Pilot Officer Lachlan Douglas HINTEN

Service No: 413998
Born: Bowraville NSW, 18 May 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1941
Unit: No. 126 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident: (No. 126 Squadron Spitfire aircraft NH397), Devon, 1 August 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Bath (Haycombe) Cemetery, Somerset
CWGC Additional Information: Son of David Edwin Roy and Catherine May Hinten, of Eungai Railway, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Macksville NSW
Remembered: Panel 124, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Spitfire NH397 flown by Pilot Officer Hinten was “spare” on a daytime offensive sweep by the Squadron on 1 August 1944, and according to normal procedure NH397 left the formation half way across the Channel. As the weather was non-operational at Harrowbeer, NH397 was homed towards Exeter under full radio control. The pilot was last heard from near Totnes, saying that he was “popeys.” Later it was reported that the aircraft had dived into the ground. NH397 exploded on impact and was extensively burnt. An eye witness stated that the aircraft spun into the ground after circling. The aircraft crashed at 1604 hours at Churchland Green near Totnes and the Pilot Officer Hinten was killed.

In his remarks on a Report on the Flying accident, Wing Commander Butterworth (RAF) Station Commander Harrowbeer, stated “the pilot appeared to be quite happy under Exeter Flying Control radio. After being told to climb to 3,000 feet he went into cloud, and was later seen by eye witnesses to come out of cloud do a slight turn before diving into the ground with the aircraft exploding on impact. I make no recommendations until the Investigation into this fatal accident, as ordered by Headquarters No. 10 Group is completed.”


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, 166/17/687

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