550 Squadron Lancaster NF963
F/O S H Hayter and Crew
F/O Stanley Hayter was the only survivor when his aircraft, NF963, crashed on 4th October 1944. F/O Hayter was teaching his Flight Engineer to fly. On this occasion the full regular Hayter crew was not flying, rather the two gunners had been replaced by the gunners from another crew. Thus on this flight the crew flying was:
- F/O S H Hayter (P) Surv.
- Sgt L A Bassman (F/Eng) KIA
- F/O T Y Thomas (Nav) KIA
- F/O R R Bradshaw (B/A) KIA
- Sgt A J Pearce (W/Op) KIA
- Sgt J P Sheridan (MU/AG) KIA
- Sgt J McVey (R/AG) KIA
The entry on the 550 Squadron Roll of Honour is available here.
For more information see also the F/O Hayter crew page.
Act of Remembrance and Unveiling of Memorial
Don Kentish, representing the 550 Squadron and RAF North Killingholme Association, sent in the following summary.
"In a moving ceremony on a somewhat blustery day in North Yorkshire, a memorial plaque was unveiled on 24th June 2017 in memory of six members of the F/O S. H. Hayter crew who were killed on 4th October 1944 when flying BQ-A (NF963). The aircraft crashed on a cross-country training flight with the pilot, Stan Hayter, the sole survivor. Relatives and others connected to five of the crew came from across the UK and as far afield as New Zealand to attend a ceremony that was conducted by the Padre to 100 Squadron, Squadron Leader Richard Clement. Those present were: Ralph and Simon Hayter (sons of F/O Hayter, Pilot), Rachel and Ruth Hayter (grand daughters of F/O Hayter). Barbara Alexander (niece of F/O Bradshaw, Bomb Aimer), Derek Drury (cousin of F/O Bradshaw) and his wife Sarah, Austin and Sandra Hammaby (family friends of the Bradshaw family who were representing Ivan Bradshaw, Robert's cousin). Alun Thomas (nephew of F/O Thomas, Navigator) and his wife Janet. Ian Phillips (nephew of Sgt. Pearce, W/Op) and his wife Christine. Ian (family name not known) (the nephew of Sgt. McVey R/AG) and his wife. RAF Padre, Sqdn. Ldr. Richard Clement. Don and Val Kentish representing the 550 Sqdn. Association. Footnote - After more than 70 years... A conversation during the visit to North Yorkshire demonstrated how such acts of remembrance resonate beyond those directly involved. The owners of a tea room took the details of the crash site, the 550 website address and the name of the crew and said they would try and find a quiet space at about midday on 24th June, the time of the ceremony, in memory of those who died."
We are indebted to Rich Allenby for his efforts in locating the crash site, Dave Donaghy for constructing the memorial and arranging the ceremony, and also to Richard Clement for conducting the Service that brought together the families of the young men involved in this ill-fated flight.
Thanks also to the small team of dedicated individuals who researched the details about the crew, and located the relatives of the crew so that this act of remembrance could take place in the presence of those relatives.
Many thanks to Dave Donaghy for making the photographs below available.