Wellington (DV503) crashed near Cape Espichel










Cape Espichel (in the sea)

RAF   215 Sqn

Vickers Wellington IC    DV503


Portreath (GB) → Gibraltar → ìndia


Sgt      H. Smith                          GB

Sgt      M. J. Smithson                 GB

W/O    J. D. Maclaren                 GB

Sgt      E. H. Giersch                   Australia

Sgt      Raymond Eric Dixon        Canada †

Sgt      William Cansick               Canada †

The aircraft had to ditch, 15 miles from Cape Espichel, because of engine trouble. It sunk in few seconds. The tail gunner Cansik went down with the plane. Dixon was seen swimming and smith tried to help him but he drowned. One hour latter one Portuguese fishing ship appeared and picked up the survivors and also the body of Dixon. Smithson was sent to the hospital. The Portuguese authorities considered them as "sailors in distress".  Smith, Maclaren and Giersch were repatriated on April 4. The same happened to Smithson on May 13. Dixon is buried in the English Cemetery in Lisbon and Cansik, missing, is remembered in the Runnymede Memorial.

* Aviões da Cruz de Cristo – Mário Canongia Lopes
* Evade & Escape Report - National Archives/ London Kew
* Australian National Archives - personal file E. H. Gierch
*Commowealt War Graves Comission
*Juan Carlos Salgado