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Blenheim IV Z9667 [Royal Air Force Aircraft Serial and Image Database] RAFCommands.com

 Blenheim IV Z9667



Aircraft Accident / Loss Entry

Date of Crash  05 Apr 43 Aircraft Name  Blenheim IV Serial Number  Z9667
Unit  11 Sqdn Operating Airfield  Feni Country  Burma
Aircrew details Sqn Ldr William Ronald MATHESON(406253)
Plt Offr Edward Francis APPLETON*(400067)
Details collided with Z7648 (above) on same raid, both aircraft locked together and fell in flames; S/Ldr W. Matheson, F/O E. Appleton, and F/Sgt Thomas Joseph WIXTED (404225) KIA. 12 ac took off to raid MEIKTILA. two ac dropped off. Shortly before reaching target, Sqn Ldr Mathesons plane collided with Flt Sgt Besleys , the former taking fire and both fell interlocked to the earth. One parachute from Flt Sgt Besleys plane was seen to open. F541: On approaching target at 13500 feet at approx 1117 hrs, aircraft 9667 piloted by Sqn ldr W R Matheson started to move to starboard, but before he cleard the other vic, he bagan to climb and climbed straight into 7648, piloted by Flt Sgt BESLEy. the nose of 9667 collided ingh 7648 starboard airscrew, whielst 9667 airscrews ripped open 7648's starboard petrol tanks. 9667 immediately burst into flames, and the two aircraft locked together fell away on their backs behind the formation and began to spin. One parachute from aircraft 7648 was seen to open and driftdownwards immediately after the collision. The approx position of the collision was 4 miles southof TAWMA and 8 miles ESE of MEIKTILA. The aircraft crashed six miles north of Pywabe, Burma. Matheson was captured together with F/Sgt BESLEY 402942 from the other Blenheim IV Z9667. Matheson and Besley were apprehended by armed natives who beat them up and handed them to the Japanese. They were confined to a police cell where they were threatened, beaten and deprived. On 2/5/1943 they were transferred to Rangoon prison. Then on May 29th most prisoners were evacuated and flown in an Army 97 bomber to Bangkok, hence to Singapore at Kalang civil airport and from here to Changi. Later they were imprisoned at Malai Camp in Malaya. (Held at) Rangoon Prison.
Source ORB

