Sergeant Clarence Leonard HUTCHESSON

Service No: 401729
Born: Horsham VIC, 24 November 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 March 1941
Unit: No. 54 Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 54 Operational Training Unit Beaufighter aircraft R2378), Berwickshire, 13 November 1942, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Fogo Churchyard, Berwickshire, Scotland
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Andrew Leonord and Adeline Maude Hutchesson; husband of Winifred Marjory Hutchesson, of Horsham, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Horsham VIC
Remembered: Panel 124, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1350 hours on the 13 November 1942, Beaufighter R2378 crashed at Kettelshiel Farm near Polwarth, Berwickshire and the crew of two was killed. The aircraft had collided in the air with Beaufighter T3359. Both aircraft were detailed for a special interception exercise and were flying at about 10,500 feet at the time of the accident. R2378 flew about 20/30 feet directly below the target aircraft T3359, and eventually climbed up and collided with the target aircraft whose vision was very limited. The Pilot of R2378 lost control in the collision and the aircraft crashed. T3359 landed safely.

A Flying accident report stated: “it seemed likely the both the Pilot and Navigator were flying on instruments when the collision occurred. This appears the case allowing that the Nav/Radio would have warned the Pilot of the impending danger of a collision. There is no explanation as to why they did not bale out. It concluded that the collision was an error of judgement by the Pilot, and that no blame was attributed to the other aircraft.”

The crew members of R2378 were:

Sergeant Clarence Leonard Hutchesson (401729) (Pilot)
Sergeant Hal Michael Rikard-Bell (1324830) (RAFVR) (Navigator / Radio Operator)


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, 163/12/209

Book Now Book Now