Sergeant Albert Ackland  -  428 Squadron  
   

Sergeant Albert Ackland - RAFVR

 

 Sergeant Albert Ackland  was serving as Flight Engineer on board Halifax Mk.V LK906 coded NA-D during an operation to Berlin on the November 23/24 1943 when it crashed at Scherenbostel, 16 km from Hanover. All of the crew perished including Sergeant Albert Ackland.
 

The crew consisted of:

Name

Service

Trade

Hometown

Age

Sgt Jack Jacob

RCAF

Pilot

Toronto, Ontario

22

Sgt Albert Ackland

RAFVR

Flight Engineer

Bethnal Green, London

21

Sgt William Boucher

RAFVR

Navigator

Kingsheath,Birmingham

22

Sgt Allen Radbourne

RCAF

Bomb Aimer

Owen Sound, Ontario

19

Sgt William Bracken

RAFVR

W/Op/AG

Farnhill,Yorkshire

21

Sgt Malcolm Donaldson

RCAF

Air Gunner

Verdun, Quebec

20

Sgt George Kemp

RAFVR

Air Gunner

Musselburgh

-

 

The Jacob Crew (Sgt Ackland, back row far left, Sgt Jacob front row 3rd from left)

Sergeant Albert Ackland was the son of Alfred and Charlotte Ackland and brother of Charlotte, Lily, James, William and Ivy of Bethnal Green, London. He is buried in the War Cemetery at Hannover along with the rest of his crew.

Sgt Ackland composed the following poem in which he praises the ground crew which worked so tirelessly to keep the aircraft flying.

Flight Mechanic

 

He wears a suit of faded blue

No badge upon his breast

Youíll find more streaks of dirty oil

Than medals on his chest

 

He wields a heavy hammer

And a piece of oily rag

While other fellows who shoot the Hun

Add an M.E. to their bag

 

He works in wind, mud and rain

And curses the bloody war

And wonders ninety times a day

What he joined the Air Force for.

Heís only a Flight Mechanic

Nothing more or less

With a greasy suit of overalls

In place of battle dress.

 

But he strikes a blow at Jerry

With his honest British skill

As well as the pilot who delivers the bombs

Or the gunner who makes the kill.

 

So when you hear of bombings or a Messerschmitt shot down

When youíve covered flying heroís with honour and renown

When youíve given out the D.F.M.ís and D.F.C.ís and such

Just think of the Flight Mechanic

He doesnít ask for much

Just shake him by his oily hand

And say he did a lot

To make those roaring engines safe

For the man who fired the shot.

 

Photos courtesy of Nola Pinnock, research by Linda Ibrom