Handley Page Halifax II – DT512 – 102 Squadron - 23rd-24th October 1942

On the evening of the 23rd & 24th of October 1942 a total of 122 Aircraft from 3 & 4 Groups & the Pathfinders were detailed to bomb Genoa.   The target area on the night was almost completely covered by cloud & it was later reported that bombs had actually fallen on Savona, 30 miles along the coast & several aircraft had bombed Turin.

11 of these aircraft were from 102 Squadron & crews reported cloud with frequent showers

The Crew of DT512 ‘Q’ took off from Pocklington at 1814hrs on board were: -

W/C SB Bintley - Pilot (Commanding officer of 102 Squadron)

G/C EJ Corbally – 2nd Pilot (Pocklington Station Commander)

Sgt K White – Flight Engineer

F/S JAT Simpson - Navigator – RCAF

F/O VB Davies – Air Gunner

Sgt RP Long – Air Gunner

F/L AJ Graham – Wireless Operator/Air Gunner – RCAF

F/S G Richmond – Bomb Aimer

 

On the return journey the crew were diverted to Holme-on-Spalding Moor due to bad weather, landing at 0330hrs, however a front tyre on the aircraft burst meaning that the aircraft swung off the runway coming to rest with its front-end obstructing part of the runway.

 

At this time Halifax II W1181 ‘D’ also from 102 Squadron with crew members F/S JL Berry, W/O Cranwell, F/O EW Hargreaves, Sgt D Hubbard, Sgt JW Crouch, Sgt RJ Horton, Sgt WE Pattison & F/S JB Bell came in to land & collided with the front end of Squadron Leaders Bintley’s aircraft.  Although no serious injuries were sustained by the crew of ‘D’, Wing Commander SB Bintley from ‘Q’ was killed at the scene & Flying Officer AJ Graham died at 10am at York Military Hospital.  It was reported that Sgts White & Simpson were injured during the accident.  Both Bintley & Graham were buried at Barmby Moor with military honours on the 27th October 1942.  At the time Bintley was the Commanding Officer of 102 Squadron.

 

The aircraft DT512 which had been manufactured & sent to 102 Squadron in August or September of the same year was written off.

 

A later report into the accident found that although it had no bearing on the accident the starboard inner engine of DT512 had failed & that the starboard tyre had burst due to flak damage.  Owing to the pilot S/L Bintleys skill & experience he had landed the aircraft successfully.   The final report states that this was a deplorable & totally unnecessary accident with the blame being apportioned to Flying Control at Holme on Spalding Moor.

 

Flying Control Officer P/O J.E. Turner had apparently fired a green signal cartridge to warn W1181 ‘D’ rather than using the green Aldis Lamp, this green signal was accepted as permission to land.   Although Pilot Officer Turner was very inexperienced in Flying control duties F/Lt AW Ruffell the Senior Regional Control Officer was also in the watch office supervising.   It was felt that if swift action had been taken the accident could have been prevented.   In light of this both officers were held equally responsible.

Wing Commander Sydney Bruce Bintley, DSO, AFC  - Pilot

Sydney Bruce Bintley was born in 1912 in Larne, County Antrim, Ireland to John Thornton Bintley, a Civil Engineer & Mary Rose Godfrey.  John & Mary had previously married on the 9th January 1901 at St Helens, London.

 

John Thornton Bintley had been born in Kendal, England in 1842 & had previously married Jane Mairs in 1867 in Calverley, Jane was a native of Green Island, Belfast.   The couple lived in Essex & don’t appear to have had any children.

 

Mary Rose Godfrey was born on the 17th June 1875 in Bombay, India to Colonel Charles Godfrey & Sidney Ellen Bell.   The family at the time lived in Dharwar where her father was Captain of the Bombay Staff Corps.

 

When John & Mary married in 1901 Mary was about 33 years his junior.   Three months after their marriage the couple are living with her father Charles Godfrey at Tyrol Villa, Cheltenham along with her mother, 2 sisters, her nephew & 4 servants.

 

By 1911 the family have moved to Carrickfergus, County Antrim in Ireland & have 2 children, Bryan Noel born circa 1902 & Lionel born circa 1905.   At age 68 John has now retired.

 

Sydney would follow in 1912 but sadly 3 years later on the 28th November 1915 at Roseville, Greenisland, Country Antrim John would pass away.   He left his estate to Mary allowing her to take care of their young family.

