As mentioned on the Caterpillar Club page, several of the crew on ED559 had bailed out of a crippled Wellington the previous September. The bomb aimer on that op was Robert Herbert Chapman RAAF (412481). Chapman, aged 20, was later killed on Sunday, October 25, 1942 whilst a patient at the RAF Officers' Hotel in the requisitioned Park Hotel in Torquay, Devon.
I received today a copy of the magazine After The Battle, issue 118, which has a great article about the bombing of the hospital. The magazine and also the Commonwealth War Graves Commission both have Chapman as a member of 460 Squadron. I'll need to do some further digging to know why Chapman was at this squadron and not with the rest of the Wellington crew that had bailed out.
Possibly, Chapman was not the crews' regular bomb aimer (if not, who was, and why did he not stay with the crew when they went to convert to the heavies?) and it would be interesting to know why Chapman was at the hospital.
As and when information is found I'll post to this blog.
|The last flight of Lancaster ED559|