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 (P)
- F/Sgt R Henderson (P/F/Eng)
- Sgt A O Chapman (Nav)
- Sgt D A Isley (A/B)
- Sgt D Gosling (W/Op)
- Sgt J H Peckham (MU/AG)
- Sgt Lawson (R/AG)
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.
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: