Flight Sergeant Alan Livingstone CURRIE

Service No: 430014
Born: Williamstown VIC, 20 September 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 4 December 1942
Unit: No. 27 Operational training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 27 operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft BK252), Church Broughton, 6 September 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Oxford (Botley) Cemetery, Oxfordshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James Livingstone Currie and Elsie Currie, of Williamstown, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Williamstown VIC
Remembered: Panel 121, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2058 hours on the night of 5/6 September 1944, Wellington BK252 took off from Church Broughton detailed to carry out night cross-country training. During the flight the port engine ceased to function and the flight was aborted. The aircraft retuned to base but overshot the first approach, and while attempting to go round again it yawed violently and crashed at 0018 hours some 2000 yards north west of the airfield. Two crew members were killed and a fierce fire broke out more or less on impact.

The crew members of BK252 were:

Flight Sergeant Alan Livingstone Currie (430014) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Reginald Arthur Groves (430616) (Wireless Operator)
Flight Sergeant Reginald John Heal (436911) (Mid Upper Gunner) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 9 October 1945
Flight Sergeant Thomas Edward Hennessy (436986) (Rear Gunner) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 16 August 1946
Sergeant Raymond William McDougall (431258) (Bomb Aimer) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 30 January 1946
Flight Sergeant Robert Frederick Newnham (430045) (Navigator) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 28 February 1946

Evidence given by the Navigator to a Court of Inquiry stated “The aircraft was detailed to carry out a solo night cross country on the night of 5/6th September 1944. The Captain reported that everything was satisfactory until the last leg when he decided to return to base instead of to Staffordshire base. The reason he gave for this short cut was that the engine temperature had dropped to 50 degrees. Also an engine, I think it was the starboard engine had backfired 2 or 3 times although there was no trouble previously. On reaching base we prepared to land, but when in the funnel the Captain said he had received a red and commenced to overshoot. A short time after the overshoot, the Captain gave the order to take up crash positions, and I climbed onto the Navigators table.”

In its conclusion the Court stated: “when in the funnel the aircraft had been given a red light signal and it began overshoot action. When a third of the way along the runway the aircraft swung to port and began to lose height. The aircraft crashed one mile north west of the airfield in a steep diving turn to port with the port wing well down. In an examination of the port engine on the unit it revealed what is thought to be a technical failure. There is some doubt as to whether this was the primary cause of the accident and further technical examination will be necessary. If the port engine failed during the overshoot with the undercarriage partly lowered and with full flaps and low airspeed, it would be virtually impossible for the pilot to maintain height or control. Evidence obtained supports the theory of a port engine failure.”


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, 166/8/633

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