Report and Research on the loss of Halifax NP934



Report and Research on the loss of Halifax NP934


The report covers the loss of the Halifax with a focus on Hugh Jones. The research was undertaken by Eddy Daivier. He lists the crew and some of their operations.

Temporal Coverage



Two printed sheets with handwritten annotations


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SJonesHB1866363v10010, SJonesHB1866363v10011


Your brother was one of the youngest (if not the youngest) airmen of 51 squadron to be killed during world war 2. He was an air gunner on a Halifax Mk3 Heavy Bomber – NP934 MH-V. We became involved in the research after seeing a post on an Ex-RAF notice board from an Eddy Davier who had been trying to trace the crew for over 2 years.
Eddy lives in Thuin a small village in Belgium near to where your brother’s plane came down. It all started for him when he got talking an old man in the village who told him that a bomber had crashed in the woods between Montignies-le-Tilleul and Gozee during world war 2. Eddy decided to find out as much information as he could and write a book so the young people of the town wouldn’t forget.
Here is one of his many posts searching for the crew ………….
My name is Eddy DAIVIER, 39 years old and I’m living in BELGIUM. The 18 december [sic] 1944, a bomber crashed near the town where I’m living. It was the halifax [sic] NP934 MH-V from 51 squadron. It took off from Snaith at 02.58 to ops to Duisburg in Germany but it never see Germany. It crashed into a wood south of Charleroi in Belgium. All crew members were reported killed. Flying Officer Bernard Mark TWILLEY was the pilot of this bomber and the others [sic] people died were Edgar Harold Baron, Roy Challinor HITCHEN, William John HILLEBRAND, Hugh Brenton JONES, Roberts HALL, Carl Winston CASSINI and Ricard HOLDEN. I’m not a full time writer but my wish is to write a little book to help the inhabitants of my town to never forget. I looks information about this crew or about life at Snaith between september [sic] and december [sic] 1944. I hope perhaps to find veterans who knew these people, it’s important for me to imagine who was their life.
Here are the crew and operations list.
Halifax Mk. III – NP934 MH-V
151201 Flying Officer Bernard Mark TWILLEY (Pilot)
149632 Flying Officer Edgar Harold BARON (2nd Pilot)
1383970 Warrant Officer Harold W.J HILDEBRAND (Air Gunner)
1866363 Flight Sergeant Hugh Brenton JONES (Air Gunner)
2203456 Sergeant Roy Challinor HITCHEN (Flight Engineer)
1457899 Flight Sergeant Roberts HALL (Wireless Operator)
154240 Flying Officer Carl Winston CASSINI (Bomb Aimer)
1671139 Sergeant Richard HOLDEN (Navigator)
10 September: Le Havre
11 September: Nordstern Oil Synthetic Plant
12 September: Munster
14 September: Wilhemshaven
15 September: Kiel
17 September: Boulogne. Crash take off. Sergeant DUNCKLEY died.
[inserted] X [/inserted] 14 October: Duisburg
[page break]
[inserted] X [/inserted] 15 October: Wilhemshaven
[inserted] X [/inserted] 21 October: Hannover
[inserted] X [/inserted] 23 October: Essen
[inserted] X [/inserted] 25 October: Essen
[inserted] X [/inserted] 28 October: Westkapelle
[inserted] X [/inserted] 31 October [deleted] Cologne [/deleted] [inserted] KOLN [/inserted]
[inserted] X [/inserted] 06 November: Gelsenkirchen
[inserted] X [/inserted] 29 November: Essen
[inserted] X [/inserted] 30 November: Duisburg
[inserted] X [/inserted] 05 December: Soest
[inserted] X [/inserted] 06 December: Osnabruck
[inserted] X [/inserted] 12 December: [deleted] Duisburg [/deleted] [inserted] ESSEN [/inserted]
[inserted] X [/inserted] 18 December: Duisburg. Crashed 06.10
Your brother was not part of the original crew, they had had a crash previously with Halifax LV865 on the 17th September 1944 when the plane swung out of control on take off and collided with a hut used to store bomb fuses. Sgt. R H Dunkley, one of the air gunners was killed during that crash and Flying Officer Twilley and Sgt. Holden were both injured.
Less than one month later the crew were back on operations. Both of the original air gunners (Sgt R H Dunkley and Sgt L G Morris) were replaced by your brother and Warrant Officer Hildebrand. Normally crews were kept together for the duration so I can’t see a reason for replacing Sgt Morris unless he was sick or something similar.
It’s difficult to be 100 percent certain but it may be that your brother or W/O Hildebrand was a stand-in for Sgt Morris just for that fatal night. [inserted] We now know this is incorrect from the mission report. [/inserted]
Your brother joined the Squadron on the 30th April 1944 from Marston Moor (a training base) so it’s likely he was already attached to a crew and was the temporary stand-in for Sgt. Morris. Where as W/O Hildebrand joined the Squadron on the 18th September (also from Marston Moor) just after the first crash and was more likely to be the replacement for Sgt Dunkley who got killed.
The Halifax is a single pilot aircraft not dual control like the Lancaster bomber and has a usual crew of 7 not 8. Flying Officer Baron was riding “2nd Dickie” a WWII RAF term for 2nd pilot. It was normal practice for a pilot to go along with a regular crew to gain operational experience whilst his own crew was being put together.
We have still to find the families of Sgt. Richard Holden and F/Sgt Roberts Hall but we already have pictures of some of the crew members. I’ve attached 2 to this message and will send more later as I don’t want to overload your mail box.
I also discovered an article in The Record newspaper by Peter Simpson (nephew of Carl Winston Cassini) it contains a poignant letter written by the Bomb Aimer Carl Winston Cassini to be sent to his parents in case of a crash (attached). We are in touch with Cyril Cassini (Carl’s brother) in Canada and he is going to send a picture also.
Do you have a phot of your brother?
The idea is to produce a photo montage similar to the book cover and give each family a copy to remember the crew.



“Report and Research on the loss of Halifax NP934,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 19, 2024,

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