 

Sydney was educated at the Briary, Westgate-on-Sea before attending the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.

 

By the 1930s the family have moved to Reigate in Surrey & Sydney is now working as a Midshipman with the Royal Navy.   He was promoted to Sub-Lieutenant in 1934 & a passenger record in 1936 shows him travel from Malta to England with his work.   He is detailed as being placed on the retired list in 1936 & in May of the following year joins the RAF being given the Service No 39961.

 

He received his short service commission on the 9th August 1937 as Acting Pilot Officer on probation & was confirmed in his appointment on the 26th March 1938.     Just 2 months after the outbreak of World War 2, Sydney was promoted to Flying Officer.   In the early months of the War he flew many hours over the sea on convoy patrols.

 

In February 1940 & following a report by his senior officer Sydney is mentioned in despatches for his bravery.    By December of the same year he is promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant & by January of 1942 has risen to Squadron Leader & is mentioned in the New Year Honours list when he received his A.F.C.    Early in 1942 he had the pleasure of meeting the King & Queen during their visit to RAF Dalton.

 

Sydney was 29 years old when he died & had taken part in attacks on some of the most strongly defended industrial targets in Germany.   He was awarded the Air Force Cross & in December 1942 following his death the Distinguished Service Order.   He is detailed as displaying the highest qualities of leadership & determination.  His personal courage, coupled with other admirable qualities reflected in the efficiency & high moral of the unit under his command.  Bintley Drive in Pocklington would be named in his honour.

 

He left the total of his estate to his mother Mary, who would continue to live in Reigate until her death in 1952.

Flight Lieutenant Arthur James Graham, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner

Arthur James Graham was born on the 20th June 1919 in Montreal, Canada to James Winchell Graham, a Photographer & Ethel Maida Carter.   James & Ethel had married in Montreal on the 16th April 1918.

 

Shortly after their marriage & on the 13th May, James joined the 1st Quebec Regiment.

 

Sadly, he passed away from Influenza & Broncho-pneumonia on the 29th October 1918 at the Grenadier Guards Emergency Hospital in Montreal.  Given the dates it is possible that he didn’t even know Ethel was pregnant with Arthur.  He was buried in a Soldiers plot at Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal.  Ethel did not receive his pension as it was reported that he had taken ill whilst on a leave of absence without pay.

 

Arthur attended Victoria School, Montreal High School & went on to attend Westmount Business School in the evenings where he studied Typewriting & bookkeeping.

 

In his spare time, he enjoyed Swimming, Hockey, Rugby, Baseball, was a member of the National Rifle Association & like his father also enjoyed Photography.  He was Editor for the newspaper which the young people at his local church published on a fortnightly basis & for a period of about 6 years he was also a member of the 132nd Montreal Troop Boy Scouts.   He grew up with half siblings Evelyn & Norma.

 

His first job in 1936 was with Ritz Garage where he worked servicing cars.  He was then offered a better position in 1937 at Northern Electric Company as a Radio Inspector but was laid off the following year due to a downturn in trade.   In September 1938 he commenced work with the Central Investment Corp at Mansions Garage again as a Servicemen/Mechanic where he worked until he joined the Air Force.

 

Having previously applied in 1939, Arthur again applied to enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force in August of 1940 & was accepted.   He was given the Service No R56377 & rank of Aircraftsman 2nd class.  At this time, he is described as 5 feet 7 inches with blonde hair, blue eyes & fair complexion.

 

He carried out his initial training at No 1 School in Toronto before moving onto No 2 Wireless School in Calgary in November of 1940 receiving his wireless operators badge on the 17th March 1941.  From there he went onto No 2 Bombing & Gunnery School at Mossbank, Saskatchewan gaining his Gunners Badge on the 7th April 1941 & just 10 days later was promoted to Temporary Sergeant.   On completion of his training he is described as a good clean type who was exceptionally level headed, worked consistently & showed good results.  He was therefore recommended for a commission.    On completion of his training Arthur left for the UK on the 15th May 1941.   On arrival in the UK he went on to train with 22 Operational training unit at Wellesbourne.

 

He was promoted to Temporary Flying Officer in April of 1942 & posted to Pocklington on the 7th August 1942

 

Arthur was only 23 years old when he was killed.   He suffered a fractured Skull, lacerations to the scalp & concussion.

 

He is remembered on the Canadian Bomber Command Memorial at Nanton.

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