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.
Along with Sergeant Paul McLarnon, the following died in the Welling DV718 crash.
|Last Name||First Name(s)||Rank||Role||Info|
|Ridgway||George Francis||Sergeant||Pilot||Royal New Zealand Air Force 414680. 20 years old.|
|Spencer||Howard William||Sergeant||Wireless Operator||1200412. 31 years old.|
|Allinson||Willie||Sergeant||Bomb Aimer||1145494. 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.