Original Member of F/O How Crew
Lost in Accident at HCU No.1666
It is sometimes forgotten that the airmen were harms way at any time they were on their aircraft. They not only had to
contend with flak and night fighters. There were other dangers they faced. Bad weather was one that took the lives of many crews
some who we will never know if that was their fate or not.
Malfunctions at take offs or bad landings also cost lives of trained crews or crews on exercises. These deadly accidents
happened both in squadron exercises as well as in training units prior to being posted to Operational squadrons.
For the F/O How crew it came on June 3rd 1944 at No.1666 Heavy Conversion Unit. While performing exercises on
Circuits and Bumps, take offs and landings where the aircraft just touches down then again proceeds to take off.
On one of the landings the aircraft hit the runway too hard and bounced out of control and began to leave the runway.
The pilot F/O How applied throttle to the engines but it was to late the Halifax W1235 crashed.
F/O How had over 1,000 flying hours experience. The Halifax just had positioned it self such after the bouce that
a recovery was not possible to be corrected in the short time before it hit the ground.
F/O Zoratti aged 30 was killed in the crash. He had completed many hours of training both in the air
and on the ground.
Another future 419 Squadron member also had been involved in an accident while in training at a HCU. WO Wally
Loucks, who survived that incident and later went on to complete his Tour. His story is linked o the tab above.