Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion


SKIPTON-ON-SWALE ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE MEMORIAL

Compiled and copyright © Martin Edwards & Michael Booker 2004

Photograph Copyright © Michael Booker 2004
420 424   432 433

ON THIS SITE IN AUGUST 1944 A DISABLED ROYAL CANADIAN AIR
FORCE HALIFAX III BOMBER CRASHED ON RETURN FROM A
BOMBING MISSION RESULTING IN THE DEATHS OF TWO CREW
MEMBERS AND ONE CIVILIAN.

THIS CAIRN IN THE IMAGE OF A CANADIAN MAPLE LEAF ERECTED
TO HONOUR ALL THOSE WHO SERVED WITH THE RCAF 6 GROUP
SQUADRONS AT SKIPTON ON SWALE DURING WWII AND THE MANY
CIVILIANS WHO SUPPORTED THEM. MAY THEIR ENTERPRISE,
COURAGE AND DEVOTION TO DUTY BE REMEBERED AND SERVE AS
AN EXAMPLE TO ALL.

DEDICATED MAY 1982 BY A GROUP INCLUDING GRATEFUL SURVIVORS

'THIS WAS THEIR FINEST HOUR'

During August 1944 Halifaxes were sent on missions from Skipton to destroy V1 flying bomb storage sites. One of these misisons was to Bois de Cassan. A Halifax from 424 Squadron was shot down near the target while a second one, belonging to 433 Squadron, crashed onto Skipton–on-Swale village green. The Halifax had been damaged by flak over the target and had suffered engine damage. On 5th August 1944, while attempting to land, the pilot had difficulty maintaining power and decided to overshoot but a second engine failed causing the aircraft to swerve towards the village. The aircraft clipped the treetops and hit the roof of Skipton Hall before crashing onto the village green. The pilot, Flying Officer Jimmy Harrison and flight engineer Sergeant Dennis Whitbread were killed. Sadly Kenneth Battensby, a five year old, whose house and garden were showered with debris, was also killed. In 1982 this memorial was unveiled on the village green.

For more details about this airfield and others see: Yorkshire Airfields Of The Second World War by Patrick Otter, Published by Countryside Books, ISBN 1853065420 (Paperback 288 pages (October 1998))

HARRISON

James (Jimmy) Robert

Flying Officer (Pilot) J/21448, 433 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force. Died in crash landing 5th August 1944 at Skipton-on-Swale. Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Harrison, of Crossfield, Alberta, Canada. Buried in Stonefall Cemetery, Harrogate, Yorkshire. Section E. Row A. Grave 3.

WHITBREAD

Dennis [Lawson]

Sergeant (Flight Engineer) 1624919, 433 (R.C.A.F.) Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died in crash landing 5th August 1944. Age 22. Son of Arthur Charles and Daisy Beatrice Whitbread; husband of Lilian May Whitbread, of Kempston. Buried in Kempston Cemetery, Kempston, Bedford. Block J. Grave 30.

BATTENSBY

Kenneth

Civilian. Son of Robert Henry and Audrey Battensby, of 53 Gresham Road, Middlesbrough. Died at Skipton-on-Swale when showered with debris 5th August 1944. Aged 5. Listed in the Civilian Roll of Hoour Section for the Rural District of Thirsk.

1 August 2004

Friends of the War Memorials
War Memorials Trust
Main page
Commonweath War Graves Commission
Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Copyright © Roll-of-Honour.com 2002-
Email: rollofhonour@ntlworld.com

See our on-line bookstore
Visit our bookstore