1663 Heavy Conversion Unit
Royal Air Force Bomber Command

Operation: Training

Crew (+ means Fatal Casualty):

Sergeant E F WILLIAMSON  +

Sergeant C R L THORNTON  +

Sergeant D C BUTLIN  +

Sergeant W J PELHAM  +

Sergeant D W SUFFLING  +

Sergeant A J DUNN  +

Sergeant H HINETT  +

Sergeant J HUNTER  +


1 May 1943. Halifax V, DG 408-'M'. Take-off 1520 Rufforth for a cross-country exercise which went terribly wrong and ended in tragedy circa 1925 in the sea off the French port of Brest. Seven now lie in cemeteries at Barneville-sur-mer (Sergeant THORNTON), Siouville-Hague (Sergeant HUNTER, who hailed from Belfast) and Bayeux, the remaining five (*). On June 1943, Sergeant BUTLIN’s body came ashore on the Channel Island of Jersey (near La Pulante) and he now rests at Saint-Hélier War Cemetery, his funeral being held with full military honours on 6 June.

Circumstances taken from Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses Volume 8, Heavy Conversion Units and Miscelleaneous Units, 1939-1947 by W R CHORLEY, Midland Publishing.

(*) Bayeux War Cemetery, Calvados, Normandy, France (Grave/Memorial Reference):
Sergeant E F WILLIAMSON (XVIII. F. 13.), Sergeant W J PELHAM (VIII. C. 5.), Sergeant D W SUFFLING (VIII. C. 3.), Sergeant A J DUNN (VIII. C. 10.) & Sergeant H HINETT (VIII. C. 4.).


1: Barneville-sur-mer

2: Bayeux

3: Rufforth

4: Saint-Hélier

5: Siouville-Hague

Siouville Grave Siouville Grave Siouville Grave Siouville Grave Siouville Grave