Flying Officer Henry Alfred POULTER

Service No: 409940
Born: Richmond VIC, 24 September 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 7 November 1941
Unit: No. 1664 Conversion Unit (RAF), RAF Station Croft
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1664 Conversion Unit Halifax aircraft EB198), Yorkshire, 15 September 1943, Aged 30 Years
Buried: Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Yorkshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Frank and Jessie Frances Poulter, of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; husband of Lois Jean Poulter, of St. Kilda, Victoria
Roll of Honour: Melbourne VIC
Remembered: Panel 129, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the 15 September 1943, Halifax EB198 took off from Croft detailed to carry out a high level bombing over Strensall bombing range. At 1143 hours It crashed at Stillington, three miles north of Eastmoor, Yorkshire, and the Pilot was killed. The aircraft was making a run to drop its third bomb, when the Pilot’s escape hatch became open from the jettison pins. The crew endeavoured to close the hatch but failed, and the door blew off. The hatch struck the starboard fin above the tail plane, damaging the leading edge and also the starboard rudder. The Captain ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft which they did successfully, but they were injured or slightly injured in the process. The Pilot then did a circle and set a course for base, when some three miles from where the crew baled out, the aircraft was seen to go into a dive, recover, then do a complete slow roll after which it crashed and burst into flame.

The crew members of EB198 were:

Sergeant Finlay (701162) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant H Glass (R/15584) (RCAF) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer C M Graham (151241) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Flying Officer Henry Alfred Poulter (409940) (Pilot)
Sergeant M J Robinson (R/138018) (RCAF) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant G O Sharp (1317939) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner) Injured
Sergeant O W Way (1314764) (RAF) (Navigator)

A Court of Inquiry into the accident found that: “the primary cause of the accident was the hatch opening and subsequently being jettisoned, damaged the starboard fin.” The Court was of the opinion that the damage was insufficient to make the aircraft unairworthy, and that the Pilot ultimately lost control of the aircraft.”


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, 166/33/74

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