|LAC. Wallace Jackson in North Africa and Italy with 70 Squadron, RAF, 1941-1944|
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Sgt Douglas E. Eldred
Contributed by Ian Eldred
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Douglas Eldred was with 70 Squadron in North Africa as a Sergeant Navigator.
He was killed on 15/06/1943, aged 19, and buried in Enfidaville cemetary to the south of Tunis.
The story passed down in his family was that he stepped on a mine at a recently captured airfield.
Ian Eldred has discovered the following brief announcement in 'Flight' magazine, 26.8.43:
DIED OF WOUNDS OR INJURIES RECEIVED ON ACTIVE SERVICE.—
Sgt. P. W. Dennis; Flt Sgt.W. M. Donaldson; Sgt. D. E. Eldred; Sgt. P. Turnbull
Alan V. Cumming writes:
My grandfather, Sergeant David Cumming, flew with Sergeant Eldred for 5 operations before Sergeant Eldred was killed.
Quoting my grandfather's log:
"Sgt D. E. Eldred was fatally injured by an explosion of a German land-mine & completed only 5 raids. He was buried in Kairouan, Tunisia".
The crew with which Sergeant Eldred flew was as follows:
Pilot - Flight/Sergeant H. C. Grundey (DFM)
Navigator - Sergeant Douglas Edwin Eldred
Bomb Aimer/Front Gunner - Sergeant David Cumming
Wireless op/air gunner - Sergeant D. Dodson
Rear Gunner - Sergeant H. Veins (Canada).
David Cumming has supplied the following account of the circumstances surrounding Sgt Eldred's death:
"On return from his final operation, Douglas slept in the same tent as a ground Staff Sergeant, and the following morning they woke to the impending arrival of the water wagon. Water was like gold in the desert operations, and it is believed the Staff Sergeant suggested they take a short cut to go and fill their jerry cans with water, running round behind the Sergeant's mess, which would be quicker and allow them to beat the rest to the water wagon. The short cut took them unknowingly through a booby-trapped area with German land mines."