Newsletter No. 41
VAUGHAN HINDER update. (On the crash at Socotra)
The story as we left it in Newsletter 37 was that Vaughan was probably co-
So far I've pieced together a bit more of the story, with a bit of old fashioned detective work and a great stroke of luck. The detective work was to go through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site on the Internet and search for all the airmen who sadly died on the days subsequent to Vaughan's death. The site forces you to narrow a surname down to two letters i.e. search for Aa, Ab, Ac etc. Eventually, I located Warrant Officer Class 1, W.Op/Air Gnr. John Keith Brown, another Canadian hailing from Ontario like the others. He had died only one day later and is also buried in Maala, Yemen with I am presuming the rest of his crew. It seems too much of a coincidence that we have an airman also from Ontario, also strangely commemorated as 21 Squadron, dying so close to the original crash date, in the same cemetery.
The stroke of luck was to pursue a long-
Date: 24th August 1944
Unit: 621 Squadron – that was a surprise.
Type: Wellington XIII No. JA835 or possibly JA535, the first digit is not clear.
Airfield: Ras Karma, Soqotra Island, Aden.
Pilot: Miller and 2nd Pilot Hinder.
Miller has his flying times, unfortunately not Hinder. Though Miller had 800 hours total solo, had 302 hours solo on type, the night solo come down to 76 and 53. Does that sound fair to say this seems a new crew who have only made a few flights together possibly?
Accident: 19:37, 5 minutes into flight, Night, Duty: Anti-
"Propeller of aircraft heard to be running away on Take Off. Aircraft climbed to
100' and hit crest of hill at 150' when attempting to circuit on one engine or force
land on top of hill. Pilot could not cope with aircraft after engine failure or starboard
prop selector switch knocked into fixed or incorrect manipulation of switches by
pilot. There is no evidence what caused the engine failure but aircraft had just
completed a 9 hour trip with no signs of trouble". Then a Postscript: "CO -
It was just so incredible to hear this — the clinical crash investigator laying all
options on the table including pilot error, then the CO and AOC moved to include
comments that they thought this unlikely. The possible greenness of the crew. The
fact that a plane that had just completed a 9 hour flight, should then be going up
again. Five minutes from take-
RAF Hendon also enclosed a photocopy from "Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft", by John Rawlings which unfortunately doesn't have JA(5)35 against either 621 or 244 Squadron. Out of interest, the list provided for 244 Sqdn. for Wellington XIII is: February 1944 — May 1945
HZ658 W; HZ712 F; HZ897 C; HZ951 K; HZ979 M; JA149 W; JA182 B; JA627 N; JA406 G; JA482 B — recognise any of them?! I certainly do! (Edr).
Gary Tranter (Mem. No.353)
Jim Heslop (Secretary & Supplies) W/Cdr Ron Rotherham (President) Don James (Treasurer)
A Wellington bomber (designed by Barnes Wallis of the ‘bouncing bomb’ Dam Busters raid )
I was fortunate to receive some photographs of the funeral that took place after the crash
This is a copy of the Notice detailing the funeral.
|My Soqotra Photos|
|Capt. Boxhall's Photos|
|Moser's Early Photos|
|Aden in 1964|
|World WarII Base|
|Wadi Erher & cave|
|Tale of two sons|
|Fairy Tale 1|
|Fairy Tale 2|
|Fairy Tale 3|
|Book by Cheung|
|Soqotra in WWII|
|Photos from WWII|