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HEANTON PUNCHARDON (St.AUGUSTINE) MILITARY CEMETERY

(SERVING RAF CHIVENOR)

 

3. CANADIAN WAR GRAVES

 

The cemetery in Heanton churchyard

The war graves in Heanton Churchyard

©Richard J. Brine

 

F.G.D.BAKER
3/7620 Pilot Officer Frederick Gifford Douglas Baker of the R.C.A.F. Son of Clifford and Bertha Baker of Pickering, Ontario.  Born in Toronto 7 September 1917. Died 20 April 1942 aged 24.
R.S.BRIMACOMBE

J/6003 Pilot Officer (Pilot) Rafe Sherme Brimacombe of the RCAF, operating with RAF 172 Squadron. Son of Vyvyan and Grace Brimacombe: husband of Jean Brimacombe. Born in 1920 in Port Alberni, British Colombia. Died 1 March 1942 aged 22.

 

He was the pilot of Beaufort L4445 which was detailed on 1 March 1942 to carry out a low level bombing training exercise. The aircraft took off at 1005 hours and during the exercise the aircraft struck the water and crashed. A later Court of Inquiry found that the primary cause of the crash was the aircraft hitting the water of the River Taw, causing the port propeller to come off. A secondary cause was the stalling of the port wing during an attempt to carry out a forced landing due to (a) the pilot's attemps to reach the aerodrome with insufficient power or height to do so and (b) the use of flaps in the final stages of the approach. Died 1 March 1942.

The crew were:

Pilot officer R. S. Brimacombe RCAF (Pilot)

Pilot Officer R. A.White  RAAF( Bomb aimer)

Sergt. P. Scott RNZAF (Wireless/AirGunner)

L.H.BURDEN
J/10166 Flight Lieutenant Leslie Herbert Burden RCAF, operating with RAF 172 Squadron. Son of Herbert and Gertrude Burden; husband of Rosemary Burden of Edmonton. Date of birth not known. Died 25 August 1943.
J.H.CLANCY

R/83153 Warrant Officer Class 1 James Harold Clancy (Wireless operator/Air Gunner) of the RCAF, operating with 407 Squadron. Son of Frederick and Lillie Clancy of Windsor, Ontario. Born in 1918. Died 20 August 1943 aged 25.

Flying in Wellington MP652. Having been redirected, the plane was returning to Chivenor when it crashed into Buncombe Hill, Somerset. All the crew were killed.

Crew:

Flying Officer R.C.Dalgleish RCAF

Flying officer G.W.Hirtle RCAF

Pilot  Officer (Navigator) Arthur Peters.RCAF

Warrant Officer 1st Class (Wireless operator/Air Gunner) J. Clancy RCAF

Warrant Officer (Wireless Operator.Air Gunner) R.A. Clarke, RCAF

R.A.CLARK

R/65425 Warrant Officer Roy Arnold Clark (Wireless Op/Air Gunner) of the RCAF, operating with RAF 407 Squadron. Son of Roy and Helen Clark of Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Born in 1918. Died 20 August 1943 aged 25.

Flying in Wellington MP652. Having been redirected, the plane was returning to Chivenor when it crashed into Buncombe Hill, Somerset. All the crew were killed.

Crew:

Flying Officer R.C.Dalgleish RCAF

Flying officer G.W.Hirtle RCAF

Pilot  Officer (Navigator) Arthur Peters.RCAF

Warrant Officer 1st Class (Wireless operator/Air Gunner) J. Clancy RCAF

Warrant Officer (Wireless Operator.Air Gunner) R.A. Clarke, RCAF

J.A.R.COTE
Warrant Officer Class 2 Joseph Arthur Raymoral Cote of the RCAF, attached to 407 Squadron.  Parents not yet identified.  Died 13 September 1943. 

 

Leslie Burden James Clancy
Leslie Burden
James Clancy

 

G. van A. BUTCHART
J/89259 Pilot Officer (Navigator) Gordan van Allen Butchart of the RCAF, attached to 172 Squadron. Son of Lloyd and Martha Butchart of Toronto, Born in 1915. Died 17 August 1944 aged 29.
R.C. DALGLEISH

J/16442 Flying Officer Robert Carl Dalgleish of the RCAF, attached to 407 Squadron the RAF. Son of William and Mildred Dalgleish of Comber,  Ontario. Born in 1920. Died 20 August 1843 aged 23. 

See the account of the accident in which J.H.Clancy (above) also died.

H. C. FARRER

J/24533 Pilot Officer Hiram Churchill Farrer of the RCAF, O.T.U 17 (Chivenor). Son of Mr and Mrs E. Farrer of Rainy River, Ontario. Born . Died January 31st, 1916. Died 18 September 1943 aged 27.

