West Wales War Memorial Project
West Wales War Memorial Project

Milford Haven (Wellington N2749) Memorial

At 23.15 on the night of 18 July 1942, a Vickers Wellington IC, Serial N2749, of 27 Operational training Unit at R.A.F. Lichfield, took off on a cross country training run towards the Irish Sea. At 03.08 hours on the following morning, Milford Haven Coastguard reported an aircraft firing three red Verey lights, and was obviously in distress, with only one engine running. The aircraft attempted a forced landing at Milford Haven, but crashed into the Fish Docks, killing all six members of her crew. Five of the crew were members of the Royal Australian Air Force, and one was an Englishman, a member of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.

 

The five Australians were buried with full military honours at Pembroke Dock Military Cemetery, while the other man was returned home for burial at New Bradwell, Buckinghamshire.

 

In order to commemorate the lives of these six men, the Milford Haven branch of the Royal British Legion donated a bronze plaque, which was erected by Preseli District Council in July 1986, on behalf of the Pembrokeshire Aviation Group, at Hamilton Crescent, Milford Haven.

The plaque reads;

 

This plaque overlooks the site where Wellington IC, N2749, of 27 OTU, RAF Lichfield, crashed in the early hours of the 19th July 1942. There were no survivors.

 

Memorial donated by the Royal British Legion, Milford Haven Branch. Erected by Preseli District Council for the Pembrokeshire Aviation Group, July 1986. Lest We Forget.

 

Thanks are due to Bob Kettle for the photograph of the memorial, and to Les Nixon for the photos of the graves of the four Australian Aircrew.

 

The crewmen of Wellington N2749 were;

 

Keith James Bradley, Sergeant, 411117, Royal Australian Air Force. Keith was born at Brisbane, Queensland on 20 November 1924, the son of James Albert and Alice Maud Bradley, of Five Dock, New South Wales, Australia. He worked as an electric welder, before enlisting at Bonevilla, Victoria into the Royal Australian Air Force, and was posted to 27 OUT in England. Keith was 25 years old when he died in the crash of N2749, and is buried at Pembroke Dock Military Cemetery, Grave Ref. Sec. C. Grave 21.

William Harry Condon, Sergeant, 408131, Royal Australian Air Force. William was born at Melbourne, Victoria on 1 August 1919, the son of James Benedict Condon and Lillian Norris Condon, of Laverton, Victoria, Australia. William was in his fourth year at University, studying Metallurgy, when he enlisted at Hobart into the Royal Australian Air Force, and was posted to England to join 27 OTU. William was 22 years old when he died in the crash of N2749, and is buried at Pembroke Dock Military Cemetery, Grave Ref. Sec. C. Grave 22.

Maurice Cooke, Sergeant (Air Gunner), 1170027, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Maurice was the son of Frederick John and Marguerite E. Cooke, of New Bradwell. He was the only British member of the crew of N2749, and was 20 years old when he died in the crash. He is buried at Wolverton (New Bradwell) Cemetery, Buckinghamshire, Grave Ref. Sec. 9. Grave 10.

Edward Douglas Reginald Jennings, Sergeant, 411145, Royal Australian Air Force. Edward was born at Mosman, New South Wales on 14 August 1915, the son of Reginald Webb Jennings and Madeline Lucy Jennings, of Strathfield, New South Wales, Australia. He worked on the Sydney Tramways before enlisting into the Royal Australian Air Force, and being posted to 27 OTU in England. Edward was 26 years old when he died in the crash of N2746, and is buried at Pembroke Dock Military Cemetery, Grave Ref. Sec. E. Grave 17.

Kenneth Henry Charles Steinbach, Sergeant, 404856, Royal Australian Air Force. Kenneth was born at Kimberley, South Africa on 31 December 1912, the son of Henry Walter and Mercy Steinbach. He had emigrated to Australia before the war, and lived with his wife Daphne Alberta Steinbach, at Woodgate Street, Churchill, Ipswich, Queensland, where he worked as a Dairy Farmer. Kenneth enlisted at Brisbane into the Royal Australian Air Force, and trained as a Pilot before being posted to 27 OTU in England. He was 29 years old when he died in the crash of N2749, and is buried at Pembroke Dock Military Cemetery, Grave Ref. Sec. E. Grave 18.

