Boeing B-29 [Washington] WF495 (26/01/1954)

Boeing B-29 [Washington] WF495 was being flown back to the USA at the end of the lease agreement on 26th January 1954

Its crew comprised:

  • Richard Norman Williams (Pilot)
  • Arthur Kenneth Passmore (Pilot)
  • Robert Arthur Kirkland (Navigator)
  • Michael John Kennell (Navigator)
  • Gerald William Clamp (Signaller)
  • Bernard Walter Noble (Engineer)
  • George Johnston (Gunner)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “At 23.42 hours on Monday 25th January 1954 Flt. Lt. Williams took off from Prestwick en-route for the Azores. At approximately 00.24 hours an R/T message was received from Flt. Lt. Williams stating that he was experiencing “fuselage vibration and severe icing” and that he was turning on to an easterly heading. At 00.27 hours a further garbled message was received which sounded like “baling out” which was the last message received from WF495. Flt. Lt. Williams and crew are believed to have either baled out or ditched in the Morecambe Bay area. Aircraft from this station took off the following morning and assisted in the search until 28.01.1954 but with no success. The search has been called off and Flt. Lt. Williams and crew are posted as missing”


AM Form 1180

The AM Form 1180 shows “The aircraft proceeding from Prestwick to the Azores climbed to 12,000ft and pilot reported he was in IFR conditions over Isle of Man. A further call was received stating that severe vibrations were being experienced and icing was suspected. A few minutes later the pilot stated he was changing course and reducing height to 8,000ft owing to heavy icing. This was followed by a “bale out” message and no further contact was made with the aircraft. Parts of the wreckage found established that aircraft crashed into the sea” All crew were lost.