Flying Officer Colin Leonard WOOLFORD

Service No: 424665
Born: Malvern VIC, 28 August 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 October 1942 (at Sydney NSW)
Unit: No. 99 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: Victory in Burma (No. 99 Squadron Liberator aircraft KH974), Bengal, India, 21 January 1945, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Maynamati War Cemetery, Bangladesh
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leonard and Mary Amelia Woolford; husband of Marie Laura Woolford, of Floreat Park, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 133, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Liberator KH254 collided with Liberator KG974 at Char Mahammadpur, Bengal on 21 January 1945. Both aircraft collided head on just after dawn when a formation of 16 aircraft from the Squadron was forming up for one of the biggest operations yet attempted. The squadron aircraft were forming up with aircraft from other Squadrons at a rendezvous point.

The rendezvous point was an island, and aircraft were required to make a left hand circuit at a height of 5000 feet when forming up. Difficulty was experienced by some crews in forming up as the island was enveloped by ground mist. KH254 and KG974 were fully laden with bombs when they collided at 0706 hours. There was an immediate explosion and a pall of black smoke. All on board KH254 and KH974 were killed.

The crew members of KH974 were:

Flight Sergeant Gilbert John Aspinwall (1322064) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant George Baker (1610129) (RAFVR) (Ball Gunner)
Sergeant William Charles Burrows (1602975) (RAFVR) (First Wireless Operator)
Sergeant Roy Cooper Fergie (1372356) (RAFVR) (Second Wireless Operator)
Flight Sergeant Philip Bellerby Haile (1490462) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant Michael Victor Ireton (1623984) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Warrant Officer Percy Norman Sayer (1378229) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Mervyn Harcourt Trice (1305035) (RAFVR) (Front Gunner)
Flight Sergeant William Watchman (1691748) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant William Thomson Watson (2209607) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flying Officer Colin Leonard Woolford (424665) (Navigator)

The crew members of KH254 were:

Pilot Officer Noel Thalman Biccard (410044) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Clifford Candlish (2206379) (RAFVR) (Front Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Robert Henry Dixon (1896854) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Bruce Colin Geeves (428016) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Arthur Kay (1549565) (RAFVR) (First Wireless Operator)
Flight Sergeant Thomas James Arthur Lineton (1688240) (RAFVR) (Ball Gunner)
Warrant Officer John Laing McKee (1167652) (RAFVR) (Navigator Bomb Aimer) Passenger
Flight Sergeant Peter Alexander Reader (1627512) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Henry Raymond John Rose (1802330) (RAFVR) (Second Wireless Operator)
Flight Lieutenant Maurice Thompson Simpson (130500) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Lieutenant Alan Leonard Spafford (542789V) (SAAF) (Navigator)
Sergeant Frederick Joseph Wright (1543863) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)


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, 166/44/225

Book Now Book Now