Sergeant John Ford

Sergeant Air Gunner John Wood Ford , Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He died on Service on 28th October 1944 in a flying accident, aged 19. He had been born in Coldstream and was the son of Andrew and Agnes Ford of Coldstream and is buried in Lennel churchyard, Coldstream.  His Headstone is inscribed ” God Took Him Home It Was His Will But In Our Heart He Lives Still”. At the time he was based at R.A.F.Winthorpe, Nottinghamshire with 1661 H.C.U. ( Heavy Conversion Unit ). These units trained airmen to operate the heavy bombers such as the Avro Lancaster and the Handley Page Halifax.  He and his fellow crew members were on a training flight in a Short Stirling Mk.111 heavy bomber and were cruising at 17,500 feet when the aircraft experienced severe icing which forced the bomber down. The controls would not respond and the plane crashed at Iwerne Minster. near Blandford Forum in Dorset. Four of the crew managed to bale out but because of the low height two airmen, Segeant Ford was killed and Sergeant Bailey was so badly injured that he died in hospital. The other two, Sergeant Baggaley and Sergeant Lee miraculously survived. Three crew members stayed with the plane and the pilot Pilot Officer Steele survived with only cuts and bruises when he was thrown clear. The other two Sergeant Harbor and Sergeant Johnston died in the wreck. The list of crew members is as follows. Pilot Officer, A.K.R.Steele, Flight Engineer, A.E.Baggaley, Wireless Operator, Sergeant D.W.Lee, Navigator, Sergeant N.S.Harbor R.C.A.F., Rear Gunner, Sergeant E.H.Bailey, Mid Upper Gunner, Sergeant John Wood Ford, Air Bomber, Sergeant T.N C. Johnston. The photograph is a picture of the crash site at Iwerne and marked with a cross.

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