooden tool box at auction made by cpl Tech G I Andrews of 214 Squadron. I have found his details on your site and am thrilled that his photograph is there. Are you able to tell me what this painted symbol on top of the box means please?"
The symbol is the 'Speed logo' that was on the tail of Victors and Valiants that were flown by 214 Squadron.
Laurence Carr writes :
I was wondering if you have any information regarding Sgt. F. (Frank?) Archer. He was a gunner with 214 Squadron during 1942-3. He served with Lawrence Carr on the majority of his missions but there is very little information about him anywhere, which is rather surprising due to the number of missions that he took part in overall.
Can anyone help with information please?
Source : Laurence Carr (descendant of Sgt Lawrence Carr) and 214 Squadron ORB and Richard Maddox (researcher)
Date record last updated : 31 March 2023
ARCHER, V H
Sgt Victor Harry Archer, 641651, Air Gunner, Royal Air Force, Nationality : United Kingdom, KIA 23 May 1943, Aged 23
Husband of Pamela Dorothy Archer, of Bath, Somerset
On the 23 May 1943 at 23.15, Stirling MZ261 coded BU-T lifted off from Chedburgh, in Suffolk on the nights operations. The target for the night was a bombing raid on Dortmond which included several other 214 Squadron aircraft. This was destined to be their last flight. It is unknown exactly what happened, possibly flak or a nightfighter, but Stirling MZ261 crashed at Unna about 15km ENE of Dortmund. Initially the crew were buried here but they were later taken re-interred in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.
Source : Martin Alford, nephew of Donald Alford and CWGC
Son of Charles Edwin Armstrong and of Agnes Swinbourne Armstrong (nee Handford), of Geraldine, South Canterbury, New Zealand.
FS Armstrong was engaged to Audrey Trotman (nicknamed 'Terry' by FS Armstrong) when he died. Audrey used to call him "Bob".
Kathryn Graham believes he had at least one sister called Barbara who visited her mum's new family in Glasgow many years later.
Worked as a farm hand for his fathers farm at Raukapuks prior to service.
Enlisted on the 9 July as an aircraft hand but re-mustered as a wireless operator/air gunner on the 28 November 1942.
Embarked for further training in Canada on the 12 February 1943.
Awarded his wireless operator/air gunner badge and promoted to sergeant on the 15 November 1943. Embarked for England on the 14 December 1943.
Further training with No. 11 Operational Training Unit flying on Wellingtons then to No. 1657 Heavy Conversion Unit on the 3 August 1944 on Stirlings.
Joined 214 Squadron on the 20 September 1944. A total of 246 flying hours logged. On his 3rd operational sortie.
Named on the following Memorial : Auckland War Memorial
Named on the following Memorial : Balcairn Cemetery, NZ
Named on the following Memorial : International Bomber Command Centre
Named on the following Memorial : Rangiora War memorial, NZ
Named on the following Memorial : Sefton War Memorial, NZ
Named on the following Memorial : St Andrews College Roll Of Honour, NZ
Son of Abram Ashworth and of Jessie Mitchell Ashworth (nee McGowan), of Sefton, North Canterbury, New Zealand.
Colin studied at St Andrews College, Christchurch, New Zealand. He then went on to work as farm labourer on his father's farm at Sefton.
Fortress Ops flown = 2
(* Actually 'operational take-offs'. Does not disregard aborted ops, early returns etc)
Colin's service history was as follows :
NZ army territorial force (2 years) Canterbury Yeoman Calvary.
11/02/1942 RNZAF Rukuhia- Aircraft hand Airfield Defence Unit (ADU)
03/08/1942 Tauranga. Remuster as aircrew.
26/11//1942 Initial training wing.
04/02/1943 Remuster as Pilot. No.3 Elementary flying training school- Harewood.
15/02/1943 First solo flight.
03/04/1943 No.2 Service flight training school- Woodbourne.
31/07/1943 Pilots badge and promotion to Sargent (with effect from 7.6.1943
21/08/1943- Embarked for United Kingdom.
15/10/1943 No.12 Personal despatch and receipt center.
Nov 1943 Attached to Whitley Bay course for Non Commissioned Officers.
08/02/1944 15p Advanced flying unit- Tiger Moth and Avro Anson twin engine aircraft.
March 1944 Hospital?
05/04/1944 Beam Approach School. Navigational instruction in following radio beams.
16/05/1944 No.11 Operational training unit- Training on twin engine Wellington bombers.
03/08/1944 1657 Heavy conversion unit- Stirling four engine heavy bomber flight training
20/09/1944 Joined No.214 Joint Malay States squadron and attached to 1699 Heavy Training Unit- Fortress II training.
Operational flights for 214 Squadron in Fortress III
16/11/1944 Killed on air operation. This was only Colin's second operation with 214 Squadron after his Fortress conversion training.
Source : ORB and Richard Heath (grandson of Sgt Harold James Heath)
Date record last updated : 15 December 2017
Victor Atherton, Nationality : Canadian
Milton Wesley branch Legion. Died March 1999 at the age of 89. No further details known
Date record last updated : 10 June 2009
Des Athol, Navigator, Royal Air Force, Nationality : United Kingdom
Des was with 214 Squadron in the early 1950's
Taken during a visit of the Sultan of Jahore involving a presentation of silver for 214 (FMS) Sqn.
Des Athol is nearest the camera with Fl Lts Myers (?) and Marsh (?) next to skipper Gerry Moor. This was taken prior to Des's departure to RAF Shawbury on a Spec "N" course.
The Sqn CO at the time was a Sqn Ldr Smith.
Source : Des Athol
Date record last updated : 21 June 2011
ATKINSON, G A
FS George Addison Atkinson, 1485104, Captain / Pilot, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, KIA 23 November 1943, Aged 20