Pilot Officer Farrer was  part of a crew who were taking part in a Combined Command Bullseye exercise, which allowed them to practice low-level navigation, supply dropping, and spot landing. They were performing the exercise in an RAF Wellington X H.E. 324 which,  at approximately 1:10 in the morning, in East Barton near Hornwood, North Devon, nose dived into the ground.

Pilot Officer Stewart, pilot of a Beaufighter of  125 Squadron, reported that he “carried out interception of a Wellington aircraft”. Flight Seargeant O’Brien of No. 29 O.T.U, also flying a Wellington, reported that the Beaufighter overtook his aircraft and attacked the plane Farrer was on. Both the Beaufighter and the Wellington disappeared into the clouds, and shortly after there was an explosion on the ground. All men in Wellington X, H.E. 324, were killed.

Crew of Wellington X H.E. 324:

(Sgt. N. N. Dunn, Pilot/Captain; ("Norm")

Pilot Officer H C Farrer ( Retraining as a Bomb Aimer)

Sgt. J. Donachie, Navigator; 

Sgt. R. E.Dolling, Wireless Operator; 

Sgt. H. H. Newnham, Rear Gunner; ("Arthur")

There are more details about this accident on Page 1 of the Horwood village website.

V.J.HALL
J/4702 Pilot Officer (Air Gunner) Victor John Hall of the RCAF. Son of William and Mary Hall of Hardway, Gosport, Hants. Born in 1918.  Died 9 August 1941 aged 23. 
G.W.HIRTLE

J/20684 Flying Officer Gordon Wallace Hirtle of the RCAF. Son of Hector and Florence Hirtle; husband of Pauline Hirtle of Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Born in 1920. Died 20 August 1943 aged 23

See the account of the accident in which J.H.Clancy (above) also died.

A. J. JOHNSTON

R/87222 Warrant Officer Class 2 (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) Allan Andrew Johnston of the RCAF, attached to 407 Squadron. Son of Archie and Ella Johnston; husband of Minnie Johnston of Winnipeg. Born in 1913. Died 13 August 1943 aged 30.

Posted to Costal Command Squadron 407, he was killed on 13 Aug 1943. He is commemorated at Heanton Punchardon Churchyard in Devon, England. Alan Johnston Bay in Hillhouse Lake in the northwestern-most corner of the province was named after him.

A.K.MacLEAN
R54115 Sergeant (Observer) Andrew Kenneth MacLean of the RCAF attached to 236 Squadron. Son of Murdoch and Edna MacLean of Ottawa; brother of George (below). Born in 1920. Died 10 September 1941 aged 21.
G.M.MacLEAN
J/45575 Flying Officer Pilot George Murray MacLean of the RCAF. Son of Son of Murdoch and Edna MacLean of Ottawa.; brother of Andrew (above).  Born in 1918. Died 20 January 1945 aged 37.

 

The MacLean borthers Hiram Farrer
The MacLean Brothers
Hiram Farrer

 

T. MAIN
R 87882 Warrant Officer Class 1 Thomas Main (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)  of the RCAF. Son of George and Isabella Main of British Colombia. Born in 1921. Died 13 August 1943 aged 22.
J.M.McDONALD
R 71718 Flight Sergeant (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) John Melville McDonald of the RCAF attached to 51 Squadron. Son of John and Ada McDonald; husband of Margaret MsDonald of Toronto.Born in 1918. Died 23 July 1942 aged 24,
G.W.MUNCH
R225115 Warrant Officer Class 1 (Pilot) George Wesley Munch of the RCAF, attached to 407 Squadron. Husband of Mabel Munch of Galt, Ontario. Born in 1917. Died 12 September 1943 aged 26.
A.H.PETERS

J/18138 Pilot Officer Arthur Harold Peters (Navigator) of the RCAF, attached to 407 Squadron. Died 20 August 1943. 

See the account of the accident in which J.H.Clancy (above) also died.

H.PINCOCK
R/86428 Warrant Officer Class 1 Hugh Pincock ( Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner) Son of Hugh and Ann Pincock of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Born in 1921. Died 12 September 1943 aged 22.

Accident details not yet confirmed.

Died on the same  same date

George Munch (Pilot)

Hugh Pinnock (Wireless Op/Air Gunner)

B.W.PRITCHARD
J/7746 Flight Lieutenant (Pilot) Beverley Wayne Pritchard of the RCAF, attached to 407 Squadron. Son of Ivan and Lela Pritchard of Chatham, Ontario. Born in 1920. Died 13 August 1943 aged 23.
F.REDFERN
J/5109 Pilot Officer (Pilot) Frank redfern of the RCAF. Son of Charles and Alice Redfern; husband of Hazeldene Redfern of Monoton, New Brunswick. Born in 1921. Died 13 October 1941 aged 20. 
H.W.RUSS
J/5292 Pilot Officer (Pilot) Hamar William Russ of the RCAF, attached to172 Squadron. Son of William and Ann Russ. Born in 1921. Died 13 April 1942 aged 21.

