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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 158426
Last updated: 13 September 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic LANC model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Avro Lancaster Mk I
Owner/operator:103 Squadron Royal Air Force (103 Sqn RAF)
Registration: PA278
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 25 / Occupants: 25
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Aircraft missing
Location:Mediterranean Sea, 30 miles NNW of Cape Corse, Corsica -   France
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Connington
Destination airport:Naples, Italy
Missing, crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, 30 miles north-northwest of Cape Corse, Corsica.

This Lancaster bomber (PA278 "PM-P" of 103 Sqn., RAF) was being used in "Operation Dodge", bringing back to the United Kingdom military personnel from Italy and the Middle East.

The aircraft departed RAF Connington at 00:30 on the 4th of October, 1945, with a crew of six and carrying 19 female passengers, 2 of them nurses and the others members of the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service. All were traveling back to Italy and the ME after being on leave in the UK.

PA278 and an accompanying Lancaster crossed the French coast west of Marseille on course for Naples. Not long after a radio message was sent to the other plane from PA278 indicating that the bomber had engine trouble and was turning back to Marseille. Nothing further was heard, but at 04:40 an explosion was seen by the crew of the other Lancaster.

The bodies of the 19 passengers and 6 crew of Lancaster PA278 were never found. Full casualty list:

Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey TAYLOR (Pilot)
Sergeant William John KENNEDY (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Jack Anthony REARDON (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Norman Reginald ROBBINS (Wireless Operator)
Sergeant Richard George STEELE (Flight Engineer)
Flight Lieutenant John Percy WHYMARK DFC DSO (Air Gunner)
Senior Matron GI SADLER, age: 41 (South African Military Nursing Service)
Lance Corporal Willimena ALLAN, age: 37 (Auxiliary Territorial Service)
Private Phyllis Kathleen Doris BACON, age: 34 (Auxiliary Territorial Service)
Corporal Heather C COSENS (Auxiliary Territorial Service)
Private Stefania COURTMAN (Auxiliary Territorial Service)
Private Barbara Diana CULLEN, age: 30 (Auxiliary Territorial Service)
Sister Jane Simpson Annand CURRAN (Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service)
Private Agnes EDWARDS, age: 28 (Auxiliary Territorial Service)
Private Rhoda Alice FRASER, age: 24 (Auxiliary Territorial Service)
Private Bessie GOODMAN, age: 25 (Auxiliary Territorial Service)
Corporal Jill GORING, age: 23 (Auxiliary Territorial Service)
Private Joan LARKIN, age: 24 (Auxiliary Territorial Service)
Private Alice LILLYMAN, age: 22 (Auxiliary Territorial Service)
Lance Corporal Sheila MACLEOD (Auxiliary Territorial Service)
Lance Corporal May Eleanor MANN, age: 23 (Auxiliary Territorial Service)
Private Betty Evelyn PRECIOUS, age: 24 (Auxiliary Territorial Service)
Lance Corporal Enid Dacia RICE, age: 24 (Auxiliary Territorial Service)
Staff Sergeant Jessie SEMARK, age: 29 (Auxiliary Territorial Service)
Private Marion TAYLOR, age: 22 (Auxiliary Territorial Service)


1. Air-Britain Royal Air Force Aircraft PA100-RZ999

Revision history:

18-Aug-2013 03:11 JINX Added
23-Jun-2014 21:03 angels one five Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
23-Jun-2014 21:11 angels one five Updated [Time, Narrative]
10-Nov-2014 15:53 Ivan Lother Updated [Time, Operator]
31-Dec-2014 22:52 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]
11-Jan-2016 10:40 bob whymark Updated [Location, Damage, Narrative]
10-Jan-2018 15:51 angels one five Updated [Location, Narrative]
10-Jan-2018 16:14 angels one five Updated [Narrative]

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