Good morning everyone, I was at a party at the weekend talking to a distant relative. He lost his father on 20/04/43 in the Bombing up explosion of Halifax BB 325 of 462 squadron. My friend was 4 years old at the time and sadly has virtually no memory of his father, CPL GT Atkinson 1112942 RAF.
However he has recently come across a stash of letters from his father in his mother's attic , some with poignant messages of love to his little boy, which describe in veiled terms life in the squadron whilst in Libya.
He took these letters to the IWM but strangely they were very dismissive and disinterested.
Could I ask if anyone here could give me any more information on Halifax BB325 and its sad end ?
I gather that all 12 killed were ground crew who died whilst bombs were being loaded.
Many thanks in advance,
Very tragic tragedy - the Operations Record Book for 462 Squadron in the middle East says:- .. occurred whilst armourers were engaged in bombing up an aircraft for the night's operation. An explosion took place and the aircraft immediately blew up and other explosions followed. At the first explosion the C.O. (Wing Commander P.G.E.Warner D.S.O.) who was approaching the aircraft with the view to inspecting it, saw an airman stagger from under the nose of the aircraft, and immediately went to his assistance and dragged the airman who was seriously injured, clear, and almost immediately there was another explosion and fragments of aircraft and shrapnell were flying about in all directions.
John Dann 466and462squadrons.com
We have a picture of BB325 on the website prior to the tragedy, it only completed one trip with 462 and that was 2 days prior.