Flight Lieutenant Alec Elliott  -  158 Squadron  
   

Flight Lieutenant Alec Elliott - RAFVR

 

 Flight Lieutenant Alec Elliott was piloting Halifax Mk.BIII NR252 coded NP-B  during an operation to Hanover on January 5/6, 1945.

 The aircraft left Lissett at 1647hrs and successfully bombed the target but failed to return. On the homebound journey it was hit by a night-fighter destroying the H2S blister and moments later, a second attack destroyed the ammunition trays and conveyors of the four guns of the rear turret. Arriving at the Dutch–German border flying due West, only two engines were operable and after consulting with Norris, the navigator, it was considered advisable by Elliott to divert the course to the South in an attempt to reach an Allied-held airport in Belgium. 

 At that moment the Halifax was attacked again and the third engine was put out of action, together with the elevator trimmers, rendering the plane unmanageable. McMahon the Mid Upper Gunner reported from his turret that he saw flames passing him from the wing fuel tanks. Pilot Elliott ordered his crew to bale out. Sadly, having waited for all his crew to jump, he had left it too late and was found dead close by his crashed aircraft with his parachute half-opened. The Halifax crashed at 20:15 ;16km West of Almelo in the Overissel province of Holland. Flight Lieutenant Alec Elliott was twenty-five at the time of his death and is buried in the Cemetery at Hellendoorn, Holland.

The crew consisted of:

Name

Trade

F/L Alec Elliott

Pilot

Sgt W Morton - Evader

Flight Engineer

F/Sgt Michael “Mick” Norris - POW

Navigator

F/Sgt Ian Croad - Evader

Bomb Aimer

F/Sgt Paul Watson - Evader

W/Op/AG

Sgt Don McMahon - POW

M/U Gunner

Sgt Ralph Dickson - Evader

Rear Gunner

 Flight Lieutenant Alec Elliott was born on the 21st August 1919, the son of Robert and Lilian Elliott of 62 Heath Road, Twickenham, Middlesex. Alec Elliott was educated at St.Mary’s School, Twickenham continuing to Christ’s Hospital, Horsham and finally to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge in 1938.

 On 31st July 1940 he was recommended for Pilot Training and a commission and enlisted in the RAF at Uxbridge on 3rd August 1940.After further training he graduated from Cranwell with 83.4% and was posted to #2 FTS in April 1941 for a Flying Instructor’s Course. After being commissioned as a Pilot Officer, he continued to #14 SFTS as a Flying Instructor on the 1st June 1941 where he served before being sent to Canada, arriving at #36 SFTS ,Penhold, Alberta in the Fall of 1941. He was promoted to Flying Officer on 6th October 1942 and Flight Lieutenant on 7th June 1943

 Alec met his wife, Gladys Benton of Innisfail, Alberta, when he was stationed at Penhold, a few miles from her home. They were married in July,1942 and had a son, David Alec.

.

Alec at Penhold

 

 When #36 SFTS ceased operations in February,1944, he was repatriated to Britain and was posted to #10 O.T.U. at Abingdon. His wife and son followed him to England in convoy across the Atlantic, residing at the family home in Twickenham until the end of the war and returning to Canada in late 1945.

On the 5th June 1944 his crew was formed and in July of that year were recognized as Best Crew. After posting to 41 Base & 1658 HCU at Riccall, Yorkshire, he was posted to 158 squadron at Lissett flying Halifaxes. The crew’s first Operational mission was to Bochum in Germany, ten other missions followed.

 

Photos and information courtesy of David Elliott, research by Linda Ibrom