Flight Sergeant William Clifton KINSMAN

Service No: 427123
Born: Perth WA, 25 August 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 May 1942
Unit: No. 26 Operational Training Unit (RAF), RAF Wing, Buckinghamshire
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 26 Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft JA455), Buckinghamshire, 5 February 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Oxford (Botley) Cemetery, Oxfordshire UK
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George Clifton Kinsman and Lillian Trilby Kinsman, of North Perth, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA
Remembered: Honour Avenues, Kings Park WA

On the 5th February 1944, Wellington JA455 took off from Wing for a training exercise. The aircraft lost power while preparing to land and crashed into a wood at Fox Covert, about midway between Wing and Stewkley, Buckinghamshire. Two crew members were killed and three were injured in the crash.

The crew members of JA455 were:

Sergeant Edward Townshend Bowe (423995) (Pilot) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 26 July 1945
Sergeant J Corrigan (1459646) (RAFVR) Injured
Sergeant James Scott Duguid (R/170623) (RCAF) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant William Clifton Kingsman (427123) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Bryan Joseph O’Hare (428776) (Wireless Operator) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 31 October 1945
Sergeant K L Pierce (1893930) (RAFVR) Injured

A Court of Inquiry into the accident found that: “Sergeant Bowe on returning from the exercise called base on the R/T at 2305 hours. At this time he instructed the Bomb Aimer to switch on the Nacelle tanks and the Bomb Aimer reported that this was done after going to the rear of the aircraft. At 2308 hours he was given instructions to reduce height to 1,500 feet, and go over to visual control which he acknowledged. Less than a minute after both engines cut and from eye witnesses accounts Bowe tried to put the aircraft down on the aerodrome. His undercarriage was locked down and approximately 28 degrees of flaps down. He lost height, downwind, crossing the left hand boundary close to the runway in use at approx 400 feet and then tried to turn on to the flare path. He did not have sufficient height to execute the necessary turn and the aircraft cashed in Fox Covert 200 yards short of the flare path. The fuel supply to the engines had been cut off. The main fuel supply Cocks CP and CS had been turned off by the Bomb Aimer, when the Nacelle tanks should have been turned on. He also had a lack of familiarity with the new Type of Nacelle fuel cock. “


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/22/190

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