Born: 1912, Ipswich.
Died: 7th August 1942; age: 29; aircraft crashed into the river Humber, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire.
Residence: 42, Belle Vue Road, Ipswich.
Rank: Flight Sergeant/Air Gunner; Service Number: 1201064.
Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 103 Squadron.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Clement T. Crane & Kate L. Crane, of Ipswich.
Father: Clement Thomas Crane, born 1885, Ipswich.
Mother: Kate Lilian Crane (nee Wardley), born 1885, Ipswich.
Probate to Kate Lilian Crane (wife of Clement Thomas Crane).
7th August 1942
Aircraft: Handly Page Halifax MkII; serial number: W1225; based at R.A.F. station Elsham Wolds, North Lincolnshire. On the night of the 6th/7th August 1942 103 squadron formed part of a force of 216 aircraft that were sent to attack Duisburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Halifax II W1225 took off at 00:47hrs. Soon after take off the aircraft tried to return to base but crashed into the river Humber and sank almost immediately killing all seven on board. It was 103 squadron’s first operational Halifax loss. It appears probable from the injuries sustained by the pilot Joseph Gilby that he was wounded prior to the accident (although other aircraft from the squadron reported there was nothing more then the usual amount of flak and searchlight activity), and that Eric Cassidy flew the aircraft back to land but decided to force land into the sea near two ships as being safer due to his having no pilots experience.
Four bodies were recovered from the wreckage by the crews of the two ships. Robert Tidmarsh’s body was never recovered.
Joseph Norman Gilby; Pilot Officer/Pilot; age 26; R.A.F.V.R.
John Charles Lee; Sergeant/Flight Engineer; age 22; R.A.F.
Eric Arthur Cassidy; Pilot Officer/Observer; age 27; R.A.F.V.R.
Isaac Rutherford; Flight Sergeant/Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; age 23; R.A.F.V.R.
Robert Frank Tidmarsh; Sergeant; age 20; R.A.F.
Jean Beaupré; Warrant Officer/Air Gunner; age 24; R.C.A.F.
On the 28th August 1942, Jean Beaupré’s body was found upon the beach by Donna Nook and brought to S.S.Q. R.A.F. Northcoates. The body was in a state of decomposition, with evidence of multiple injuries. The body was identified by identity discs. Jean’s funeral took place on the 31st August at Northcoates village cemetery. At the end of March 1949, Jean’s mother, Marthe Senecal Beaupré left her home in Montreal, Canada for a trip to visit the final resting place of her son.
Aircraft information courtesy of John Allan.
Eric Cassidy’s photograph from a 103 Squadron group photograph, taken in February 1942 courtesy of David Fell. http://www.northlincsweb.net/RAFElshamWolds/html/halifax_crash_6-7th_aug_42_.html