WILSON Alexander 427597

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Alexander WILSON

Service No: 427597
Born: Busselton WA, 3 February 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 4 August 1942
Unit: No. 1662 Conversion Unit (RAF), RAF Blyton, Lincolnshire
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1662 Conversion Unit Lancaster aircraft PD437), Nottinghamshire, 5 March 1945, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Henry and Agnes Cubie Wilson, of Osborne Park. Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 132, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

On 5 March 1945, Lancaster PD437 took off from RAF Blyton at 1851 hours, detailed to carry out a night cross-country flight. The aircraft was returning from the flight and crashed at 2341 hours, when the aircraft’s starboard wing sliced into a 25 foot high tree before crashing in a field near Woodbeck, five miles south east from Retford, Nottingham. All the crew were killed. The aircraft was on track and on ETA at Base. It had completed half a turn flying from west to east and turning slightly to the south east, losing height slowly, but flying normally. After the starboard plane had slightly grazed a tree 25 feet from the ground, but not with sufficient force to deflect its course, the starboard wing being slightly down struck gently rising ground. The aircraft then struck a tree, disintegrated and caught fire. In his remarks on the accident, the CO RAF Blyton stated “The accident may have been due to faulty or misinterpreted altimeter readings.” The Air Vice Marshal of No 7 Group stated: “the accident was due to bad instrument flying. Existing orders state that the Station should remind pilots of safety heights.”

The crew members of PD437 were:

Sergeant Arthur Bligh (1523986) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Peter Edward William Moore (1898052) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Richard Henry Page (1602672) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant John Hedley Skinner (R/264550) (RCAF) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Frederick William Ward (1866600) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Herbert Albert Warman (1883315) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Alexander Wilson (427597) (Pilot)

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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/43/1201