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Thread: Wellington T2518 crash 12. 1. 41

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    Default Wellington T2518 crash 12. 1. 41

    I have a logbook entry for 12.1.41 where a Squadron Leader Arnold flew into high tension cables and a telegraph pole.

    All searches on that serial fail to show anything and no reference in the Wellington crash log. The aircraft and crew were operating with 40 squadron. Can anyone provide any information at all - thank you for looking.

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    Hello,

    The conversion programme (to Wellingtpn Ic's) went well with only one mishap, on 12 December(1940), when Sqn/Ldr R. G. C. Arnold, who had replaced Eric Springhall as OC A Flight, swung on take-off, the Wellington (T2718)* ending up in a field adjoining the aerodrome. Two crew were injured (the aircraft hit lighting cables on the airfield boundary and crashed).

    Sqn/Ldr R.G.C. Arnold
    P/O B.H. Tweedale - injured
    ...........................
    Sgt H. Smith - injured
    ...........................
    ...........................

    See:
    Sweeping The Skies:A History of No.40 Squadron, RFC and RAF, 1916-56.
    Gunby,David
    Bishop Auckland:Pentland Press,1995.
    pp.152-3 & 385.

    * John Foreman in his Battle of Britain:The Forgotten Months (p.186), has the following entry:

    Casualties, 12/13 December 1940 - Royal Air Force.

    40 Sqn. Wellington T2718 - Crashed on take-off from Wyton, Huntingdonshire. (S/L Arnold) Aircraft wrecked.

    Elsewhere:

    Wellington Ic T2518, was a No.301 Sqn a/c., which was believed shot down on 1/2-1-1941 by an intruder (Uffz. Arnold I./NJG2), and crashed at Wellingore. BCL2/12.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 9th October 2012 at 19:28.

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    I can help a bit, though the incident recorded in the 40 Squadron ORB relates to 12 December 1940. S/Ldr. Roy Arnold was posted in on 26 November 1940 to command A Flight. I recall being told that he was not experienced on Wellingtons, with which the squadron was re-equipping, and he is recorded as flying as second pilot in a raid on Ostend on 22 December. The ORB entry for 12 December says that 'At night short cross country flights were made. S/Ldr. Arnold swung on taking off and his aircraft crashed in a field adjoining the aerodrome. P/O Tweedale - second pilot, and Sgt Smith, wireless operator, sustained slight injuries and were admitted to the R.A.F. Hospital.'

    Among the recollections of Hugh Lunch-Blosse, who was deputy Flight Commander of A Flight, and took it over when Roy Arnold was posted, I find however the following: 'In January [sic] Roy Arnold crashed in 2718 one night, writing the aircraft off'. He got away with it, but was posted and I was made acting Squadron Leader to command A Flight'. Hugh's interest in T2718 stemmed from the fact that he regarded it as 'his' aircraft, affectionately known as 'Wendy'.

    The Air Britain Serials book lists T2718 as crashing on take off on 12.12.40.

    On 16.1.41 Arnold was indeed posted to command 9 Squadron at Honington. He died on 9 June 1941, while engaged in what from this distance seems like a suicidal 'Armed Reconnaissance' off the French and Belgian coasts, beginning at 3.30 pm. His Wellington was intercepted by Bf.109s off Calais, and shot down, Arnold managing to hold the aircraft in the air long enough for all the crew to bale out, but not able to get out himself. Another 9 squadron crew was similarly shot down, all but the rear gunner perishing.

    Hoe this helps, despite conflicting dates!

    David

    So, to sum up.

    It seems the aircraft was T2718, not T2518, and the incident occurred on 12 December 1940, not 12 January 1941. T2518 was on charge to 301 Squadron when it crashed on 2.1.41.

    Incidentally, I missed the loss of T2718 in my 'Sweeping the Skies' loss appendices. Naughty! Naughty!

    David

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    Gentlemen
    Thank you for that, clearly the logbook date must be wrong but it was signed off by a F/Lt Blosse A Flight OC

    Strangly the same thing occured to this air gunner with the loss of Wellington R 3291 on the 19.4.41 His skipper Pilot Officer Johnson crashed and he never re appeared but that was with 38 Squadron in the desert.

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    David.

    The logbook I have for 12 December does show Arnold recorded doing a test flight of only 20 minutes and a another of just 15 minutes in R1293

    The recollection of the A Flight commander indicates a January date for the crash so we do have a slight conflict of whats what.

    However I now know what happend to the Squadron Leader who was at the controls. THANKS

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    Colin.

    The plot thickens. I have now found an ORB entry for 3 February 41 as follows: 'There was a slight improvement in weather conditions and practice flights were made by day. On one of these P/O Ross, pilot of machine No. T2718, was concerned [sic] in an accident when he overshot the aerodrome and badly damaged the aircraft. The pilot and crew were unhurt, but shaken, and because of this a night operational flight, for which he had been detailed was cancelled'. 'Ross' was P/O K. Ross.

    It now appears to me that T2718 was repaired after the December crash, presumably on station, since it remained on charge to 40 Squadron, but probably written off in the February one.

    Can you tell me whose logbook you have, Colin?

    David


    Hugh Lynch-Blosse clearly mixed the two up, thinking Roy Arnold was at the controls in the February crash.

    David

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    David.

    Thanks for the info, sent E Mail to you with details requested and what I can on 40 Squadron.

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