(Not in 460 Squadron)

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Subject:  Rutherford brothers
Date:      Sun, 11 Jan 1998 11:29:36 +0800
From:     "Eric McKay" (


I have come across your excellent net page on 460 Squadron. in my hunt for info on two Western Australian brothers. When I realised that 460 commenced with Wellingtons I thought I had found what I was looking for, but no!

Please let me give you a brief outline of my story and perhaps you can point me in the right direction. Sergeant Bernard Rinian Roy Rutherford # 406540 (deceased) and his brother Sergeant Thomas Alan Rutherford # 406626 (deceased). These two young men were neighbours of mine when I was too young to even know what war was all about, when word came that they had both been killed in separate accidents. I have long been fascinated by their story, due I believe to the close proximity in time of their deaths.

I retired a couple of years ago and thought it would make an interesting project for me to try and establish just what did happen to these two pilots.

Now, my first verbal indication came from Canberra in the form of ,yes, one of these chaps was lost over the North Sea 1942, no mention of the other. I had always understood from my father that the Rutherfords flew Wellingtons. (?)

After written enquiry to Air Force HQ in Canberra, recently, they confirmed the above full names and numbers and the fact that both were killed in separate accidents in the U.K. in 1942 and that due to policy restrictions, and without consent from next of kin, no further information would be available.

I have tried without success to locate relatives through phone books etc. and have recently written to newspapers "can we help" columns, but these could be some time coming through. I trust this has not bored you, and would very much appreciate any help or assist you can give me.

Sincerely Eric McKay


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Subject:  RAAF serial nos
Date:          14 Jan 1998
From:         "Eric McKay" (


Good evening. I have been going through your 460 sqn pages again and noticed that a couple of honours recipients have, numbers very close to those of the two Rutherford boys that I,m searching for namely F/O Lawton DFC/BAR #406599, and a SGT Copley DSO #406434.

The Rutherfords numbers were 406540 and 40626. Does this indicate that they may have enlisted at the same time and place ? If so, and as Lawton and Copley, are not on your honour roll, perhaps they knew each other.  Would 460 Sqn records tell me what happened to Lawton and Copley and if they are still with us?

Kind regards Eric McKay


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Subject:   Rutherford brothers
Date:           Sun, 18 Jan 1998
From:         "Eric McKay" (

I have had a very successful couple of days. I was on a radio talk back program last Wed night the result of which I had 2 phone calls, one of these providing most of my answers. I guess you can get lucky sometimes.

I was on a wrong track with the Wellingtons.  I wont bore you with the details but Bernard Rutherford was killed in the crash of an Airspeed Oxford at 15 AFU Leconfield near Hull in Yorkshire 19 5 1942.  I spoke to a guy who was a member of 11 course E.A.T.S and was a pallbearer at his funeral. Struth !!

Younger brother (18) Thomas Alan Rutherford was killed in the resultant crash of his Beaufighter ,from 54 OTU, after an air battle, near DUNS, Scotland.

Thought you may find a little interest here.

Thank you,
Eric McKay


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Subject:   Rutherford Brothers
Date:           Wed, 4 Mar 1998
From:          "Eric McKay" <>


Thank you for supporting my search for info on the Rutherfords by way of your E-mail pages.

I have recently received copies of the crash report from RAF records in London and the Beaufighter that Alan Rutherford was flying the night of his crash has turned out to be a Blenheim 5. The aircraft suffered a partial engine failure during a night take off which caused it to strike trees beyond the end of the runway which resulted in failure of the other engine and the subsequent crash approx 2 miles south of Charter Hall U.K. The aircraft was operating out of Winfield, a night fighter training station, and a satellite airfield to Charter Hall.

It now only remains for me to discover details of the crew. The Blenheim carried 3, the pilot Alan Rutherford, another Clifford Kidd, position unknown, and the third member of the crew on whom I've yet to gain some information.

Thanks again,

Regards Eric.


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This page first produced 11 January 1998

This page last updated 21 March 2004