Donaldson, David Stuart (No. 1127694)

Donaldson, David Stuart (David)


No. 1127694, 7 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed on active service on Tuesday 22 June 1943 (aged 20)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England (Panel 147)

Newtownards and District War Memorial


David Stuart Donaldson was a son of David Stuart Donaldson and Louisa Nelson Donaldson (nee Finnegan) of Ballyharry, Newtownards.  David Stuart Donaldson Senior was a blacksmith and he and Louisa Nelson (Louie) Finnegan were married on 31 March 1920 in Ballyblack Presbyterian Church.  David Stuart Donaldson was a son of David Donaldson, a farmer.  Louisa Nelson Finnegan was a daughter of William John Finnegan, a labourer.

Louisa Nelson Donaldson (nee Finnegan) died on 26 November 1941 (aged 50).

During the Second World War David Stuart Donaldson Junior served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and he was reported missing during air operations on 22 June 1943.  He was officially presumed to have been killed in action and in the 23 June 1945 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle there were Killed on Active Service notices from his father and sisters at 5 Donaghadee Road, Newtownards; from Mary and Billy at 58 East Street and from his aunt Jane Finnegan.

Sergeant David Stuart Donaldson (No. 1127694) was one of a seven-man crew aboard a Short Stirling Mark I aircraft (R9272) that took off at 11.40 pm on 21 June 1943 from RAF Oakington in Cambridgeshire on a mission to bomb Krefeld in Germany.  The aircraft was shot down by a German night fighter and crashed at Gilze in Noord-Brabant, Netherlands.  Two crew members survived the crash and were taken prisoners-of-war – Pilot Officers J.H. Ross and M.P. Ellis.  The body of Sergeant Frederick James Benjamin Dukes was recovered and buried in Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery.  All the others are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey.  In addition to Sergeant David Stuart Donaldson the other four crew members who died that night were:

  • Flight Lieutenant James S. Watt DSO DFC (aged 21) from Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Flight Lieutenant Frederick Arthur G. Tompkins DFC (aged 28) from Morden, Surrey
  • Sergeant Arnold John Sutton (aged 22) from Long Eaton, Derbyshire
  • Sergeant Frederick James Benjamin Dukes aged 21 from Hull

Sergeant David Stuart Donaldson (No. 1127694) was 20 when he died, and he is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.