Brawn, Bernard John


Bernard John

Son of Harold and Phyliss Brawn. Gateway School 1935-1940.

Flight Engineer

Sergeant Brawn was one of the crew of Halifax DT482 that took off from RAF Lindholme at 20:35 hours on the 24th March 1944. The aircraft was on a night circuits and landing exercise when it crashed near the airfield at 21:12 hours and burst into flames. All on board were killed. Sergeant Brawn is buried in All Saints Churchyard, Scraptoft, Leicester.

Crash of Halifax DT482 near Lindholme airfield.

On the evening of 24th March 1944 the crew of this 1656 Heavy Conversion Unit aircraft carried out a night circuits and landings exercise. They took off from Lindholme at around 20.35hrs and on board was an instructor with four trainee aircrew. Twenty five minutes later the aircraft made approach to land at Lindholme but then carried out an overshoot at around 300 feet off the ground. The aircraft then sank towards the ground and crashed at 21.12hrs just off the south-west side airfield and burst into flames. The crash team from Lindholme airfield would have been on the site quickly but sadly all on board were killed. The crash occurred in the area behind Boston Park on land near Cockwood and Gate Farms.

As the aircraft came in to land the undercarriage would have been lowered and locked down in preparation to land, also the flaps on the wings would have been lowered to slow the aircraft. The crash site was investigated and it was found that while the aircraft

crashed with the undercarriage still down the flaps were found to be in the up position. It was assumed that when the overshoot was made the flaps had been raised instead of the undercarriage. The levers for both were next to each other in the cockpit and this was a reasonably common mistake in training.

DT482 was built to contract B.982938/39 by English Electric Co.Ltd. at Samlesbury and was awaiting collection on 22nd August 1942. It was initially taken on charge by 103 Squadron Conversion Flight at Elsham Wolds and then transferred to the parent 103 Squadron itself. On 31st October 1942 it transferred to 1656 H.C.U. at Lindholme. As a result of the damage sustained on 11th February 1943, 10th April 1943 and then on 15th August 1943 minor Cat.A(c) damage was the damage assessment each time and it was repaired on site each time and returned to 1656 H.C.U. use. On 24th March 1944 it crashed near Lindholme and was badly damaged. Cat.E2/FA damage was recorded and the aircraft was written off.

  • Instructor Pilot – F/Lt John Edward Sanderson DFC RAFVR (142852), aged 23, of Withington, Manchester. Buried Salendine Nook Baptist Chapelyard, Huddersfield, Yorkshire.
  • Trainee Pilot – P/O Raymond Henry Gardner RAFVR (171094), aged 20, of Leeds. Buried Harrogate Stonefall Cemetery, Yorkshire (F/E/7).
  • Flight Engineer – Sgt Bernard John Brawn RAFVR (1868334), aged 19, of Leicester. Buried Scraptoft Churchyard, Leicestershire.
  • Wireless Operator / Air Gunner – Sgt Peter Dennis Newman RAFVR (1399876), aged 20, of Fulham, London. Buried Harrogate Stonefall Cemetery, Yorkshire (F/E/6).
  • Air Gunner – Sgt John Harold Gilbertson RCAF (R/214779), aged 19, of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Buried Harrogate Stonefall Cemetery, Yorkshire (F/E/5).