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Thread: Crash of Halifax DT489 TL-Y on 5/5/1943

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    Default Crash of Halifax DT489 TL-Y on 5/5/1943

    Halifax DT489 was lost on return to RAF Graveley on 5/5/1943. The only reference I can find on an unmentionable website shows it was lost west of Portland and gelling crossroads. I have lived in that area for over 60 years and neither Portland nor gelling make sense, however Toesland and Yelling do.
    I know its dangerous to make assumptions, but I feel that in this case the evidence is too strong not to take it as Toesland and Yelling crossroads, which is just South East of the runways. Another site states that it hit high ground on approach. Here again the crossroads are on the edge of the plateau that the airfield was built on. The Met report for the day shows fog and an aircraft from nearby Bourne was diverted away whilst over the channel. So poor visibility may have played its part in the crash. All but the rear gunner were killed. I have requested the record card from Hendon, but does anyone have any data or suggestions where to go for information. I have the ORBís- which only show the aircraft took off and nothing more was heard.
    TIA
    Paul H

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    Good night Paul!

    May I humbly suggest you trying to contact the relatives of Sergeant J.H. Robertson (the rear gunner), for the final veredict (or any personnal account on the accident)....He may have described something "officially" or not (for the family). This surely can be a point of start!

    I remember someone posting, on another Forum, something about RAF Accident Investigation Cards....There must be one for DT489 isn't it? It must be stored somewhere....I only saw one once (for a Spitfire)...and it had the "debris map" showing the area where the debris and parts were found, etc...With that piece of information, you may find the REAL place of the crash, the causes, etc...Certainly some experts on the subject may inform us where to find those old RAF Accidents Cards....

    I noticed however, that the text about NT489 says: "Crashed on return to base, cause unknown, coming down to the W of Portland Gelling cross-roads in Huntingdonshire".
    The actual landing grounds where it first stuck or hit is definitely "vague"...

    The next step I would try: OLD local newspapers, or interview of old locals nearby....someone must have seen it...even the wreck...or the Hospital nearby (to where the rear gunner must have been sent...)...So...surely there is a record informing more..maybe a picture of the crash site? Local policemen?

    Please do accept the above as a humble suggestion...I am new on the Forum and you have lived 60 years in that area...Wish you may able to find more and inform us, about the real place and cause of accident.

    Yours very sincerely,
    Adriano S. Baumgartner (I did attend the Aircraft Accident Investigation Course, back in 2000, although never worked on the "fields"...I mean directly involved with Investigations...)
    (Happy New Year and wonderful Xmas for you and yours)

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