BZ962 "D", "Daring Diana."

 

Daring Diana2

Nose Art of Daring Diana © Matt Poole

 

First of two 159 Liberators shot down by the same pair of Ki-43 fighters over Rangoon, Burma, night of 29 Feb /1 March 1944.

The entire crew died on 29 February.

The last 2 crewmen's remains are still missing.

Pilot: 420112 F/Sgt Allan Edward ARNOLD (RAAF, from Australia)

2nd Pilot: 1262742 W/O Victor Ernest WHITEHALL(RAF, from England)

Navigator: 1319428 F/Sgt Arthur Robert "Bobby" BURN (RAF, from England)

1st Wireless Op: 50589 F/O Bernard CLIFTONDFM (RAF, from England)

Flight Engineer: 1682798 F/Sgt John Henry Starmer LEAK (RAF, from England)

Mid-Upper Gunner: 771563 Sgt Ansel Ernest Blackburn STOUT (RAF, but from India)

Beam Gunner/2nd W/Op: 1435434 Sgt Charles Alfred George PLANK (RAF, from England)

Beam Gunner: 1659085 Sgt Desmond Riversdale Anthony "Tony" BURGESS

(RAF, from England)

Rear Gunner: J/86883 P/O Michael Ludlow DAVIS(RCAF, but from England)

 

 

Aircraft History

Built by Consolidated. Assigned to the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a Liberator Mark VI with a Boulton Paul tail turret. Assigned to 159 Squadron. Nicknamed "Daring Diana" with the nose art of a female figure.

 

Mission History

Took off on a bombing mission over Rangoon. Shot down by a pair of Ki-43 Oscars. Exploded at low altitude and crashed.

The remains of seven of the nine man crew were found and buried nearby by local villagers. The remains of two of the crew have not been located.

diana wreckage

 

Wreckage of Daring Diana © Matt Poole

 

Wreckage


During 1952, some wreckage was located. The remains of seven of the nine man crew  were located 3,000 yards away from the crash and recovered, but not individually identified.

 

 

Memorials


The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. The entire crew of nine are commemorated on the Singapore Memorial (Clifton column 432, Burn column 434, Burgess column 435, Leak column 436, Davis, Whitehall column 443, Arnold column 444, Plank column 436).

 

The seven of the crew recovered were buried individually at Rangoon War Cemeteryat Plot 4, Row E, Graves 14 to 20. Each grave marker reads: "An Airmen of the 1939-1945 War, Royal Air Force, 29th February 1944, Known Unto God".

 

 

 

Sources:

 

Material sent to us by R. Gould. Original Research carried out by Matt Poole