624 Squadron aircraft and crew lost September 1943 to june 1944

Ventura AE881

7th September 1943

The first 624 squadron aircraft lost in action was Ventura AE881 :     

                                                                                                                                                                   7th/8th September 1943. Took off  from Protville at  21:15 for special duties over Italy but failed to return. All crew  are commemorated on the Malta Memorial Valletta, Southern Harbour, Malta. 


One of two Lockheed Venturas of 1575 flight 1943

One of two Lockheed Venturas of 1575 flight 1943


AE881 Crew

F/Lt Cyril Dennis Boothby 126120 DFC DFM RAF  son of John William and Alice Evelyn Boothby of 1,Greenhill Road, Leicester

F/O Donald Burnard Pope 135478 RAFVR  age 34  son of Joseph and Mabel Pope, husband of Sylvia Pope of Bromley Kent

F/Sgt William Herbert Lowe 1088734 RAFVR  age 33  son of William Sidney and Annie Lowe of Manchester

W/O Lancelot Williams 749325 RAF  age 23  son of Arthur and Agnes Isobel Williams of Hartshill, Stoke on Trent

Halifax v eb140


1st December 1943

7 crew and 5 agents lost on Albanian operation.Aircraft crashed near Koplesiagraphn, Greece. 

All crew are buried at Phaleron War Cemetery,Athens,Greece

EB140 crew

Fl/Sgt. Dennis John Howlett ,Pilot  1386233 RAFVR  aged 22 from Kingsdown Kent

Fl/Sgt. Arthur Edward Hickerton ,Navigator  1199782 RAFVR  aged 29 from Birmingham an Engine fitter, married

Fl/Sgt. Vernon Leslie Miller, Air Gunner R.161298  RCAF aged 19 from Paris, Ontario, Canada, a Linesman for Bell telephone co.

Fl/Sgt. Arthur Ernest Edwards, Air Bomber 1331655  RAFVR aged 21 from North Finchley Middlesex 

Fl/Sgt. Raymond Percival Atkinson, Flight Engineer 988591  RAFVR aged 21 from Penrith Cumbria

Fl/Sgt. James Kenneth Shewring, Air Gunner 1337064 RAFVR aged 21 from Bristol, an Apprentice electrician

Fl/Sgt. John Kenneth Hughes, Wireless Op. 1030906 RAFVR aged 20 from Devizes Wiltshire, a Carpenter


Cpl. Sidney George Cleland aged 34 from Edinburgh married


halifax ii bb444

1st February 1944

Halifax BB444 crashed in Albania February 1st 1944 on S.O.E. supply mission. Only rear gunner Sgt. Baker survived. 6 crew members lost

All buried at Tirana Park Memorial Cemetery


BB444 crew


F/Sgt Edward Drake Steele Tennant , Pilot , 410105 RAAF  aged 31,a woolworker from Coburg, Bourke, Victoria, Australia

F/O Ronald Edwin Stanley, Navigator, 136869 RAFVR aged 21 from Catford,London, a Junior Clerk with the Friendly Society. 

Sgt Francis Cecil Rudolph Burlefinger Wireless Op. 1317535 RAFVR aged 26 from Southampton

Sgt George Gardner Air Gunner 2214238 RAFVR aged 19 from Stockton-On -Tees

F/Sgt Dennis Hilton Potter 427021 RAAF  aged 21 from Muntadgin Western Australia

Sgt James Leo Devine Flight Engineer 1503292 RAFVR aged 22 from Manchester

halifax ii bb386


4th March 1944

Halifax II BB386 4th March 1944 . Took off from Blida 20:05 hrs. Aircraft crashed 5 miles NW of Blida in a sudden heavy rain storm 5 mins after taking off. The cause was believed to be failure of the port inner engine. All crew were lost and are buried at Dely Ibrahim War Cemetery Algiers, Algeria

