Flight Lieutenant Brian Stanley Bannister (43089) served in the British Army and the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. He was the son of linen manufacturer Frederick Charles Bannister and Kathleen Mary Bannister of 12 Myrtlefield Park.
Brian received his education at Campbell College, Belfast before attending Sandhurst Military Academy. He joined the British Army in 1938 and in the early stages of the Second World War, he served in France with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. In April 1940, he transferred to the Royal Air Force as a Pilot Officer.
In April 1941, Bannister received the Distinguished Flying Cross while serving with RAF 53 Squadron. The citation commended his gallantry and devotion to duty. A year later, on 11th April 1942, he received a promotion to Flight Lieutenant. Brian died on 17th July 1942 aged 24 years old. He was on board Lockheed Hudson N7253 with RAF 24 Squadron.
The crew and high-profile passengers on board numbered 13 people when they took off from Sydenham Airfield, Belfast bound for RAF Hendon, London. En route, the plane sustained damage to the port wing. It is possible that a lightning strike caused the fatal structural failure. The plane came down at Tyn-y-bryne Farm, St. Asaph, Denbighshire, Wales.
Remembering the crew of Hudson N7253
|Last Name||First Name(s)||Rank||Role||Information|
|Armitage||Edgar||Civilian||Passenger||Director of an engineering firm from Leicester. Killed.|
|Bannister||Brian Stanley||Flight Lieutenant||Passenger||43089. Killed.|
|Bell||Charles Robert||Sergeant||Wireless Operator / Air Gunner||808379. Killed.|
|Butcher||Thomas Derrick||Warrant Officer||Observer||751687. Killed.|
|Coatman||Charles Arthur Denby||Civilian||Passenger||Air Ministry Lands Officer Killed.|
|Hoggar||Arthur William||Squadron Leader||Passenger||31159. Killed.|
|Kearney||Neville Patrick Peter||Flying Officer||Passenger||RAAF 403055. Killed.|
|McMullan||Malcolm Morgan||Wing Commander||Passenger||21092. Killed.|
|Rogers||John Bryan Glostek||Flight Lieutenant||Pilot||78842. Killed.|
|Tucker||Kenneth Manley||Aircraftman 1st Class||Fitter||1234140. Killed.|
|Waring||Alfred Noel||Lieutenant Commander||Passenger||Royal Navy at HMS Landrail. Killed.|
|Watt||Terence Andrew Alfred||Major||Passenger||Life Guards 36914. Killed.|
Bannister had survived another crash on 18th February 1942. In that case, Consolidated Liberator AM925 struck a radio mast on take-off from RAF Nutts Corner, Co. Antrim. Brain Stanley Bannister was one of 5 injured members of the crew from RAF 120 Squadron. A further 3 aircrew died in the incident and the navigator died 2 days later in a military hospital in Belfast.
Brian Stanley Bannister’s grave is in Section B2, Grave 732 of Dundonald Cemetery, Dundonald, Co. Down. A funeral service took place on 24th July 1942.