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Thread: 519 Squadron

  1. #1

    Default 519 Squadron

    In memory of the crew of Lockheed Ventura JS518 of 519 Squadron RAF Coastal Command which crashed shortly after take off at RAF Skitten on 31 August 1944

  2. #2


    Three of the four young men who died that day are buried in the Wick Municipal Cemetery. Two Canadians in the military row, and a Dundonian (who was married to a Wicker lass) in a private lair.

  3. #3


    Corporal John Strachan (RAF) from Wick and Dundee, Flight Lieutenant Charles Gaines from New Brunswick , Canada (Royal Canadian Air Force), and Flight Sergeant Walter Sweetapple of Gloverstone, Newfoundland, Canada, and Leading Aircraftman John E Kennedy were all killed when their aircraft crashed shortly after take off from RAF Skitten. The first three men are buried in Wick Cemetery. John Kennedy is buried in Lambhill Cemetery, Glasgow. (information from

  4. #4


    Walter Sweetapple came from Glovertown, Newfoundland (apologies for the error in the original posting)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    Thank you.

    We will remember them.

  6. #6


    The headstone for Corporal Strachan has recently been fully refurbished and is now very easy to find. It is close to the Lidl entrance to the cemetery and 4 aisles in from the gate.

  7. #7


    I should add that the aircraft involved was a Lockheed Ventura and would normally be used for Meteorological Reconnaissance.
    Sorry I haven't managed to visit the graves this year to tend to them

  8. #8


    The Pilot of the aircraft Flight Lieutenant Charles Gaines served with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was son of Charles Stewart Gaines and Myrtle Lucy Gaines, of Aroostook, New Brunswick. HIs co-pilot Flight Sergeant Walter Sweetapple served with the Royal Air Force came from Newfoundland which did not join with the rest of Canada till 1949 (so he was not eligible for the Royal Canadian Air Force)

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