LEST WE FORGET

Flight Lieutenant Curtis Warren WHEELOCK

Service No: 410580
Born: Caulfield VIC, 31 December 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 30 January 1942
Unit: No. 279 Squadron (RAF), Detachment RAF Station Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 279 Squadron Warwick aircraft NG189), near Aberdeen, 16 May 1945, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Cairnbulg and Inverallochy Burial Ground, Rathen, Aberdeenshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John and Ruth Ella Wheelock, of East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; husband of Doris Maude Wheelock, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Roll of Honour: Melbourne VIC
Remembered: Panel 132, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 16 May 1945, Warwick NG189 crashed four miles north west of Aberdeen. The accident occurred at 1940 hours as a result of the failure of an engine.

The crew members of NG189 were:

Flight Sergeant C J Borner (1382536) (RAFVR) (Radio Operator) Injured
Flight Sergeant R Clark (974672) (RAFVR) (Observer) Injured
Flying Officer James Dalton Heath (424585) (Special Equipment (Radar) Operator) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 6 December 1945
Warrant Officer W Teague (1184692) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner) Injured
Flight Lieutenant Curtis Warren Wheelock (410580) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Edward Wood (1451539) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)

A Court of Inquiry into the accident found that: “with the failure of the port engine an emergency landing was attempted but the approach was made down-wind on a runway that sloped slightly downwards. The aircraft was in a perfect position to land at the beginning of the runway and only about 10 feet up. Excessive speed carried the aircraft straight above the runway until apposition approximately 200 yards from the aerodrome boundary, when the aircraft touched down. Full brakes were applied but there was insufficient room to pull up. The aircraft collided with a goods train on the railway just outside the aerodrome boundary. The aircraft caught fire and four were rescued and two killed. The aircraft was called on the wireless several times and warned to land and told which runway to use, and the crash tender was on the spot immediately. It was evident that the accident was caused by the Pilot being in a hurry to land, thus landing down-wind on a short runway and over shooting. It was unfortunate that Flying Control was unable to contact the aircraft on the radio”.

References:

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, 166/43/1364