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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

War Grave Wednesday - First Officer Wilbur washington "Bee" Acton ATA

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Wilbur Washington "Bee" Acton was born in the USA to William Acton and his wife Irene in 1916.

On 8th July 1944 First Officer Wilbur Acton was flying an Anson I NK773, when an Oxford X7134 plane descended below the cloud cover and collided with Wilbur's Anson.  Both planes crashed just five miles north of Hullavington, Robourne, Wiltshire.

RAF Pilot Bernard Norman Philips of the Oxford was killed, along with Squadron Leader William Alfred Law.

On July 20th 1944 Flight Magazine reported -

"Air Transport Auxiliary

First Officer Wilbur Washington (Bee) Acton, U.S.A., A.T.A., killed in the course of ferrying duties in England."

It seems at odds that the sacrifice these brave men and women made could simply be summed up in one sentence.

I have no idea why Wilbur had the name Bee associated with him.  Records of this particular accident are difficult to find.

Restored Anson Mk I Bomber in flight
Source - Wikipeadia



  1. Very interesting, It seems this was not an uncommon thing to happen during the way. Pity you could not find out more of his background.
    Have a look at this grave I came across the weekend, will be featured in my next blog.

  2. It's a sad fact that a lot of airmen died from accidents during the war. The plane technology wasn't nearly as sophisticated as it is now, and unfortunately, there were a lot of accidents as a result.

    Thanks for sharing on Taphophile Tragics.


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