WELLINGTON BOMBER MF-509


Aircraft MF509, a  VickersWellington MK10, took off from Stratford-Upon-Avon, satellite airfield to RAF Wellesbourne Mountford ( No22 Operational Training Unit) at 19.26 hours on Nov.20th 1944 for a nigMemorial to Wellington MF-509 on Carreg Goch, Wales ht cross country navigation training exercise.. Shortly before  20.50 hrs the crew sent a radio message asking permission to go below cloud as they were having trouble with the starboard engine, perhaps due to icing in the carburetor. Permission was granted and as they descended over the mountains of the Brecon Beacons their aircraft flew into the South West slope of Carreg Goch. All six crewman were killed.

With the help of local people from Craig y Nos, the RAF rescue team reached the site that night and removed the bodies. Two days later, Eric Price who lived in Ynesen visited the site and noticed that a photograph of a flier was amongst the wreckage. He took it home and evntually added it to his family album. There was no indication on the photo who the young man in the photo was., and it seemed unlikely that it could ever be established. However in 2005 two of his grandchildren decided to try to discover the identity of the flier.

After the crash on Carreg Goch, the local people erected a monument on the site and inscribed were the names of the six crewmen of MF-509. Armed with this information a search was begun on the Web to seek assistance in identifying the photo. The first break came when the brother of air gunner Ernest Burke was found in New Brunswick. Shortly after that the name of William Allison was found on this McGill Remembers website, and it was confirmed that the bomb-aimer had indeed attended McGill in 1936 and was listed by McGill among the war casualties. The people in Wales asked for assistance in locating the Allison family, and after a great deal of detective work, it was discovered that a nephew of Bill Allsion was a professor at McGill. Through that discovery links were made to others in the family, including Bill's sister Phyllis Burns.

Further research showed that at least three of the airmen on MF-509 had a connection to McGill. Besides Bill Allison, Charles Hamel (pilot) and Jules Villeneuve (navigator) received their advanced training through McGill's air school south of Montreal prior to being posted overseas.


The aircrew lost in the crash on Carreg Goch were:

PILOT Sgt CHARLES HAMEL
NAVIGATOR Sgt JULES ROBERT RENE VILLENEUVE
BOMB AIMER F/Off WILLIAM JOSEPH ALLISON
W/Op/AIR GUNNER Sgt JOSEPH PAUL ERNEST BURKE
AIR GUNNER Sgt ARTHUR GROUIX
AIR GUNNER Sgt GERARD DUSABLON


Additional material, including photos and links to other resources,, can be seen at http://mf509.blogspot.com/

Image on this page (c) Carl Ryan and used with permission. For other images, click here