98 Squadron's North American B25 Mitchell II (#FW188) aircraft, VO-B 'Beer', took off from RAF Dunsfold on an air operation over the attack guns which were positioned at Boulogne. On the return flight back to Surrey and over the English Channel, FW188's aircrew tried, without success, to jettison one bomb which had failed to drop and was 'hung up' in the aircraft's bomb bay. While the crew attempted to softly land at Dunsfold, the bomb broke free, dropped to the runway and exploded. Three crew members lost their lives in the blast; the wireless operator, seriously injured and burned, died several hours later; and a groundcrew airman, Sergeant A. Jones, fatally struck by flying metal from the Mitchell aircraft, also lost his life.
The airmen who perished in this terrible accident were-
RCAF Pilot Officer George CHURCHARD,
RCAF Flying Officer Russell David DURLING,
RCAF Flight Lieutenant Robert Fraser LOGIE,
RCAF Flying Officer Denis Llewellyn LOVERIDGE and
RAF Sergeant Albert Coulthurst JONES.
Rank: Flying Officer
Service Number: J/36594
Force: Air Force
Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force
Division: 98 RAF Squadron; RAF Dunsfold, Surrey
(MOTTO: 'Never failing')
A CNR clerk by trade, he enlisted in the RCAF on 6 Nov 1942 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Son of Cecil Carman Durling and Winnifred Marguerite (née Durling) Durling of Halifax; brother of Robert and Marion Durling.
Flying Officer Russell David Durling is commemorated on Page 297 of Canada's Second World War Book of Remembrance.
Cecil Carmen Durling
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