RAF Waddington remembers Lancaster JO-N crew

Relatives of the Lancaster LM130 crew and a Hurricane pilot who passed away when they collided in 1945 visited RAF Waddington to lay a memorial wreath.

The seven crew members of the Lancaster, known as “JO-N”, and the pilot of the Hurricane all perished when the two aircraft collided over Blankney, Lincolnshire, on March 11, 1945.

The Lancaster had completed 48 operations before the collision with the Hurricane, whose pilot was seasoned veteran with the Royal New Zealand Air Force serving with Bomber Command.

The relatives of the men visited RAF Waddington’s memorial garden, and were hosted by representatives from the RAF Waddington Heritage Centre.

Relatives at the Australian memorial at RAF Waddington.

Relatives at the Australian memorial at RAF Waddington.

Piloting the Lancaster was Australian Norman Henry Orchard from Geelong, Victoria.

His nephew, Roland Orchard, is visiting the UK to meet up with the relatives of the other crew members on the Lancaster.

As well as Waddington, Roland will visit the site of the old RAF Metheringham airfield close to where the aircraft crashed.

He said: “I’d like to thank everyone who have made today a reality. Meeting family of the other crew members feels as though our family has increased in size.

“This will be a lasting memorial to the brave airmen who perished in the crash”

One of the hosts, Chief Technician Craig Smith, added: “It was a privilege to meet both Mr Roland Orchard knowing how much work he had put in to this day and all the families for whom it was obviously emotional and meant a great deal.”

Crew of Lancaster LM130:

  • Pilot Officer NH Orchard RAAF
  • Flight Sergeant RF Neale RAF
  • Sergeant DA Charles RAF
  • Sergeant H Rollins RAF
  • Sergeant WFH Elcome RAF
  • Sergeant BJ Patch RAF
  • Sergeant H Shaw RAF

Crew of Hurricane PZ740:

  • Flying Officer SF Parlato DFC RNZAF