Pilot Officer Douglas John BLACK

Service No: 426028
Born: Ayr QLD, 23 March 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 23 May 1942
Unit: No. 1656 Conversion Unit (RAF), RAF Station Lindholme
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1656 Conversion Unit Halifax aircraft LM344), Rutland, 2 September 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John William and Daphne Helen Black, of Coorparoo, Queensland, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Ayr QLD
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1103 hours on the 2 September 1944, Halifax LM344 took off from Lindholme for a day training flight with a screened navigator giving instruction on H2S (radar). The aircraft ran into a violent storm and crashed at 1250 hours, near Little Casterton, 10 miles east of Oakham. The crew of eight was killed. The aircraft was seen to come out of a very low heavy thunder cloud, in a spin during a violent thunderstorm. A Court of Inquiry into the accident stated: “the court was of the opinion that the aircraft crashed due to bad weather which could have caused the crash in two ways (a) the aircraft was out of control due to “icing” or (b) the aircraft was struck by lightening causing partial disintegration of the aircraft.”

The crew members of LM344 were:

Sergeant Ernest Clifford Alsop (1488179) (RAFVR) (Navigator Air Bomber)
Pilot Officer Douglas John Black (426028) (Screened Navigator Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant Hugh Alexander Andrew Bodin (1050107) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant William Campbell (1355935) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Pilot Officer Herbert Garthwaite (179288) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Stanley George Jacobs (432193) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Douglas Stanley Thompson (338267) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Ambrose Frederick Maurice Trimby (1354812) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)


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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/5/689

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