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51 sqn crash in 1942

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    51 sqn crash in 1942

    One of my colleagues is looking for details of an uncle, David S Parker, who died in an aircraft crash in Devon in 1942, flying with 51 Sqn at the time. Can anyone provide details of the aircraft and circumstances of the accident?

    Presumably this would have been when 51 were based at Chivenor flying Whitleys on Anti-Submarine patrols.


      Found this (here):
      Parker David S. 68819 F/Lt. 24.09.42 Aircraft Z9425 (AW Whitley)
      Last edited by D1566; 11th August 2010, 19:54.


        Air Britain Serials states that an engine failed on an ASR sortie and the aircraft crashed 1 mile east of Chelpham, Devon.

        CWGC states that F/L Parker was cremated at Plymouth Crematorium, which lies in Efford Cemetery, and the names of Servicemen cremated there are recorded on a screen wall. A photograph of the screen wall can be found at the link below.

        I have found two other deaths related to 51 Squadron on the appropriate date. Corporals Robert Victor Doak and Harry Todd. Whether they are related to the incident in which F/L Parker died, I don't know. I suspect Ross McNeill's Coastal Command Losses may provide the answeres but unfortunately I don't have a copy.

        London Gazette shows appointment from LAC to Pilot Officer dated 19/6/41 and to Flying Officer 15/6/42.

        David Shirley Parker was 25 at the time of his death.

        That's all I can find at present.


        The Forums only '"blithering anorak" as endorsed by ZRX61


          Hi Gents,

          Vol 1 of Coastal Command Losses only covers 1939/40/41. The draft Vol 2 contains the following detail

          51 Sqn
          Whitley V

          Op Air Sea Rescue Search, RAF Chivenor

          F/L D S Parker, +
          Sgt H A Roberts
          Sgt E F Goodwin
          Cpl H Todd, +
          Cpl R V Doak, +

          Crashed in a forced landing 1 mile east of Chelpham Viaduct after an internal coolant leak. The fuselage of the aircraft was completely broken up.

          Restorer of Canberra PR.9 XH175 and anon (but looking more like 8249) Anson Mk.II


            Originally posted by Ross_McNeill View Post
            The draft Vol 2 contains the following detail
            When is Vol 2 coming out?


              Just to add a little to the post from Ross.

              CWGC gives a F/S Hugh Alan Roberts of 51 Squadron being killed on the night of the 12/13 May 1943. Chorley's BCL adds that all seven crew of Halifax HR786 perished when they were shot down by a night-fighter over Holland on an operation to Duisburg. The rank is given as Sgt. by Chorley. He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial and was from Llandudno. He was just 26 at the time of his death.

              Whilst I cannot be sure, it does seem likely that this could well be the same H A Roberts who survived the Whitley crash the previous September.

              I can find no further trace of E F Goodwin.


              The Forums only '"blithering anorak" as endorsed by ZRX61


                Just a small comment; the crash location is spelt as Chelfham (with an F) on the OS map and in online references to the railway viaduct, which is an impressive relic of the old narrow gauge Lynton to Barnstaple line.

                I guess that the alternate (or mistaken?) spelling was on the original report(s).

                The location is roughly 8 miles East-Northeast of Chivenor.



                  Many thanks chaps. Interestingly, my colleague thinks he has passed that place many times! Another trip to the area and to Plymouth is now on the cards.


                    Catching up a few years late on this thread, I am researching this crash and visited the crash site last week, trying to find relatives
                    Last edited by mooog1; 14th November 2017, 20:24.


                      Eric Ford Goodwin wrote a book called "Some were Lucky" giving full details of the accident. He visited the farm in the 1980s. Looks like thoiugh he died in 1998
                      Last edited by mooog1; 14th November 2017, 20:24.


                        Hi Mooog, welcome to the forum.

                        Does any evidence of the crash remain now, or has it entirely 'returned to nature'?


                          Hi Propstrike et al

                          You wouldnt know anything had happened there without the information from the landowner regrettably.