Sergeant David Taylor Adams was killed in a Lockheed Hudson Mk VI accident on 7 January 1943 during take-off from RAF Takoradi in Ghana, West Africa. He was from 10 Keir Street, Bridgend, Perth, the son of Mr and Mrs D T Adams and was a wireless air gunner with 200 Squadron RAF.
450 Lockheed Hudson Mk VI’s were supplied to the RAF under the Lend-Lease scheme with the United States. It is possible that this was a new aircraft and was being ferried from RAF Takoradri to begin operations in Gambia. RAF 200 squadron would go on to operate marine patrol aircraft from RAF Bathurst, Jeswang Airfield, The Gambia, from March 1943 until July 1943.
The accident report stated that the aircraft struck rising ground approximately 400 yards south of the runway. The four crew on board were killed:
Sergeant Reginald Charles Payne RAAF (408135) captain/pilot – age 23
Sergeant William James Thomas Watson RAAF (401179) navigator – age 25
Sergeant Frank Edward Guy RAAF (4050407) wireless operator/air gunner – age 23
Sergeant David Taylor Adams RAF (1067899) wireless operator/air gunner – age 20
The crew are buried in the Takoradi European Public Cemetery, Ghana.
The squadron they were replacing was RAF 126 fighter squadron flying Hawker Hurricane Mk1 and MK IIb. RAF 126’s role had been to defend Gambia from attack by Vichy French forces operating from Dakar in the neighbouring Senegal. The Vichy French forces in Africa eventually came under Allied control following the Anglo-American invasion of North Africa in November 1942 (code named Operation Torch). The capital of The Republic of The Gambia is now Banjul – it was renamed from Bathurst in 1973.
ROYAL AIR FORCE TRANSPORT COMMAND, 1943-1945. (CH 15968) Douglas Dakotas of Transport Command and other aircraft parked at Takoradi, Gold Coast, during the rainy season. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205210746
ROYAL AIR FORCE: WEST AFRICA COMMAND, 1941-1945. (CM 3019) RAF mechanics, assisted by local civilian labourers, check over a line of newly-assembled Hawker Hurricane Mark IICs at Takoradi, Gold Coast, before beginning their ferry flight to Egypt on the West African Reinforcement Route. BE715, the aircraft shown in the middle, served with No. 250 Squadron RAF in the Western Desert. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205022953
ROYAL AIR FORCE: EAST AFRICA COMMAND, 1940-1945. (CM 5401) Oblique aerial view of the airfield at Takoradi, Gold Coast from the north, after the cessation of the West African Reinforcement Route, the vital aircraft ferry route which operated for three years from Takoradi to Egypt. Between the arrival of the first consignment of crated aircraft at Takoradi harbour in September 1940, and the cessation of aircraft erection at the airfield in October 1943, 5,… Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205022961
ROYAL AIR FORCE: WEST AFRICA COMMAND, 1941-1945. (CM 3022) Hawker Hurricanes being assembled for despatch to the North African and Mediterranean theatres, at Takoradi, Gold Coast. In the foreground Hawker Hurricane fuselages are pulled by civilian labourers from their packing crates for assembly, after being shipped from the United Kingdom. Behind them are parked aircraft in various stages of assembly. In the background, a line of completed Hurricanes, wi… Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205022954
AIRCRAFT OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE 1939-1945: HAWKER HURRICANE. (CM 849) Four untropicalised Hurricane Mark Is, T9530, W9320, W9349 and Z4095, in port echelon formation during a test flight from Abu Sueir, after arriving in Egypt via the West African Air Reinforcement Route from Takoradi, Gold Coast. T9530 was one of a small batch of aircraft built by the Canadian Car & Foundry Company Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205126784