BB386 crew

WO II George Thomas Jackson Pilot E.133848 RCAF aged 23 from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

F/Sgt. Roy Wesley Moller Air Gunner R.181806 RCAF aged 21 from Dubuc, Saskatchewan, Canada

F/O Francis Ira Elliott Air Gunner J.17987 RCAF aged 27 from Moncton, New Brunswick,Canada

F/O Gordom Mundell Air Bomber J.23368 RCAF aged 31 from Winipeg, Manitoba, Canada

P/O Harry Alexander Edward Smith Navigator R.143428 RCAF aged 33 from Saanichton, British Columbia, Canada

Sgt. Donald Garforth Browne Wireless Op. 1318459 RAFVR aged 20 from Loudwater, Buckinghamshire

Sgt. William Dennis Hazeldine Flight Engineer 1722770 RAFVR aged 19 from Tunbridge Wells, Kent


Halifax ii jn960

26th/27th April 1944

Halifax JN960 -L    26/27 April 1944. Aircraft failed to return from French"Prettytoes"operation.Believed to have crashed into the


F/Sgt Houghton, F/O Huddart, Sgt Hudson, Sgt

Mitchell & P/O Stead are commemorated on the

Malta Memorial, Malta

Sgt Ward is buried at La Nouvelle Communal

Cemetery, France

Sgt Gemmell is buried at Mazargues War

Cemetery, Marseilles, France. 


JN960 crew

F/Sgt. William Houghton 1452281 RAFVR aged 22 son of James Stanley and Hilda Houghton from Warrington,Lancashire.

F/O George Joffre Huddart J.21570 RCAF aged 28, An advertising writer and solicitor,son of William James and Daisy Huddart  from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

P/O Sidney Richard Stead 421472 RAAF aged 24, son of Sidney Samuel and Grace Hilda Stead from Bondi Junction, New South Wales, Australia.

Sgt. Andrew John Mitchell 1822273 RAFVR aged 19, son of Andrew S Mitchell from Aberdeen.

Sgt. David Gemmell, Flight Engineer, 1821213 RAFVR aged 19, son of David and Agnes Gemmell from Saltcoats,Ayrshire.

Sgt. Eric Furlow Hudson 1458087 RAFVR aged 21, son of Frederick and Minna Hudson from Thorner,Yorkshire.

Sgt. Kenneth Norman Ward , Air Gunner, 1492011 RAFVR aged 21, son of Norman and Jean Ward from Low Fell, Gateshead.

halifax ii jp238


16th June 1944

Taking off from Blida, aircraft swung  near the end of the runway, clipped a Wellington of 36 squadron and crashed. The aircraft burst into flames and was completely destroyed. Pilot P/O Bryden and five crew escaped with burns and injuries but rear gunner F/Sgt Donald Loren Small was fatally injured. F/Sgt Small is buried at Dely Ibrahim War

Cemetery, Algeria

JP238 crew

F/Sgt. Donald Loren Small Air Gunner, R.200870 RCAF aged 20,son of Wesley and Flora Small, husband of Viola Small from Conn, Ontario, Canada 


halifax ii jp240

24th/25th June 1944

Halifax Mk.II JP240 "P" t ook off from Blida at 2037 hrs for SOE mission ADJOINT and CABRIOLET. Aircraft crashed about 0100 hrs at target area at Saint-Vincent-De-Barres with all crew killed. Also on board was Captain Brian George  Dalziel aged 25 from Strathay , an ISSU officer with The Gordon Highlanders,who was also killed.

The entire crew are buried in one grave in the Parish Cemetery of Saint Vincent de Barres, 18 km south of Privas,France. On V.E Day a ceremony was performed at the cemetery where flowers from five local villages were placed on the grave.


