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.