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Cummings, Ellard Alexander (Pilot Officer)

Killed in Flying Accident 1939-09-03

Age: 21

James Victor and Edith Fanny Ellard Cummings, of Ottawa, Ontario.

Home: Ottawa, Ontario

1 AOS- Air Observer School (RAF)
In Omnibus Princeps (Foremost in everything)
Pilot Officer
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

P/O EA Cummings (RAF)(Can) was killed flying Westland Wallace K 6028 from No 1 Air Observer School (which had been disbanded "at the time of the Accident, No. 1 AOS was housed at RAF North Coates on the North Sea coast of Lincolnshire. According to the Bomber County Aviation Resource, the source “For all things aviation in Lincolnshire”, within days of the declaration of war, “most of the based units at North Coates were transferred to the west of the country”. This was done to remove the training units out of harm’s way. This fact aligns well with the ferry flight movement of Cummings’ Wallace, perhaps to fly it out of harm’s way or simply to hand it over to No. 8 Air Observers School at Evanton".(Source Dave O'Malley of Vintage Wings) The aircraft flew into high ground in bad visibility on the SE side of Bruntwood Tap, Benachie near Aberdeen, Scotland. Air gunner LAC ARR Stewart (RAF) was also killed. There is a cairn commemorating these airmen on the hill where they crashed, dedicated in 2012

P/O Cummings was BROTHER to P/O Kenneth George Cummings a pilot with 102 Sqn RAF, killed 1944-02-20 on Halifax aircraft JN 972 DY-H on a raid to Leipzig, Germany

from discussion group on

Memorial – Pilot Officer Ellard Alexander Cummings, Service Number 40803 Royal Air Force who died September 3, 1939 at 3:00 PM. First Canadian killed on active service overseas during World War II. War was declared by British Parliament at 11:00 am, four hours earlier. Canadian Virtual War Memorial Cairn Image.

Canada Source THE FIRST by David O'Malley of Vintage Wings

Canada Source Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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

Westland Wallace

Source: Armed (military history website)
Westland Wallace Mk.I

The Westland Wallace was a British two-seat, general-purpose biplane of the Royal Air Force, developed by Westland as a follow-on to their successful Wapiti. As the last of the interwar general purpose biplanes, it was used by a number of frontline and Auxiliary Air Force Squadrons. Although the pace of aeronautical development caused its rapid replacement in frontline service, its useful life was extended into the Second World War with many being converted into target tugs and wireless trainers. In 1933 a Westland Wallace became the first aircraft to fly over Everest, as part of the Houston-Mount Everest Flight Expedition.

In 1931, Westland produced the PV-6, a private-venture development of its successful Wapiti. This updated aircraft embodied a number of improvements including a lengthened fuselage, brakes and wheel spats on the undercarriage and a new engine. By this time both the appearance and performance differed considerably from the standard Wapiti, so the company designated it the PV6 Wallace. Compared with the earlier Wapiti, the Wallace was 20 inches (0.5 m) longer, incorporated an improved undercarriage and was powered by a 655 hp (488 kW) Bristol Pegasus IV engine. The first batches of MK I Wallaces were conversions of Wapitis, a total of 68 powered by 570 bhp (425 kW) Pegasus IIM3 engines. Westland designed an improved version, the Mk II which was fitted with a more powerful engine and the then-novel idea of an enclosed canopy over both crew positions. This offered greater comfort for the crew and improved the rear gunner's aim by protecting him from the slipstream.

The first RAF casualties of WW2 occurred when a Wallace of the RAF Observer School (K6028) crashed at Bennachie, near Aberdeen. Pilot Officer Ellard Alexander Cummings (23) from Ottawa, Canada and Leading Aircraftman Alexander Ronald Renfrew Stewart (24) both lost their lives.

When withdrawn from the general purpose role, many Wallaces were converted into target tugs. A total of 83 Wallaces remained in service at the beginning of the Second World War. The last were withdrawn in 1943. Wikipedia

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Westland Wallace

General Armed Westland Wallace Mk. I

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
Canadian Aircraft Losses (1)
last update: 2021-10-10 17:47:43

Wallace Mk. ll K6028

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