BAIRSTOW John Leslie 427632

LEST WE FORGET 

Pilot Officer John Leslie BAIRSTOW

Service No: 427632
Born: Wagin WA, 14 October 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 16 August 1942
Unit: No. 1660 Conversion Unit (RAF), RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1660 Conversion Unit Stirling aircraft EF200), Nottinghamshire, 30 August 1944, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Oxford (Botley) Cemetery, Oxfordshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leslie Kintare Bairstow and Mary Emily Bairstow, of Wagin, Western Australia; husband of Mary Isabel Bairstow, of Katanning, Western Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

On the 30 August 1944, Stirling EF200 took off from RAF Swinderby for a cross country training flight. While cruising at 12,000 feet the outer port engine failed, and the crew turned back for base. Their first approach was unsatisfactory but while going round again the Pilot lost control and the aircraft crashed at 1532 hours, slightly north of Hardwick Grange, Nottinghamshire.  Five of the crew were killed and three were injured. RAF Gamston flying control reported that the aircraft had approached their runway, wheels down, firing red cartridges and flying on three engines with the port outer feathered.  The aircraft was not in line with the runway and started to go round again at a very low height.  It appeared the Pilot was attempting a right hand circuit, lost height and crashed.

The crew members of EF200 were:

Pilot Officer John Leslie Bairstow (427632) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Walter Douglas Fawcett (427861) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Ivor Hawkins Jones (429230) (Navigator)
Sergeant W Mills (1809441) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner) Injured
Flight Sergeant Austin Dudley O’Hara (429619) (Air Bomber) Seriously Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 13 July 1945
Flight Sergeant Edgar Smith (1684698) (RAFVR) (Staff Flight Engineer)
Sergeant W Toole (2205344) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner) Seriously Injured
Sergeant Frederick John Ward (1800885) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/5/670