LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Allan Henry WOOD

Service No: 402145
Born: Sydney NSW, 11 July 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 27 May 1940
Unit: No. 120 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Raid, Torquay Devon, 25 October 1942, Aged 27 years
Buried: Torquay Cemetery, Devon
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Henry Ernest and Ethel Jane Wood, of Rose Bay, New South Wales, Australia. Dip. Agr. (Hawkesbury)
Roll of Honour: Woollahra NSW
Remembered: Panel 132, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Before being killed during the Air Raid on 25 October 1942, Flying Officer Wood had previously been involved in a serious accident that is described below.  Premises at Torquay were used as a recuperation and recovery centre for aircrew.

On 4 May 1942 Flying Officer Wood flying Liberator AL558 was authorised to carry out a solo local night flying exercise from Nutts Corner, Northern Belfast. The aircraft crashed during the exercise about 5 miles from the aerodrome.

The crew members of AL558 were:

Sergeant Donald William Alexander (402336) Seriously injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 29 August 1945
Sergeant James Frank Gooder (939026) (RAFVR) (First Wireless Air Gunner) Killed
Corporal S J O’Reilly (RAFVR) (Fitter) Slightly injured
Flying Officer Allan Henry Wood (402145) (Pilot) Seriously injured

In a Report on a Flying Accident, it was found “there as an error of judgement on the part of the pilot in that he made the down-wind leg of his circuit too long, so that when he turned cross wind he hit Divis Hill.” It was recommended that a beacon be placed on Divis Hill. This had previously been recommended by the Squadron.

Flying Wood who had been reclassified as ‘dangerously ill’ was transferred to the RAF Officers’ Hospital at Torquay, Devon. In an air raid on Torquay on 25 October 1942, the hospital was directly hit by a High Explosive Bomb and Flying Officer Wood was killed.

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, 163/64/148

Bibliography:

Jay, Alwyn, Endurance; Coastal Command Liberator Operations 1941-5, Banner Books, Maryborough QLD, 4650, 1996