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Henry Ernst

Admitted to:

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

Date of Injury:

29/01/1943

D.O.B/Age when admitted:

23/07/1921

Cause of Incident:

Crashed in a Wellington on return from night ops near Exeter.

Transferred to QVH:

16/02/1943

Injuries:

Burns to face and hands.

No. of Operations at East Grinstead:

2



IDENTITY CARD

This is to certify that the patient mentioned below and whose description is stated hereon is the authorised holder of this Identity card.


Forename:

Henry

Surname:

Ernst

Service No:

R137649

Nationality:

Canadian


Awards/Honours:

---

Patient Unit:

420 Sqn

Profession:

Air Gunner

Patient Rank:

Sgt

Death:

14/09/2016

Age at Death:

95

Dr Rank:

Dr Unit:

Notes:

Ernst joined the RCAF in November 1941, as an equipment assistant. He applied for an air-gunnery course and started training in the spring of 1942. He was post to Britain in the autumn and joined 420 Sqn. His fifth operational flight would be his last. His crew were on a bombing run to Brest which was called off due to heavy cloud. As they were doing a circuit over Exeter airfield in the low cloud, they were nearly hit by another plane. The fuel and ammunition immediately exploded and their Wellington broke apart.
Ernst was taken to Exeter Hospital where he regained consciousness five days later. He had severe facial burns, spinal injuries and a dislocated hip. He was later transferred to QVH alongside fellow crewmember George Beauchamp.

Glossary:

Further Reading:

'As For the Canadians' By Rita Donovan.

References:

'How Hank Ernst Became a Guinea Pig', Hank Ernst and Fred Bagley, The Guinea Pig, July 2000, pp. 12-6.

'The Final Flight' DVD.