Squadron Leader R.E. Wilkinson - Pilot
Hudson Mk I, N7263, swung on landing at Tempsford and struck some airfield buildings, all the crew survived. The aircraft was written off. This aircraft was the former King’s Flight Hudson.
Details obtained from Aircraft lost on Allied Force’s Special Duty Operations & Associated Roll of Honour page 294.
The photograph is the actual aeroplane involved in the accident, and was kindly provided by contact Ian McCullough from his family album. The circumstances depicted are that Ian's uncle was present at an event to which the plane had brought some important visitors. We are trying to discover more details, which if successful, will be included here. Since the aeroplane was part of the "King's Flight", it may even have been the King himself! The Royal Air Force Museum Website has an image of one of two Hudson's of the "King's Flight". These were the only aircraft in that flight to be armed. The Museum's image is too small for my eyes to determine the plane identification number on the tail fin.
The more I look at this image, it seems to me that the central person holding the salute may well be King George, and beside him, also saluting, Princess Elizabeth. There is clearly a march past going on just out of sight to the right of the image. And on the far left of the image is another Hudson (I think) so the location could be RAF Tempsford.
The web-site Traces of War records the loss of a Hudson from RAF Tempsford a few months after the incident with N7263. This loss involved Hudson T9463 on 27th November 1944 piloted by Squadron Leader Wilkinson, and is recorded on the Aircraft lost on Allied Force’s Special Duty Operations & Associated Roll of Honour page 456.