Sergeant Eric Harvey LONGBOTTOM

Service No: 416004
Born: Riverton SA, 30 October 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 1 March 1941
Unit: No. 27 Operational Training Unit (RAF), RAF Lichfield, Staffordshire
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 27 Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft DV800), Wales, 19 July 1942, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Llanbebligg Public Cemetery, Caernarvon, UK
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Oliver Ernest and Hilda Grace Longbottom, of Riverton, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Riverton SA
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

On the 19th July 1942, Wellington DV800 took off from RAF Lichfield, for a day cross country training flight. While over North Wales, the crew strayed 10 miles north of their intended track. At around 1230 hours, and flying above cloud, (cloud base 2,000 feet) it was assumed that the pilot decided to let down through the overcast in order to establish their position, and while doing so the aircraft smashed into the Black Ladder mountain near Carnedd Dafydd in Snowdonia. All on board were killed.

A Court of Inquiry into the accident found that: “The Primary cause of the accident could not be established as the accident occurred in daytime away from Lichfield aerodrome. The Secondary cause: It appears that owing to an error in navigation, the aircraft was about 10 miles south of its track from Holyhead to Thyl which resulted in the aircraft flying into Mount Snowden. Cloud base at the time was 2,000 feet. The crew had been briefed to fly at 7,000 feet and it can only be assumed that the Pilot decided to fly below the clouds to pinpoint his position. As the wireless in the aircraft must have been unserviceable as nothing had been heard from the aircraft for several hours. The wireless went unserviceable shortly after 1206 hours when the last message was received. The Pilot was an above average Pilot.”

The crew members of DV800 were:

Sergeant Rupert Theodore Bannister (411475) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Richard Ivor Bowen (1265010) (RAF) (Observer)
Sergeant Eric Harvey Longbottom (416004) (Pilot)
Sergeant Lionel Denis Traylen (1378536) (RAFVR) (Observer)
Sergeant Samuel James Wilson (1026302) (RAF) (Wireless Air Gunner)


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, 163/139/143

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