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13.10.1945 Liberator V1 KL595 Belgium +
Mission: Melsbroek, Belgium

Date: 13th October 1945

Unit: No 206 Squadron

Type: Liberator VI

Serial: KL595

Code: LB-30-A

Base: Oakington

Location: Belgium?

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Peter Green 132597 R.A.F.V.R. Age 26. Killed

Pilot: F/O. John Dolphin Freckleton 154708 R.A.F.V.R. Age 22. Killed (3)

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Dennis George Nightall 1869611 R.A.F.V.R. Age 20. Killed

Nav: F/O. Bernard Connor 153904 R.A.F.V.R. Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Harry Thomas Walter Alderton 196153 R.A.F.V.R. Age 33. Killed

liberator-vi
A Coastal Command Liberator VI prior to delivery to a Squadron (Archives)

Passengers:
Sq/Ldr. Richard Charles Rivaz D.F.C. 78999 206 Squadron R.A.F. Age 37. Killed (1)
Dvr. Rowland George Ashton T/14675656 R.A.S.C. Attached 223 Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. Age 20. Killed
Dvr. William George Bayfeild T/14542657 R.A.S.C. Attached R.A.M.C. Age 33 Killed
Dvr. George Henry Bowyer T/14524657 R.A.S.C. Attached R.A.M.C. Age 34. Killed
Dvr. Leslie John Brannon T/14754143 R.A.S.C. Attached R.A.M.C. Age ?. Killed
L/Cpl. Frederick John Edwin Cooper T/203154. R.A.S.C. Attached 163 Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. Age 34. Killed
Cpt. Philip Brian Crosby 211452 Army Dental Corps. Age 26. Killed
Dvr. Sydney Crouch T/14696052 R.A.S.C. Attached R.A.M.C. Age 20. Killed
Pte. Cecil Henry Ellis 14618394 attached 163 Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. Age 42. Killed
Pte. Eric Joshua Ellis 14591379 attached 163 Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. Age 20. Killed
Pte. James Etheridge 14507981 attached 163 Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. Age 36. Killed
Pte. Cyril James Evans 14376873 attached 163 Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. Age 35. Killed
Pte. Richard Evans 14300336 attached 163 Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. Age 21. Killed
Pte. Bernard Fannon 14366866 attached 163 Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. Age 21. Killed
Pte. Thomas Fleming 14333396 attached 163 Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. Age 21. Killed
Pte. Thomas Henry Forsyth 14637389 attached 163 Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. Age 24. Killed
Dvr. Albert Garner T/14404917 R.A.S.C. Attached 223 Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. Age 33. Killed
Dvr. George Gibson T/14710540 R.A.S.C. Attached R.A.M.C. Age 33. Killed
Dvr. Albert Edward Hubble T/14431383 R.A.S.C. Attached 223 Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. Age 20. Killed
Dvr. William James Keeley T/14253682 R.A.S.C. Attached 223 Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. Age 22. Killed
Dvr. Kenneth Mann T/14583298 R.A.S.C. Attached R.A.M.C. Age 20. Killed
Dvr. Derick Moore T/14371881 R.A.S.C. Attached 223 Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. Age 21. Killed
Dvr. Charles Mark Old T/10630390 R.A.S.C. Attached R.A.M.C. Age 25. Killed
Cpl. Reginald Walter Pluck 7536802 Army Dental Cops. Age 28. Killed
Dvr. Reginald Pritchard T/10669595 R.A.S.C. Attached R.A.M.C. Age 29. Killed
Pte. Geoffrey Jack Withers 1075934 Army Catering Corp. Attached R.A.S.C. Age 25. Killed

extreme-ledt-dick-rivaz-and-extreme-right-leonard-cheshire-at-35-squadron-spring-1941-linton-on-ouse
Richard Charles Rivaz D.F.C. shown extreme left and extreme right Leonard Cheshire, whilst with 35 Squadron at Linton-On-Ouse
(Courtesy "Tail Gunner")

REASON FOR LOSS:

This aircraft was tasked with transporting troops back to the UK from Belgium. It took off at night with 5 crew and 26 passengers on board. The pilot made an attempt to get the aircraft off the ground before flying speed had been reached, but failed and sank whilst crossing a hollow at the end of the runway and crashed, bursting into flames. A total of 31 people on board lost their lives. (2)
(1) Sq/Ldr Rivaz had already published a book in 1943 entitled "Tail Gunner" describing his experiences with 35 and 102 Squadrons and was researching for another book on RAF Transport Command when he was killed. In late 1941 the then Flight Lieutenant Rivaz was awarded the D.F.C. for his part in the bombing of the battleship Schamhorst in Brest harbour.
(2) Reason for loss: Accident card Raises a number of issues. It suggests that pilots who are involved with repatriation flights should have special training for operational flights with a full load. Any extra crew not directly involved with the flight should not be permitted on the flight deck. That the runways used for this type of aircraft should be over 2000 yards long and, that the loading of freight should be reviewed when using Liberators. Other issue suggested that the aircraft might have been over weight or incorrectly trimmed.

