Gentlemen,

I found this report among my files. Thought someone will find this of interest.
Norman Malayney

20 July 1944 The Coppice, Clifton, Hampden, Oxon,
F-5E-2-LO 43-29018, time 1823 hours,
7th Photo Grp, 22nd Photo Rcn Squadron
2nd Lt. Mitchell, Robert Lloyd, Fatal injuries
Weather: 5/10 cumulus at 3,000 ft. visibility 10 miles, wind NE 10 mph
Cleared from AAF Station 234 to AAF St. 234 operational flight.

At 1712 hours, 20 July 1944, Lt. Mitchell took off from USAAF Station 234 to fly an operational mission. At 1752 hours the pilot called the D/F station for a homing and he was given a vector to return to base. At 1755 hours flying control made contact with the pilot to ascertain his reason for returning to base and it was stated that he was having engine trouble but not serious. After following his vectors the pilot sighted base at 1816 hours and started a normal circuit for landing. It is assumed that while in the circuit, the pilot's engines cut out on him and the plane crashed approximately three miles to the west of base. Ambulance and fire tender were dispatched immediately to handle the situation as it was presented to them

At the scene of the crash the following witnesses were verbally interviewed: Mr. R. H. Page and Cpl. Betz both British subjects and caretakers of the American Engineer Camp site near Culham. They concurred that the aircraft apparently had at least one engine out and the other was barely ticking over. The aircraft come in, in a slow glide, crashing through the tops of several trees and landing in a small field. The aircraft carrying drop tanks, exploded and burned. The pilot apparently did not attempt to clear the aircraft. The aircraft was at about 1,000 feet when the engines quit, giving very little time before it actually hit the ground.

Exmaination of the remains of the wreck, after it had cooled down, showed the Right Feathering Switch thrown, the Right Throttle retarded, the Right Mixture Control back as far as the Auto Lean position. The Left Throttle was full forward. the Left Mixture Control was in Full Emergency Rich and both Propeller Controls were at full RPM. The Mag. and Master Switches were all on and both Tank Selector Cocks were turned to the "off" position. This aircraft has the new "T" selector cock handle.

It is assumed from the evidence that the pilot returned from his mission, flew over the runway in use, pulled up, chopping the throttle to kill his speed. Thinking he was flying on Drop Tanks but while actually running on Main Tanks, he apparently changed his selector cocks to land on Reserve Tanks. Since this involved a quarter turn of the Cock to the Left, it turned both Cocks to the "Off" position. If this were the situation it would be logical that the pilot, changing the Right Tank Selector first would have the Right engine quit. Thus he would feather immediately under the circumstances and shut down by closing the mixture. At this time the other engine would run out of fuel from the carburetor and the pilot, thinking possibly of a lean cut, would put it into Emergency Rich, trying to keep it running.
Cause: Pilot accidentally turned selector cocks to off position.