5th June 1945.

The following is a record of the last flight of the crew of T for Tondelyo (OJ-T) but in Lancaster PP673 (OJ-B).

Up: 14.15 Down: --
Aircraft: Lanc I, PP673 B
JUVINCOURT: For collection of 4 ground staff personnel on cessation of “EXODUS” duties. Aircraft crashed near Vitry, on return flight. All crew and passengers killed with the exception of LAC. Farley with slight injuries.

SUMMARY: Two aircraft were detailed for the collection of ground personnel from JUVINCOURT on cessation of “EXODUS” duties. Both aircraft took off but aircraft PP673 crashed near VITRY (France) on the return journey. Cause unknown but is subject of A.I.B. Inquiry. [8]

PP673 From 5 MU 23rd Mar 45. Lost wing and dived from 2,000 feet into ground, Arras, France, 5th June 45; ten occupants killed. [2]

At 2000 feet, the aircraft suddenly went into a steep dive but the pilot was able to flatten this out before the starboard outer wing and engine fractured and broke away from the aircraft, which crashed into the ground, burst into flames and was destroyed. The accident is thought to have been caused by a failure of the auto pilot. There was one survivor from the 11 persons on board. [9]

Flying Officer Peter TOTTLE 21 Pilot
Flight Sergeant Paul Cochrane WYATT Navigator
Sergeant Robert Edward TILLEY Flight Engineer
Flight Sergeant Jack DYER 27 Wireless Operator
Flight Sergeant Kenneth HIRD 21 Air Gunner
Flight Sergeant Leonard JONES Air Gunner
Flight Sergeant Eric PAIGE 21 Bomb Aimer
Aircraftman 2nd Class William QUINN 24
Leading Aircraftman William Christie SPARK 34
Leading Aircraftman Wilfred Herbert WARDLE 22

References.

2. STRONG BY NIGHT, History and Memories of No. 149 (East India) Squadron Royal Air force 1918/19 - 1937/56, John Johnston and Nick Carter, and Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 2002 ISBN 0851303137

8. Air Ministry, Operations Record Books, No. 149 SQUADRON, 01 June 1945 to 30 June 1945, AIR 27/2455/82.

9. THE PRICE OF PEACE, A catalogue of RAF aircraft losses between VE-Day and the end of 1945, Compiled and edited by Colin Cummings, Nimbus Publishing, ISBN 0952661950.