moseley-grammar-school  moseley-grammar-school-ww2-memorial
Above left: Moseley Grammar school (Now secondary/grammar school). Right: The School Memorial


(3) F/O. John Dolphin Freckleton was a former pupil of Moseley Grammar school (Now secondary/grammar school). We are working very closely with the school's historians to remember all the ex pupils who died whilst serving with the RAF and recorded on the school memorial.

brussels-town-cemetery
Brussels Town Cemetery (Archives)

Burial details:
F/Lt. Peter Green. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.32.16.
Son of James McGregor Green and Ann Brown Green of Lochgelly, Fife

F/O. John Dolphin Freckleton. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.32.17
Son of John Arthur and Florence Mary Freckleton of Sparkbrook, Birmingham

Fl/Sgt. Dennis George Nightall. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.32.20
Son of Alfred George and Louise Vera Nightall of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

F/O. Bernard Connor. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.32.18.
Son of Bernard and Gladys Conner; husband of Robertha Conner of Kirkintilloch, Dunbartonshire

F/O. Harry Thomas Walter Alderton. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.32.19.
Son of Harry and Ethel Alderton; husband of Eva Doris Alderton of Polegate, Sussex

Sq/Ldr. Richard Charles Rivaz. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.32.15
Son of Cecil Arhtur Glencairn and Edith Rivaz; stepson of Evelyn Rivaz of Hove, Sussex


dick-rivaz-in-the-rear-gunner-position-of-an-halifax
Richard Charles Rivaz D.F.C. in the rear gunner position of a Halifax (Courtesy "Tail Gunner")

Dvr. Rowland George Ashton. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.54.
Son of Frank and Maud Eliza Ashton of March, Cambridgeshire

Dvr. William George Bayfeild. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.49
No further details as yet

Dvr. George Henry Bowyer. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.33.
Son of Fred and Alice Bowyer of Coventry; husband of Doris Bowyer of Coventry, Warwickshire

Dvr. Leslie John Brannon. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.51
No further details as yet

L/Cpl. Frederick John Edwin Cooper. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.40.
Son of Fred and Annie Gertrude Cooper of Wilton, Wiltshire; husband of Rebecca Lily Cooper of Wilton, Wiltshire

Cpt. Philip Brian Crosby. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.39
Son of Berkley Cecil and Bessie May Crosby; husband of Mary Cosby of Oswestry, Shopshire. L.D.S, B.Ch.D.

Dvr. Sydney Crouch. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.30
Son of Frederick and Emma Crouch of Elham, Kent

Pte. Cecil Henry Ellis. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.47
No further details as yet

Pte. Eric Joshua Ellis. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.48
Son of Agnes Mary Ellis of Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire

Pte. James Etheridge. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.42
No further details as yet

Pte. Cyril James Evans. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.46
Son of David and Lilian Evans of Winson Green, Birmingham, West Midlands

Pte. Richard Evans. Brussels Town Cemetery. Belgium. Grave X.28.45
No further details as yet

Pte. Bernard Fannon. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.36
No further details as yet

Pte. Thomas Fleming. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.36
Son of David and Margaret Fleming of Strathaven, Lanarkshire

Pte. Thomas Henry Forsyth. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.37
Son of David H and Mary E Forsyth of Hull, Yorkshire

Dvr. Albert Garner. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.43
Son of George Henry and Hannah Garner of Clayton, Manchester

Dvr. George Gibson. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.50
Son of Philip and Jessie Gibson of Newcastle-on-Tyne

Dvr. Albert Edward Hubble. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.44
Son of Thomas Henry and Daisy Florance Hubble of East Acton, London

Dvr. William James Keeley. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.41

Son of Charles Arthur and Dorothy Violet Keeley of Walworth, London

Dvr. Kenneth Mann. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.34
Son of John and Alice Mann of Rochdale, Lancashire

Dvr. Derick Moore. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.52
Son of Edward and Edith Moore of Derby, Derbyshire

Dvr. Charles Mark Old. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.32
Son of Edwin and Emily Old of Yeovil, Somerset; husband of Olive Fanny Old of Preston Plucknett, Yeovil

Cpl. Reginald Walter Pluck. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.38
Son of Herbert John and Florence Pluck; husband of Enid Frances Pluck of Shepreth, Hertfordshire

Dvr. Reginald Pritchard. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28.35
Son of Herbert Archibald and Mary Elisabeth Pritchard of Coventry, Warwickshire

Pte. Geoffrey Jack Withers. Brussels Town Cemetery, Belgium. Grave X.28. 53
Son of Thomas and Rosena Withers; husband of Vera Jean Withers of Harringay, Middlesex

Researched by: A.R. Society for relatives of all the crew and the many passengers. Acknowledgments: With thanks to Keith Townsend historian of Moseley Secondary/Grammar school memorial records, R.C. Rivaz -"Tail Gunner", Collin Cummings - "The Price of Peace", C.W.G.C. for there superb work.