Saturday, October 20, 2012


On the evening of 20 October, 1941, at 1829 hours (6:29 pm), Wellington IV FU-D took off from R.A.F. Base Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, Yorkshire. It was 458 Squadron's first operation, a part of a larger air raid. The flight consisted of 82 Hampden's, 48 Wellington's, 15 Stirlings and 8 Manchester's. FU-D's target was Mont-sur-Marchienne, directly south of Charleroi, Belgium.

Six hours later, at around 0030 hours in the morning, 21 October, 1941, Wellington IV FU-D was shot down by a German Messerschmidt BF-110 nightfighter.

PILOT: Sergeant Peter John Maxwell Hamilton, R.A.F. (Killed In Action), age 22

CREW: Sergeant Philip George Crittenden R.A.A.F. (Killed In Action), age 20

Pilot/Officer David Kimber Fawkes, Observer, R.A.F. (Killed In Action), age 25

Sergeant Thomas Jackson, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, R.A.F. (Killed In Action), age 26

Sergeant Andrew Young Condie, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, R.A.F. (Killed In Action), age 23

Sergeant P.G.E.A. Brown, Air Gunner, R.A.F. (Prisoner of War)

Consider the times when the crew of FU-D departed on their fateful flight. Pearl Harbor was still over six weeks away - London was still smoldering from the Battle of Britain, Commonwealth and Imperial British forces had not yet won a significant victory in almost two years of fighting the Germans, Dunkirk was a recent memory, and the U-boat situation in the Atlantic threatened to strangle the tiny island that held out against the Nazi war machine.

Desperate times.

At this time Britain was throwing everything they had up in the air against targets in Nazi-occupied Europe. The crew of FU-D was representative of the British Commonwealth; two Australians (one of whom served in the RAF), three British and a South African. FU-D had the dubious honor of being the first RAAF plane lost on the first Bomber Command mission led by the Royal Australian Air Force.

Month of Honor always starts a couple weeks early for my family - read the rest of this story

"Respect & Honor"



  1. Yep and they were flying a cloth and wood relic of the 1930s. the "Wellies" were death traps. But the crews got in them every night. Brave men. Well done Sir!

  2. Ship's Company Attention!
    Present Arms!
    Sound Taps!