Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum logo

Buchanan, David (Flight Lieutenant)

Killed in Flying Accident 1945-March-27

Birth Date: 1915-April-15 (age 29)

Born: North Battleford, North Battleford Census Division, Saskatchewan, Canada

Son of Dugald and Marjorie (nee Gibson) Buchanan of North Battleford, Saskatchewan

Husband of Sylvia Mae Buchanan, of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Home: Trail, British Columbia

Enlistment: Calgary, Alberta

Enlistment Date: 1941-08-05

45 Group (RAF)
Dorval, Quebec
Flight Lieutenant
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Service Numbers

Liberator C. Mk. II AL504

Transport 1945-March-26 to 1945-March-27

45 (T) Group (RAF) RAF Northolt

45 Group, RAF Transport Command, Dorval, Quebec Liberator II (Modified) AL504 named "Commando" lost on a flight from Northolt, England to Canada via the Azores, bringing high ranking officers and dignitaries to the Final Wings Parade, British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The aircraft left RAF Northolt at 23:00 hours 1945-03-26 for a refueling stopover at Lajes Airfield in the Azores. Last contact with AL 504 was by RAF Prestwick at 7:16 hours on 1945-03-27 and nothing further was heard. Subsequent searches revealed an oil slick, some inflatable dinghies and a small amount of wreckage but no survivors, some 150-200 miles NW of the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. The cause of the loss could not be determined

Pilot Officer DJ Spence (RCAF), Flight Lieutenant D Buchanan (RCAF), Wing Commander WH Biddell DFC OBE (RAF), Flight Lieutenant AN Brodie (RAF), Flight Lieutenant KG Shea (RAAF), Civilian Radio Officer FW Williams (UK), Civilian Steward VI Bannister (UK), Commander RA Brabner DSO DSC, MP (British Under-Secretary of State for Air), Air Marshal Sir Peter RM Drummond KCB DSO CBE MC MiD (RAF) (Air Member for Training), Squadron Leader EG Plum (RAFVR)(USA)(Liason, British Air Ministry), Civilian Sir John B Abraham KBE CB (British Air Ministry), Civilian HA Jones CMG CG MC (British Air Ministry), Civilian E Robinson (Private Secretary to Commander Brabner and Civilian E Twentyman (British Ministry of Food) were all missing, presumed killed in this flying accident

The missing have no known grave and all are commemorated at various Memorial sites in Canada, the UK and USA

This aircraft had been modified, lengthened, the engines were upgraded and the tail changed to a single large tail fin. It was later famously used as personal transport for British PM Winston Churchill and had often used as a VIP transport for people such a Lord Louis Mountbatten

The Man Who Flew Churchill by Bruce West

Ocean Bridge, The History of RAF Ferry Command by Carl A Christie page 327-8

The Liberator in Royal Air Force and Commonwealth Service by James D Oughton with John Hamlin and Andrew Thomas page 97

General [Royal Air Force Serial and Image Database]...

General Aviation Safety Network

General Commando (aircraft) - Wikipedia


Flight Lieutenant Buchanan was BROTHER of Flight Sergeant Alexander Gibson Buchanan (RCAF) killed in action 1942-01-06 on 102 Squadron RAF Whitley V aircraft Z9289 returning from an operation to Brest, France

Canada Source Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial

Canada Primary Source Library and Archives Canada Service Files (may not exist)

Flight Lieutenant David Buchanan has no known grave.

Google MapTrail, British Columbia

Google MapOttawa War Memorial
Panel 4 Column 2

Liberator AL504

Consolidated Liberator B-24 / F-7

(DND Photos via James Craik) (Source Harold A Skaarup Web Page)
Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VIII, RCAF (Serial No. 11130) ex-USAAF Consolidated (Vultee) B-24L Liberator USAAF (44-50154)
ex-RAF (Serial No. 5009), ex-Indian Air Force (Serial No.

The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was an American heavy bomber flown by the RCAF during the Second Word War. It was designed with a shoulder-mounted, high aspect ratio Davis wing which gave the Liberator a high cruise speed, long range and the ability to carry a heavy bomb load. Early RAF Liberators were the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean as a matter of routine. In comparison with its contemporaries the B-24 was relatively difficult to fly and had poor low speed performance; it also had a lower ceiling compared with the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. Of the roughly 18,500 B-24s built in the USA during the war, 148 were flown by the RCAF on long range anti-submarine patrols, with the B-24 serving an instrumental role in closing the Mid-Atlantic gap in the Battle of the Atlantic. The RCAF also flew a few B-24s post war as transports.

Roughly half of all (RAF) Liberator crews in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theatre were Canadian by the end of the war. John Muir of Vancouver flew the longest mission of the war: 24hrs, 10mins from Ceylon to Burma and back. (Kyle Hood) Harold Skaarup web page

YouTube Liberator bomber

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Liberator bomber

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (148), RCAF 400 Squadron (19), Canadian Aircraft Losses (149), Canadian Ferried (2)
last update: 2021-09-18 19:06:22

Liberator C. Mk. II AL504

VIP conversion, with single fin, upgraded engines for use by Winston Churchill.

© Canadian Warplane Heritage 2024

To search on any page:
PC — Ctrl-F
Mac — ⌘-F
Mobile — or …