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ThreadPost TextAuthor
Blenheim 11 Sqdn collision on 5th April 1943 over Burma - Matheson and BesleyTwo Blenheims collided near target on Burma on 5th April 1943 . Aircraft were Z9667 and Z7648. Both aircraft were seen spinning away into the ground interlocked - and one parachute was seen to open. Crew of Z9667 were [B]S/Ldr W. R Matheson, [/B]F/O Edward Francis APPLETON (400067) and F/Sgt Thomas Joseph WIXTED (404225) . Crew of Z7648 (above) [B]F/Sgt H. Bealey (or BESLEY)[/B], P/O George Atkinson FOSTER (407418), and David Thomas ANDREW (400247) I cannot locate Matheson or Besley/Bealey in CWGC - Did both of them or one of them survive as POWs? OTOH did i get their names wrong? The remaining four listed above with numbers are shown in CWGC as buried at Taukyan Cemetary ([URL="http://www.rafcommands.com/database/wardead/index.php?qname=&qnum=&qdate=1943-04-05&qunit=&qcntry=Myanmar&qmem=&cur=0"]link[/URL]) ....Read More.Jagan on 3rd September 2018 06:40:43
Blenheim 11 Sqdn collision on 5th April 1943 over Burma - Matheson and BesleyJagan, From Dr Tom Roberts' 'Wingless': BESLEY, Harvey F/Sgt/F/Off MM. 402942 Pilot. Born: Inverell, N.S.W. 18/4/1914. 11 Sqn RAF - 2 MRU - Blenheim (IV. Z9667). Meiktila airfield, Burma. 5/4/1943. His aircraft was involved in a collision with anotherf Blenheim during an airfield attack. He successfully baled out. Later he escaped on a march, with Sgt Ronald Trobridge HADDEN 406936 (99 Sqn), F/Off John Jameson WILSON 402431 (82 Sqn) and Cpl Douglas Percival EASTGATE VX65572 (AIF). (Held at) Camp prison , Rangoon. NB. Besley late wrote an account of his Air Force career entitled, Pilot-Prisoner-Survivor - Six Years in Uniform. Toowoomba:Darling Downs Institue Press(Q,land),1986. and ... MATHESON, William Ronald. S/Ldr. 406253. Born: Perth, W.A. 17/10/1916. 11 Sqn RAF. 1 MRU - Blenheim IV Z7648 AD- . Meiktila, 5/4/1943. Matheson was flying Number 7 in a formation of nine Blenheims at 15,000 feet in an attack on Meiktila aerodrome. A collision with Number 5 resulted in a fire and bale out. The aircraft crashed six miles north of Pywabe, Burma. He was captured together with F/Sgt BESLEY 402942 from the other Blenheim IV Z9667. Matheson and Besley were apprehended by armed natives who beat them up and handed them to the Japanese. They were confined to a police cell where they were threatened, beaten and deprived. On 2/5/1943 they were transferred to Rangoon prison. Then on May 29th most prisoners were evacuated and flown in an Army 97 bomber to Bangkok, hence to Singapore at Kalang civil airport and from here to Changi. Later they were imprisoned at Malai Camp in Malaya. (Held at) Rangoon Prison. Killed: P/O Edward Francis APPLETON 400067 (Nav.), F/Sgt Thomas Joseph WIXTED 404225 (WOP/AG), F/Sgt George Atkinson FOSTER 407419 (Nav.) and F/Sgt David Thomas ANDREWS 400247 (WOP/AG). See: Wingless:A Biographical Index of Australian Airmen Detained in Wartime. Roberts,Tom (Dr.) Ballarat:Author,2011. pp.92 & 322. Col. ....Read More.COL BRUGGY on 3rd September 2018 07:55:37
Blenheim 11 Sqdn collision on 5th April 1943 over Burma - Matheson and BesleyThanks for that Colin - that tied up both threads. Though BESLEY was the pilot of Z7648 and and Matheson the pilot of Z9667. and not the other way around as per the ORB. ....Read More.Jagan on 3rd September 2018 11:00:37
Blenheim 11 Sqdn collision on 5th April 1943 over Burma - Matheson and BesleyJagan, Correct, Besley was aboard Blenheim Z7648, and Matheson was flying Blenheim Z9667. I should have made that clear. Occasionally, Tom Roberts gets this type of detail mixed up. Harvey Besley passed away at the Westhaven RSL Home, Toowoomba, Queensland, on 6 November, 2003, aged 89 AUS434555 F/S Robert Anthony WIXTED RAAF, the younger brother of AUS404225 Thomas Joseph WIXTED RAAF, was killed on 5 July, 1944, when 1667 HCU Halifax V DG414, crashed on the south bank of the Humber, 7m NNW of Scunthorpe, Licolnshire (BCL8/122). Col. ....Read More.COL BRUGGY on 4th September 2018 04:31:59
Blenheim 11 Sqdn collision on 5th April 1943 over Burma - Matheson and BesleyJust read the file ANDREW David Thomas - (Warrant Officer); Service Number - 400247; File type - Casualty - Repatriation; Aircraft - Blenheim Z9667; Place Pauktaw, Burma; Date - 5 April 1943 in the australian archives D T Andrew was originally classified as missing - particulars unknown as he was in BESLEYs ac and they saw one chute open. family was notified of the same A few months later Matheson was announced as a POW - this prompted a communication to be given to the next of kin that Besley and his crew including Andrew were presumed killed. It was only after Besleys liberation did his fate get clarified. Besley baled out at 10000 feet, Matheson baled out at 1000 feet - thus his chute was not observed. Page 66 of the above file. ....Read More.Jagan on 10th September 2018 10:18:12


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