Southport Squadron attend the unveiling of the new Sale War Memorial


WAR MEMORY: The memorial at the original crash site, which is now Walton Park, Sale

A squadron in Southport recently joined dignitaries and representatives from across the North West to unveil a new war memorial, in honor of Allied airmen of the Second World War, RAF Bomber Command.

No 611 Squadron was joined by Royal Australian Air Force Warrant Officer Rodney Wallace who unveiled the memorial, supported by Wing Commander Stephen Chaskin OBE, No 611 Squadron, representing the Royal Air Force.

In August 1943, a Wellington medium-range bomber with a Royal Australian Air Force crew of five and a member of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve on board crashed into what is now a football pitch at Walton Park, Sale.


Two of the Australian servicemen died in the accident. The rest of the crew were also killed in World War II bombing missions, with the exception of one, who was so badly injured in the Sale incident that he was never seen again. flown operationally.

Sale historian George Cogswell researched the crash in the early 1990s and began the process of erecting a memorial in Walton Park to honor the six men.

George Cogswell said: “I’m glad we now have the permanent memorial in Sale. With five of the six men on the flight hailing from Australia, we were very honored to have an RAAF representative in Sale for the unveiling.

PAYING TRIBUTE: Wing Commander Stephen Chaskin of 611 Squadron with historian George Cogswell

Sergeant John (Tich) McCarthy, born in County Waterford, Ireland, was flying with Australian personnel on the night of the crash. He was serving in the RAF Volunteer Reserve, having come to South Wales in 1941 to help build airfields.

Wing Commander Chaskin added: “The men were all away from home that night and had to deal with the failure of both engines in their planes.

“Through great skill and quick thinking, they managed to avoid crashing into local houses, but unfortunately in the process two crew members were killed. Their actions in trying to save the others will be remembered for a long time.

Submitted by RAF Woodvale

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