Ben Wood, Pilot – a little more information

Benny

F/S Benjamin Brinley ‘Benny’ Wood, Pilot – lost with all of his crew on 23rd June 1943, Mülheim. © Liz and Dave Wood

Many thanks to Liz for passing on this wonderful picture of Ben Wood, her husbands Uncle.

Benjamin ‘Benny’ Wood was lost with all of his crew on the 23rd of June 1943 on the Mülheim Op – their aircraft, Stirling Mk.III EF408 AA-P was hit by flak.

The Wood crew on the Mulheim Op were;
F/Sgt Benjamin Brinley Wood RAFVR 656588 – Pilot. Age 24
F/Sgt. George King Samson RNZAF NZ402563 – Navigator. Age 27
F/Sgt Stuart Richard Bisset RNZAF NZ415738 – Air Bomber. Age 20
Sgt Edgar Henry Reader RAFVR 1331432 – Wireless Operator. Age 21
Sgt. Stanley Lawrence Webb RAFVR 1266998 – Flight Engineer. Age 33
Sgt. Frederick Johns Hobbs RAFVR 1609558 – Mid Upper Gunner. Age 19
Sgt. Cyril Benjamin Hemmings RAFVR 1235070 – Rear Gunner. Age 21

Liz has passed on the following biographical information on Ben:
Ben was born in 1919 in New Tredegar, Wales, the family went to Jersey in about 1928.  He finished his education at St Clements School Jersey.  His first job was as a bus conductor.  He was then an apprentice Motor Engineer at La Motte St Garage, Jersey.  As he was of military age, had he stayed in Jersey he would have been interned.  He left the Island in June 1940, and joined the RAF.   Trained as a Cadet Pilot at the Dart School of Aeronautics, Albany, Georgia, USA.  He married Sadie on 13th April 1943 and tragically died only two months later.

See the gravestones of the Wood crew, now resting in Reichswald War Cemetery here.
See a photograph of Ben as a young man, tending vegetables in his parents garden in Jersey here.
Read about the Wood crew and their Wreless Operator Edgar Reader here.

7 thoughts on “Ben Wood, Pilot – a little more information

  1. Adrian

    Liz, Many thanks for passing this information on. My uncle Edgar was Ben’s wireless operator and so it is extremely interesting for me to learn more about those he flew with. I do remember my grandmother relating some story about one of the crew members being married, perhaps she was talking about Ben. My uncle apparently wrote many letters home which could have contained this information but sadly and unforgivably after being kept for many years they no longer exist. How I wish I’d asked more questions!

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  2. Elizabeth

    Thank you Adrian. It is so lovely that they are remembered. Yes, Benny married sadie only two months before he died. My father in law, Harry, who is Benny’s brother has just received the bomber command clasp so I hope your family has applied for Edgar’s. Best wishes Liz and Harry.

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  3. Adrian

    Hi Liz, yes my mother, Edgar’s sister, applied for the clasp last year and it arrived about 6 weeks ago and it is now with his campaign medals. The campaign medals were not issued automatically by the RAF after the war but had to be applied for. Judging by the postmark on the box my grandfather must have done it in the mid 1950’s. Hopefully your family will have Ben’s, if not I believe they can still be applied for. All the best, Adrian

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    1. Elizabeth Wood

      Medals Update. It turns out Ben’s medals had not been applied for and Harry received them today from MOD. Many thanks Adrian for passing on that info.

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  4. Adrian

    Another thought, you should still be able to get a copy of Ben’s service record from the RAF, available to the next of kin. I think it costs £30 but should give all the details of his RAF career, enlistment, training, postings etc. Once you have these details it gives a good base for further research. If nothing else it gives an ideal accompaniment to the medals. A quick google should direct you to the RAF site for the necessary address and forms etc. Good luck!

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