Flying Officer, 153 Squadron
Service number 132781
Died 21 Nov 1943
Commemorated on Runnymede Memorial
Alexander (Alec) was born on 3 Feb 1917 in Dollis Hill, London to Romanian born Harris and Keila nee Schwartz and he had four sisters, Zena who predeceased him by four months, Dorothy, Marion and Della. Their father Harris died in 1938 in the West London Hospital for Nervous Diseases. Alec worked as a surveyor and estate agent before he enlisted.
Alec was the co-pilot of Liberator BZ819 which departed from RAF St Eval on an anti-submarine patrol over the Bay of Biscay. The crew were:
Pilot, Wing Commander Hugh Robert Arthur Edwards, aged 37 (survived).
Co-Pilot, Alexander Davis, aged 26.
Navigator, Francis Halliday, aged 24, RCAF J/10696
W/Op A/G, Bruce Hamilton, aged 22, 129968.
F/E, Stanley Johnson, aged 22, 1320971
A/G, William Owen, aged 23, 1100663
A/G, George Shield, aged 23, 751406
A/G, Leonard Terry, 1377394
The aircraft was hit by flak from a U-boat on a previous attack and lost power simultaneously to three of its four engines, nose diving into the Atlantic from 300 feet. W/C ‘Jumbo’ Edwards was the only survivor.
The fate of the aircraft and the amazing story of Olympic gold medallist ‘Jumbo’ Edwards has been researched by his relative Gavin Jamieson and I am grateful for his permission to use the story. The link to his website can be found here: Jumbo Edwards: Oarsman, Coach and RAF Pilot – Part I – Hear The Boat Sing