Sergeant John Stoppard ECCLES

Service No: 414664
Born: Salford, England, 14 March 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 8 November 1941 (at Brisbane QLD)
Unit: No. 27 Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 27 Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft BK405), Staffordshire, 11 January 1943, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Salford (Agecroft) Cemetery, Lancashire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John and Agnes Mabel Eccles, of Timperley, Altringham, Cheshire
Roll of Honour: Thangool QLD
Remembered: Panel 121, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1535 hours on the 11 January 1943, Wellington BK405 took off from Church Broughton detailed to carry out circuits and landings, combined with single-engined flying. At around 1550 hours the Pilot under instruction went through the drill in readiness to shut down the port engine, but tragically, he feathered the starboard propeller. Immediately the aircraft spun and crashed at Boylestone. All on board were killed.

The crew members of BK405 were:

Sergeant John Stoppard Eccles (414664) (Air Gunner under instruction)
Sergeant John Kerr (1332511) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Ian Ross McDonald (408737) (Air Gunner under instruction)
Flying Officer Ralph Holland Tye (404002) (RNZAF) (Instructor Pilot)
Sergeant William Raymond Wearne (409191) (Pilot under instruction)

In a Court of Inquiry into the accident the Officer Commanding the Training Wing stated: “The accident occurred at daytime at Boylestone, Staffordshire, when the aircraft was carrying out circuits and landings. The aircraft was observed to spin in near the aerodrome and crash in the stall position and burn. The Pilot under instruction was being given instruction in single engine flying and it is possible that he turned into the dead engine and before the Instructor could correct it the aircraft got into a spin at a height too low for the Instructor to pull out in time.”


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, 166/11/5

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