Failed to Return

P/O R R Matthews and Crew

P/O R R Matthews and crew were posted to 550 Sqdn from 1667 CU w.e.f. 30.6.1945:

P/O R R Matthews and his crew, along with a number of Allied personnel, were killed on an Operation Dodge flight on 29th Sepemtber 1945 in PD343. All the crew excluding Sgt Lawson, who was not flying on this flight, were killed, as were the 20 Army passengers.

The Squadron ORB records: "This was a black day for the Squadron. F/O Matthews returning from Bari on operation "Dodge" No. 58 was airbourne at approximately 09.25hrs. A signal to this effect was received shortly afterwards. Since that time no communications of any kind, nor any discovery as to the whereabouts of the aircraft has been made known. F/O Matthews had a crew of six and also carried 20 Army personnel as passengers. This Squadron has been accident free for many months and it is a curious twist of fate that this wonderfull record should have been terminated by an accident of such a serious nature."

The entry on the 550 Squadron Roll of Honour is available here.

Other information about the flight and the target available here.

Sgt Alan Osborn Chapman

Four pages of a letter from, the then LAC, Chapman to his parents while he was training in Canada. Some interesting snippets on training as a navigator.

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Army Personnel lost in Operation Dodge Crash

The following is the list (made available by the IBCC Digital Archive) of army personnel lost in the crash:

Service No. Rank Surname Forename 1 Forename 2 Forename 3 URL (IBCC)
13003968 Private Bagshaw Eric
T/7960178 Driver Bottoms William George Herbert
T/10683425 Cpl Clark Henry James
2147178 Driver Craig William
2091674 L/Cpl Crawshaw William Eric
T/161072 Private Forsyth Thomas Cullen
2001915 Cpl Foster George Wilson
1944557 Sgt Hampson Hubert
4979930 Driver Harris Charles William
5507989 Private Hollings Frederick Edward
2149542 Sapper Hurren Basil Arthur
T/154805 L/Cpl Keam Stanley Gordon
S/6147010 Private Norris Robert
T/5503957 Driver Prout Dennis George
2123358 Cpl Stephens Leslie Raymond
T/10672342 L/Cpl Taplin Joseph Harold
2198967 Sapper Wall Eric Frank
T/5957728 Driver West Cyril James
T/11265539 Cpl Wiggins Albert
S/278637 L/Cpl Wood Victor Maurice