JP240 crew

W/O Class 11 Earl Duncan McDermid, Pilot,R.162752 RCAF, aged 26,formerly a soldier with the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps.

 son of Norman Victor and Sophia Francis McDermid from Vancouver,British Columbia,Canada 

W/O Class 11 Lloyd Weldon Burnside, Navigator R.161811 RCAF aged 22, who was studying Maths and Science at Ottowa Technical School, son of Christopher Augustus Burnside from Ottowa,Ontario,Canada

Flt/Sgt. Francis Anthony Coady, Air Gunner,R.198799 RCAF aged 19,a labourer on his father's farm ,son of James and Minnie Coady from Leduc,Alberta,Canada, 

Flt/Sgt. Dalton Morgan Corbett,Wireless Op., R.170887 RCAF, aged 29, a driver for the local dairy. son of Andrew and Elizabeth Corett from Barrie,Ontario,Canada, 

Sgt. William Charles Ellis, Flight Engineer, R.156577 RCAF, aged 20, son of John and Charlotte Ellis from Mimico,Ontario,Canada

F/O Robert Howard Sneath, Air Bomber, J.27589 RCAF , aged 23,son of George and Mabel Sneath from Elgin,Manitoba,Canada

Sgt. Robert William Whitelam , Flight Engineer, 1622627 RAFVR, aged 21 from Holbeach, Lincolnshire

halifax ii jp206


26th June 1944

Halifax Mk II JP206 "F" 25/26 June 1944. Took off from Blida at 2021 hrs on SOE mission AUTO and STARKEY. Aircraft crashed in the target area at Gilhoc-sur-Ormeze (Ardeche) France and burnt out with no survivors .The drop went well and the pilot banked the plane to make sure they had hit the spot. As he turned to climb back out, the wing caught a tree and the plane crashed into the side of the hill, hitting a stone bridge and killing all on board.

Villagers went to assist but discovered nothing other than the battered remains of the plane scattered across the fields. The wreckage remained there until the war ended.

The bodies were taken to the Town Hall and laid in state with a Guard of Honour until the funeral.

On the day of the funeral up to 4,000 Ardechians attended, coming from miles around. The town band played as they walked behind the two coffins, winding up the steep road to the local cemetery. 

The crew are buried amongst the locals in the Lamastre Protestant Cemetery. 

In later years, the Resistance erected a monument in honour of the crew at the crash site near Gilhoc.

The inscription on the attached plaque reads " In this place on 27th June 1944 an English plane crashed during a parachute drop of weapons to Ardechoise resistance. 7 allied airmen died for the liberation of our country . Remember Them"


JP206 crew

                                                                                                                                           W/O Peter Edward Godsell,Pilot, 1623200 RAFVR , aged 20, Employed by an Altrincham firm of Surveyors, son of Alfred Richard and Bessie Gertrude Godsell from Timperley,Cheshire

F/O Frederick Nelson Hack,  Air Gunner , J.29229 RCAF , aged 20 , a bank clerk, son of Charles and Lillian Isabella Hack from Midland, Ontario, Canada.

F/O Walter Xavier Jamieson, Air Bomber , J.24521 RCAF,  aged 26, assistant clerk for a freight company, son of William David and Matilda Jamieson from Lower Montague,Prince Edward Island, Canada.

SGT. Douglas Hugh Robinson ,Wireless Op., 1313017 RAFVR, aged 23, recently married son of Rowland Charles and Gertrude Maud Robinson,

husband of Marian Robinson, from Abercynon, Glamorgan

Sgt. Ernest Henry William Coles,Flight Engineer,1810734 RAFVR aged 29,son of Mrs.D.V.Coles from Pokesdown , Bournemouth

Sgt.James Mercer, Air Gunner , 1824990 RAFVR, aged 20  ,son of Robert Fowler Mercer and Agnes Mercer, from Whitslaid, Berwickshire

W/O Leslie John Anstee, Navigator , 1289182 RAFVR ,aged 22 ,son of John and Lydia Mary Anstee from Downham , Bromley , Kent

Losses from July 1944 to May 1945