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Thread: Manchester Crash Help

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    Default Manchester Crash Help

    Dear all,

    Having failed miserably to identify the crash site of Manchester R5789, I am once again asking the assembled cerebral might of the Forum for some bright ideas on where to turn to from here. According to the 1180 and Loss Card, the aircraft crashed at 'Wiltshire Cross', near Tidworth, 6 km East of RAF Netheravon on 9 January 1942. This sits firmly on Salisbury Plain, but exactly where is a mystery. Netheravon is the closest ex RAF establishment, but there does not appear to be a Station ORB for this airfield at TNA (although the one for 1FTS does exist). Wilstshire Libraries tell me that they don't have any Wiltshire Constabulary records from the period.

    I have not tried local papers, because I feel it unlikely that they would contain much info, due to the security restrictions of the time etc. Am I correct in this assumption?

    Thinking further afield, do any records exist for RAF Salvage and Repair Units for that period?

    Any help would be most gratefully received.

    Rgds

    Jonny
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Hi Jonny,

    You've been after this one for a while, I think? I vaguely remember an old thread, and here it is:-

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?8568-Aircraft-Crash-9-Jan-1942

    That search also brought up one of Ross's recent posts on the AVIA series, particularly:-

    AVIA 5/20 - R5789 Manchester I 09/01/1942 W1166

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?11853-AiB-AVIA-Class-Reports

    Just in case you don't already have it, it might be worth a shot if/when you're at TNA next.

    WRT the original question, I have had a look at the online OS map of the Tidworth area (I think I may have done this last time, which is why I remember it) and there are two stretches of trees about 500m south of Tidworth Camp bisected by Bulford Rd; The Belt, running N-S, and The *Cross* Belt, running E-W.

    Just a wild stab in the dark.

    Jeff

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    Hi Jonny,

    well the exact place is "a belt of trees" but the AIB report does not detail the location any further.

    AVIA 5/20, R5789 Manchester I 09/01/1942 W1166

    The Form 1180 box "AIB" gives the clue that a report was created but the surviving document is only two paragraphs.

    Regards
    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

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    That is appreciated chaps. Many thanks. Being based on Salisbury Plain and transitting near to the area on my weekly commute, it is frustrating not to able to pinpoint the spot where the two pilots lost their lives. I have looked at the Salisbury Plain training area maps and nothing really stands out. There is certainly no mention of a 'Wiltshire Cross - or 'Close' (depending on the interpretation of the scribbled handwriting).
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Hi,
    I think that some County Fire Brigade services may also have kept records of attending accidents etc. It may be worth a look.
    Ian

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    Just read this post with interest.

    It seems you have two locations listed in official records, a Belt of Trees and a place called Wiltshire Cross. Could it be that a belt of trees is in fact a place name?

    On the OS map, Just the the SW of Tidworth and just NW of Shipton Bellinger are two places right next to each other, a line of trees named The Belt and another called The Cross Belt close to Home Farm. I would start my search in this area. I can't seem to see a place called Wiltshire Cross but there could be a link with The Cross Belt.

    Hope this helps.

    Jim

    PS: Just spotted Jeff's post detailing the same places!
    Last edited by JimCorbett1977; 23rd April 2012 at 21:45.
    Jim Corbett

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    Hi
    Just a random thought as the county boundaries changed over years, could the name have changed to hampshire cross ?
    or is this in the totally wrong distance from netheravon.
    cheers
    Jerry

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    If I take it as read that '6 km East of Netheravon' is correct, the location must be north of Tidworth rather than south. I think in this case, the belt of trees is a non starter. Having said all that, I need to get my welly boots on and have a trudge round at some point. I shall try the Fire Brigade angle - somehow!

    May I ask whether the Salvage and Repair Unit records still exist and if they do, would they mention something like this crash?

    Thanks again for all the help thus far.

    Jonny
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Default To Distribution Manchester Bomber crashed 2 killed Dead

    Jonny

    There ought to be some information on this crash in the WO 166 War Office: Home Forces: War Diaries, Second World War at The National Archives, Kew.

    The “G.H.Q. Home Forces - Aircraft Overdue“ (which appears to be added in a different hand), states :-

    "9/1/42 To Distribution Manchester Bomber crashed 2 killed Dead"
    ["killed" has been struck out and substituted by "Dead"]

    This crash, it appears was being signalled via Army "Distribution" to all on a Signal recipient list for this type of incident/crash. Army records (especially Signals) should give at least some information, perhaps even co-ords, which coincide with their OS War Office Maps, which I have checked and have for this area at 1" to 1 Mile (4 figure grid) as War Revision Sheet 122 (a copy should be in the ZOS 3 Catalogue class at TNA, Kew).

    It would appear that the list is mostly for aircraft crashing in the 5th & 8th Corps area. The GHQ Home Forces, Corps War Diaries and Appendices should be in WO 166 if they were kept and I suspect this list really deals with aircraft which have bombs on board and not necessarily overdue, as the lists are simply not long enough to cover overdue aircraft! You want to order the 'G' War Diary first of the two Corps.

    The A.A. Brigade (Bde) are my favourite record sources, but you will need to know the A.A. Bde (Brigade) number covering the area at that time. Also go for the 'G' War Diary first.

    Also try Hants County Record Office at Winchester also and look at the ARP records and ARP Minutes. Unfortunately, your crash is near the border of Hants and Winchester.

    I'm not sure if the Winchester or Yeovil ROC Centres Log Books cover this area, but complete sets for WW 2 are in the Hants C. R. O. I think in 36M96, ask for the R.O.C. paper catalogue, as the full list was removed from the online database.

    Definitely Fire Brigade Occurrence Books and other Fire Service records, even the Fire Brigade Committee Minutes, sometimes list attendances, occasionally with a road name.

    Try the War Committee records and Ambulance Books also.

    The deaths were registered at Andover, you could chance ordering a Death Certificate for 10 from the General Register Office .gov.uk official site. The actual G.R.O. Index image pages can be found at "Free BMD" giving you all the information you need to order a Certificate yourself direct from the G.R.O., SOMETIMES a road name is given and if in a field and a place is given, it ought to give you the R.D. (Rural District).

    Sometimes a Local History booklet published about the War has valuable information, about people recalling their crashed aircraft memories as children.

    Newspapers (especially Evening editions for crashed am aircraft), but bear in mind interviews, via the Censor may not be quite what the person said. I managed to trace the daughter of a person who gave the interview to a newspaper in 1940 and quite an interesting account was revealed, about the crash, which led me to suspect that the Aerodrome was blocked and official files at TNA confirm this to be the case.

    No stone or document should be left unturned "never assume, always check" is the motto.

    Local people who have lived at Tidworth all their lives, I think, should provide the clue as to the location of the 'Place' name and possibly might even know something about the bomber crash itself, but watch they don't get confused with other crashes.

    Regarding salvage of aircraft, the 1940 ORB of the Centre I checked only gave the date of collection, nearest main town and aircraft type and serial number, but not the nearest village.

    But I have the following Salvage Centres noted, but no WW2 date, so they might move during the war? If they are any help?

    No. 50 MU Oxford (no covering area noted by me)
    No. 54 MU Cambridge (no covering area noted by me)
    No. 65 MU Leicester (no covering area noted by me)
    No. 49 MU RAF Faygate (also given as Horsham) covering Surrey, Sussex, Hants, IOW and S.E.

    Regards Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 24th April 2012 at 21:43.

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    Mark,

    Very many thanks for what is, by any measure, a most comprehensive reply. I am indebited to you for the various leads you have provided!

    Kind rgds

    Jonny
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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