Born: 1921, Halstead, Essex.

Died: 3rd February 1946; age 24; aircraft crash at Cold Fell, Cumberland.


Rank: Flying Officer/ Navigator/Instructor; Service Number: 178324.

Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 1383 Transport Conversion Unit.


Grave Reference:

Screen Wall,

Ipswich Crematorium,



Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Willie & Ethel Knowles, of Halstead, Essex.


Father: Willie Knowles, born 1884, Colne, Lancashire.

Mother: Ethel Knowles (nee Midgley), born 1885, Colne, Lancashire.


3rd February 1946

Aircraft: Douglas Dakota Mk.III; serial number: KG502; based at: Crosby-on-Eden, near Carlisle, Cumberland. The Dakota had taken off at 21:40hrs, from Crosby-on-Eden, on the 2nd February for a cross-country navigation training flight. The aircraft was returning to the base at 02:00hrs and made radio contact with the station in preparation for landing. The station replied and KG502 acknowledged. There was no other radio communications.

KG502 had crashed on a north western ridge of Cold Fell, 7 miles short of the station, and was destroyed by fire.  All 6 crew members were killed.


John Dennis Taylor; Flight Officer/Pilot/Instructor; age 25; R.A.F.V.R.

Alan George Frederick Gravestock; Warrant Officer/Wireless Operator/Instructor; age 23; R.A.F.V.R.

Wilfred Donald Reeve; Warrant Officer/Pilot/Under Training; age 23; R.A.F.V.R.

Delwyn Thomas; Flight Sergeant/Wireless Operator/Under Training; age 24; R.A.F.V.R.

Grant Taylor Wardle; Flight Sergeant/Navigator/Under Training; age 23; R.A.F.V.R.

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