LEST WE FORGET

Warrant Officer Cedric Milford WOOD

Service No: 412225
Born: Rose Bay NSW, 5 August 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 June 1941
Unit: No. 179 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident: (No. 179 Squadron Wellington aircraft HF129), Devon, 7 July 1944, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Bath (Haycombe) Cemetery, Somerset
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Frederick Ernest and Elsie Wood, of Rose Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Rose Bay NSW
Remembered: Panel 132, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

When returning from a night operational anti-submarine patrol on 7 July 1944 Wellington HF129 crashed at 0254 hours on the bank of the River Taw about one mile east of the RAF Chivenor runway. The aircraft made a normal circuit and on approaching to land overshot. The engines were opened up, appeared to respond correctly, and the aircraft gained height to about 100 feet, and then sank rapidly and crashed. Four of the crew members were killed and one survived the crash.

The crew members of HF129 were:

Flight Sergeant Richard James Harris (415530) (RNZAF) (First Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Kenneth Lentin (778686) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Frederick Henry Phillips (1320115) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Warrant Officer Robert Douglas Ward (421648) (Second Wireless Air Gunner) Survived, Discharged from the RAAF: 15 November 1945
Warrant Officer John Lugton Warne (410764) (Third Wireless Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Cedric Milford Wood (412255) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)

A subsequent enquiry into the accident reported “It appears that the accident occurred as a result of bad cockpit drill, with the flaps being raised before the undercarriage was fully retracted.”

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, 166/44/152