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Thread: Hudson crash in Cornwall on 8 December 1942

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    Default Hudson crash in Cornwall on 8 December 1942

    Hello, in an old post on the former incarnation of this forum (http://www.rafcommands.com/dcforum/DCForumID6/Data/223.txt), I found the following:

    On 6 December 1942 two aircraft crashed within 5mins of each other on take-off from Portreath, Cornwall: Beaufort DD980 crashed at 05.20hrs and Hudson FK522 at 05.25hrs, two days later another Hudson crashed in same circumstances, the crews of all three aircraft were all killed, the fault was put down to a very strong "down-draft" on the cliffs on the sea-ward side of the airfield.

    The two crashed of 6 Dec 1942 are confirmed by other sources (by the way, if someone has the crew of Beaufort DD980, I will be interested) but I am unable to identify the Hudson lost two days later.

    I found in my sources two RAF Hudson lost on 8 Dec 1942:
    FH331 crashed at Socotra Island, Indian Ocean
    EW879 damaged beyond repair in landing accident in Kabrit, Egypt

    Thanks in advance

    Laurent

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    Can't find another Hudson on 8th at Portreath

    But can find an Oxford

    8.12.42 Oxford Il EB980 SF Neth'n Portreath COA

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    Hi Laurent

    Could the crew of DD980 be: -

    MARSH, RONALD (776127) RAFVR - age 27 Flt Sgt
    TURNER, WILLIAM CHARLES (918007) RAFVR - age Unknown Flt Sgt
    TURTON, EDMUND FITZWALTER (1071289) RAFVR - age Unknown Sgt

    I cannot find any unaccounted deaths on 8 Dec 1942 registered in the relevant area for Portreath

    Malcolm
    Last edited by malcolm_raf; 8th December 2011 at 10:51. Reason: more info

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    before the same information is gone over again, these two were discussed on 12 o'Clock high forum this year:
    http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=27155&highlight=fk522

    No firm answer I may add but for info.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    The two aircraft concerned, crashed on 06/12/42, Beaufort DD980 05.21hrs, Hudson FK522 05.25hrs. There were 5 on board FK522, all killed, along with a further 4 killed trying to climb down the cliff to the wreckage, one of which was F/Lt J.C. Hardman. Any GRO deaths for Portreath might come under Truro or Redruth. I'm not sure, but i might have the 1180 for DD980 up in the attic.
    In looking for the 1180 for DD980, i came across the one for FK522 (so i know that the other one is there somewhere)
    The pilot of FK522 was Sgt J.W.C. Kidd.
    Aircraft took off, did a left hand circuit and apparently hit cliff from seaward direction and exploded. Visibility was not less than 5 miles, slight drizzle, cloud base 1700ft 10/10ths. Took off and climbed then gradually lost height in turn to port. Most probable cause, faulty instrument flying, crashed 5 minutes after Beaufort DD980 in similar circumstances.
    Back again....
    Beaufort DD980, pilot Sgt R. Marsh. 1180 almost duplicates itself with the FK522 one.
    Even though the existance of the downdraft was known, both accidents are put down to faulty instrument flying, (an easier decision than proving the downdraft theory i suspect!!)
    Last edited by AlanW; 8th December 2011 at 14:06.

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    Currently I only have the following four iin FK522

    GUNN, ROBERT JOSEPH (J/9847) RCAF - age 25 Fg Off
    HAIRE, REGINALD JOSEPH (411316) RAAF - age 24 Flt Sgt
    KIDD, JOHN WALTER CAMERON (913390) RAFVR - age 21 Sgt
    MOULTON, PHILIP HENRY (656489) RAF - age 25 Sgt
    I can't find the fifth
    Hardman was registered in Truro but I can't find any other three killed

    Turton and Turner are both listed as 5 (C) OTU hence my assumption they were in the Beaufort with Marsh.

    Malcolm

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    Back in the eighties, i help a local magazine out with some stuff on RAF Portreath, for a booklet they released, my notes from then say only one man (Hardman) killed whilst trying to get to the crash site. The mention of 4 being killed, comes from the Davidstow Moor records, and could be wrong. The beach below the cliff is under water until low tide, and even then there's not much space on the beach. many years ago i found an exhaust stub attached to part of the cylinder head of one of the engines.

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    Interesting that the cause of the accidents should be attributed to a 'strong down-draft'. I don't have detailed maps for 6 December 1942, but at the time of the accident I believe there was a ridge axis aligned north-south over southwest England, which by midday had given way to a light southwesterly flow - ie parallel to to the coast. The wind strength, certainly at take-off would have been light and I can't see any meteorological reason for strong vertical motion - either up or down.

    The situation was rather different on the 8th with a strong SSW-SW wind which could have generated strong vertical motions.

    Brian

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    Hi Brian,
    The 1180 for FK522, mentions "strong downdraft possible cause" because of the accidents happening so close to each other, but the actual cause is put down as faulty instrument flying on both counts.

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    Malcolm,

    For the fifth man aboard Hudson FK522, see:

    http://www.rafcommands/forum/showthread.php?7371-41206-Unaccounted-airwoman-and-airmen-6-12-1942

    Go to Post #14.

    Col.

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