George Ernest Warburton, Sergeant, 411206, Royal Australian Air Force. George was born at Turramurra, New South Wales on 5 August 1918, the son of Ernest Alfred and Elizabeth Iolet Warburton, of New South Wales, Australia. He worked as an Audit Clerk before joining the Royal Australian Air Force, and was posted to 27 OTU in England. George was 23 years old when he died in the crash of N2749, and is buried at Pembroke Dock Military Cemetery, Grave Ref. Sec. G. Grave 11.

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Website News

6 Dec 2018. Another piece of good news today, another Welsh soldier has been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research: George Henry Downer, of Swansea. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

5 Dec 2018. Some more great news today, another four Welsh soldiers have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my work: Richard Cook, of Newport; Daniel Oscar Evans, of Ystrad; Evan Ivor Isaac Jenkins, of Llanelli; and William John Jones, of Abercarn. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

16 Nov 2018. Again I'm pleased to say that another two Welsh soldiers have been accepted for commemoration today: William Arthur Hopkins, of Talywain; and William Henry Hopkins, of Cymmer. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

15 Nov 2018. Some more great news today that another two Welsh soldiers have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my work: Sam Cooper, of Trevethin; and Thomas William George, of Swansea. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

14 Nov 2018. Great news today that another four Welsh soldiers have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research: Godfrey Dorey, of Neath; John Garvin, of Pontypool; Stanley Griffiths, of Swansea; and William Price, of Abergavenny. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

13 Nov 2018. More great news, the CWGC have accepted another Welsh soldier for commemoration today as a result of my work: Thomas John Hale, of Newport, Mon. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

10 Nov 2018. Great news today that another three Welsh soldiers have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my work: Richard Charles, of Neath; David Evan Gough, of Merthyr; and William Jones, of Rhyl. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

19 Oct 2018. Some more great news today, after having received confirmation that another three Welsh soldiers have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research: Archibald Casswell; Sidney Coker; and Thomas John Joseph, all Swansea men. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

17 Oct 2018. Some great news again today after having received confirmation that another four Welsh servicemen have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research: Samuel Brooks, of Swansea; David Humphreys, of Pontypool; David Jenkin Jones, of Llwydcoed; and Tudor Emlyn Jones, of Swansea. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

16 Oct 2018. Have today received confirmation that another Welsh serviceman has been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research: William Henry Lippitt, of Llanhilleth. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

12 Oct 2018. Some great news today that another two Welsh soldiers have been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research:  David Morgan Jenkins, of Swansea; and Jenkin Robert Lewis, of Llanelli. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

6 Mar 2018. Some more good news today that yet another Welsh soldier, Thomas David Rees, of Whitchurch, Cardiff, has been accepted as a war casualty by the CWGC as a result of my work. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

3 Mar 2018. Good news today that another Welsh soldier, Reginald Wilfred Collard, of Whitchurch, Cardiff, has been accepted as a war casualty by the CWGC as a result of my work. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

26 Feb 2018. The second volume of my latest book 'The Welsh at War' has been published today and is available from all good bookshops. Please see the Steve's Books page for details.

 

23 Feb 2018. Some good news today that another local man, Gwilym Bennett, of Llanelli, has been accepted as a war casualty by the CWGC as a result of my work. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

5 Feb 2018. The first volume of my latest book 'The Welsh at War' has been published today and is available from all good bookshops. Please see the Steve's Books page for details.

 

27 Jan 2018. Some good news again, that Thomas Arthur Edward Pugsley, of Ynysboeth, has recently been accepted by the CWGC for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my work. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

22 Jan 2018. I have received news that a sailor from Swansea, James Carne, who I had researched, has been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my work. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

1 December 2017. A new section has been added to the website, which will cover some war memorials in Glamorgan, more especially the memorials nearest to the county border with Carmarthenshire. More will be added as time allows.

 

4 November 2017. Some good news this week following the discovery, after much searching, of the grave of Private Thomas Davies, of Laugharne. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers page of the website for details.

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