Paul McLarnon

Sergeant Paul McLarnon served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He died on 3rd September 1942 when Vickers Wellington DV718 came down in Yorkshire.


Paul McLarnon


Sergeant Paul McLarnon served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was a rear-gunner on board Vickers Wellington DV781 when it crashed in Yorkshire, England.

Sergeant Paul McLarnon (999862) served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during World War Two. He was born in Belfast, Co. Antrim.

Paul McLarnon died on 3rd September 1942 aged 22 years old. He was a rear gunner on board Vickers Wellington DV718 flying with RAF 11 Operational Training Unit. The crew was on a cross-country night flying training exercise. They took off from RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire. They flew north after take-off but ran into poor weather over the Yorkshire Dales. Visibility was poor and they became lost in low cloud and heavy rain.

On descending over higher ground, the plane came down on Blake Hill, Riggs Moor, Great Whernside, Yorkshire. A fire broke out on impact destroying most of the fuselage. Another Wellington from the same unit crashed a few miles away on the same exercise.

Vickers Wellington IAs over RAF Bassingbourn

Imperial War Museum Photo: CH 730. (Part of the Air Ministry Second World War Official Collection). Three Vickers Wellington Mark IAs of RAF No. 11 OTU fly over their base at RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire. Photo taken by Mr SA Devon - Official Royal Air Force photographer.

Along with Sergeant Paul McLarnon, the following died in the Welling DV718 crash.

Last NameFirst Name(s)RankRoleInfo
RidgwayGeorge FrancisSergeantPilotRoyal New Zealand Air Force 414680. 20 years old.
SpencerHoward WilliamSergeantWireless Operator1200412. 31 years old.
AllinsonWillieSergeantBomb Aimer1145494. 34 years old.

Only Navigator Pilot Officer Donald Harrison Lyne escaped the wreckage. Authorities found him the next day, taking him to Harrogate General Hospital, and onwards to a hospital in Preston. He made a full recovery.

Paul McLarnon’s grave is in Section B, Row VA, Grave 93 of Milltown Cemetery, Belfast, Co. Antrim.

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