Flying Officer Edward Maxwell ENGLAND DFC

Service No: 412418
Born: Dubbo NSW, 2 February 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 19 July 1941
Unit: No. 96 Squadron (RAF), RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 30 June 1944 (Citation Title: No. 550 Squadron RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 96 Squadron Halifax aircraft MZ464), UK, 25 February 1945, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Yorkshire UK
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Albert Charles and Lucy Grace England, of Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Dubbo NSW
Remembered: Panel 121, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Dubbo Memorial Drive and Rose Garden, Dubbo NSW

DFC Citation: In the course of a successful tour of operational duty, Pilot Officer England has navigated his aircraft in many sorties against important targets in Germany including Berlin. On one occasion, during an attack on Hanover, his aircraft was severely damaged by fire from the enemy defences and most of the navigational aids were lost. Nevertheless, by his resourcefulness and skill, Pilot Officer England guided the aircraft back to base. At all times, this officer has displayed a high degree of skill, courage and devotion to duty. (London Gazette 30/6/1944, page 3090)

Halifax MZ464, during a practice flight of circuits and landings on 25 February 1945, crashed on a hill near Brantingham Brough, about 8 miles west of Kingston upon Hull, a few minutes after take-off from RAF Station Leconfield. All on board were killed.

After making two normal landings the aircraft took off for a third time at approx 1520 hours. The weather at the aerodrome was suitable for circuits and landings, but in the locality of the crash very low cloud down to tree top level and drizzle was possible. After circling in cloud for several minutes above the hilly location, the aircraft seemed to come from a north westerly direction and strike some tall trees while attempting a steep climbing port turn to avoid them.

The opinion of the Court of Inquiry was that the accident was caused presumably by the fact that the pilot had entered cloud and was unaware of the presence of high ground over which he was finally flying while endeavouring to break cloud, and did not see the trees in sufficient time to avoid hitting them. The weather at the time was a contributory factor.

The on board MZ 464 were:

Flying Officer Edward Maxwell England DFC (412418) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Max Leslie Hubbard MID (415329) (Pilot)
Leading Aircraftman Ronald Latham (1476598) (RAFVR) (Supernumerary)
Pilot Officer James Walker Marshall (186411) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant George Strong (1611982) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)


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, 166/12/166
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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