 

 

Hamar Russ Frank Redfern
Hamar Russ
Frank Redfern

 

C. E. RUSSELL
R121163 Flight Sergeant (Pilot) Clifford Eldon Russell of the RCAF, attached to 407 Squadron. Personal details not yet known. Died 12 September 1943. Commemorated on the War memorial at Western Canada High School.
W. A. B. STOKES
J/ 1872 Flying Officer (Wireless Operator/ Gunner) William Angus Bartlett Stokes of the RCAF , attached to 295 Squadron of the RAF, Son of James and Helen Stokes of new Westminster, British Colombia.  Born in 1919. Died 11 June 1943 aged 24.
S.C.F.SUMMERS
R/19298 Sergeant (Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner) Samuel Charles Franklin Summers of the RCAF, attached to 407 Squadron. Son of Edward and Beatrice Summers of Toronto. Born in 1920. Died 29 April 1943 aged 23.
H,M,TARVER
J/8433 Flying Officer (Navigator) Harold Melville Tarver of the RCAF, attached to 407 Squadron.of the RAF.  Husband of Isobelle Tarver of Toronto. Year of  birth not known. Died 13 August 1943.
A.G.TATTON
J/15699 Flight Lieutenant Allison George Tatton (Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner). Son of Harvey and Eleanor Tatton of North Head, New Brunswick. Born in 1919. Died 13 August 1943 aged 24.
A. D. TELFORD
Pilot officer (Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner) Albert David Telford of the RCAF, attached to 407 Squadron of the RAF.  Son of David and Fanny Telford; husband of Gwladys Telford of Montreal. Born in 1918. Died 7 July 1944 aged 26.
N.J.TUCHTIE
Flying officer Nicholas John Tuchtie of the RCAF, attached to 407 Squadron of the RAF. Son of John and Vatherine Tuchtie of St. Catherines. Ontario. Born in 1920. Died 13 August 1943 aged 23.
D.Y.TURNBULL

R 83017 Warrant Officer 2nd Class (Navigator/Bomber) Donald Yuill Turnbull of the RCAF, attached to 612 Squadron of the RAF. Son of Dr James Turnbull and his wife Edith of Leamington, Ontario.  Born in 1920. Died 5 June 1943 aged 23.

“The aircraft was seen on the downwind leg of the circuit with its wheels down; the nose of the aircraft went down, the wheels were retracted, and the aircraft continued in a downward spiral to port . The port wing hit a tree and then passed over a small ship about 60 feet high, and crashed on sands on the estuary of the River Taw about 60 yards from the ship, and caught fire on impact.. The aircraft broke up at the ASV station and one member of the crew was thrown clear, while another extricated himself when under water. The survivors had no knowledge that anything was wrong with the aircraft, but another Pilot saw some puffs of smoke from the port engine some minutes before.”

In his remarks on the accident the Group Captain at RAF Chivenor said : “The accident appears to have been primarily caused by the failure of the engine of the aircraft." Two men survived the accident - Flight Lieut. Neale and Sergeant Trethewy.

Crew:

RAF Wg Cdr Kendrick, J S (1st Pilot) Killed

RAAF 405519 Flt Sgt G E Garrett, (2nd Pilot) Killed

RAF FO Millington, P (Pilot) Killed

RCAF WO2 D Turnbull,(Navigator Bomb Aimer) Killed

RAF Fl Lt Neale, R (Wireless Air Gunner) Seriously Injured

RAF Sgt H B Trethewey, (Wireless Air Gunner) Seriously Injured

C.R.B.WEIDENFELLER
 J/5106 Pilot Officer (Pilot) Clem Richard Bernard Weidenfeller of the RCAF. Son of Tony and Marie Weidenfeller of Iowa, USA. Born in 1916. Died 4 November 1941 aged 25.

Clem was an American citizen who wore a special emblem on his sleeve when flying because at this time, the USA was a neutral country. (Born in Germany to an American father and a Dutch mother). The official letter which his parents received from the RAF says that they were unable to mention the aircraft he was in or where the accident took place because such information might be useful to an enemy but it is understood that he was on Channel patrols protecting convoys entering British waters.

 

Clem Weidenfeller

We have photos of all the war graves in the churchyard at Heanton.

If you would like a high resolution copy of any of them, please e-mail us at

editor@devonheritage.org

There is no charge

Clem Weidenfeller

 

 
 
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