Liberator Mk.II AL624 of No.1653 Heavy Conversion Unit, RAF, crashed on Drigmorn Hill near Newton Stewart on the 14th September 1942
|Ivan Harold Betts||Pilot Officer||Pilot||Killed|
|Derek Eaton Warner||Sergeant||Co-pilot||Killed|
|John Churley Freestone||Sergeant||Observer||Killed|
|George Douglas Calder||Sergeant RAAF||Wireless Operator / Air Gunner||Killed|
|Geoffrey Crisp Boar||Sergeant||Wireless Operator / Air gunner||Killed|
|Victor Frederick Talley||Sergeant||Air Gunner||Killed|
|John Edwin Charles Averell Steele-Nicholson||Sergeant||Air Gunner||Killed|
|James Bowrey||Sergeant||Air Gunner||Killed|
The aircraft was stationed at RAF Burn in Yorkshire, its crew were briefed, along with 3 other crews (those of Liberators AL597, AL625 & AL635) to carry out a cross country navigation exercise. They took off from Burn at 11:00, and while part way through the flight at 12:19 they were provided with a QDM by Silloth (this was 132o) for the navigator to check their position. After this there was no further communication with the crew by any airfield. At around this time the weather was reported by the other crews who completed the exercise to be 6/10th cloud with the base being 400ft but the high ground was covered by 10/10th cloud.
When the aircraft failed to return to Burn or land at another station it was reported missing a search was initiated, the wreck was later found by a shepherd on Drigmorn Hill, the southern end of Millfore, near Newton Stewart. The RAF investigator concluded that the aircraft had first struck the hill with its port wing at cruising speed, slewed round and broken up before catching fire. It was thought that due to the cloud cover a turn was made on ETA and while subsequently letting down through the cloud cover the aircraft had flown into the mountain.
Five of the crew were buried at Kirkinner Cemetery near to the former RAF station at Wigtown, below are their graves.
The remainder were buried elsewhere in the UK