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Thread: Rcaf 425 squadron training accident

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    Default Rcaf 425 squadron training accident

    On 24th April 1944, a HALIFAX (MZ525) flying from Tholthorpe Airfield in Yorkshire on a training flight, crashed near Topcliffe, killing the crew of 9, comprising 6 Canadians, 2 Brits and 1 American.
    One of the Canadians was my mother's cousin, Sgt David Pickering. He was 22, and when he died was part of the RACF 425 ALOUETTE squadron.
    While it has been relatively easy to find details of the operations he took part in from the National Archives (the last one seems to have been on 20/21 April on board LW 377 "G" and the crew members are listed), I am unable to find any information about the accident on 24th. I have the names of all 9 crew (why 9? - there were generally 7, sometimes 8 in a Halifax) but nothing more.
    There must have been some sort of inquiry, and seeing how well documented the operations were, there must be some documents about the accident somewhere.
    Can anyone point me in the right direction please?

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    Default

    Hi ,

    according to the A-B RAF serials book for MAxxx-MZxxx:
    MZ525 425 Sq Spun into ground off turn 2 1/2 m NE of Topcliffe during fighter affiliation, 24.4.44.

    So it means crew were doing practice in shooting down fighter by camera gun. This from my point of view also answers your question why there were so many aboard - I suppose most of them were AGs or WOP/Ags?

    So as it was not operational sortie there will be not detailed info in the ORB - possibly only a short note in the summary.

    For more details you can try to contact RAF Museum Hendon and ask for Flying Accident Card of MZ525 - there could be some more details about the last flight.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Default

    Your best bet is to contact the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa as they hold the service files of the Canadians on board this aircraft. For Pickering:

    http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/war-dead/001056-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=28448&interval=20&&PHPSESSID=3ltntdi povb3o6ppidn6cqjli4

    There should be an accident report in his file. As the LAC will give you up to 25 pages free of charge ask for it by name.

    No doubt you have seen the responses here which explain the nine crew:

    http://100548.activeboard.com/t47347660/alfred-arthur-john-higgins/

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Many thanks to you both for your help. I have written to Hendon and will do the same to obtain the records from Canada.

    I would be glad to hear from anyone researching the other members of this crew: P/O Kenneth CAMPBELL, F/O John GILLIES, Sgt Alfred HIGGINS, Sgt John LEECH, P/O Richmond SMITH, Sdt Charles WEST, Cpl Leonard WILCOX, F/O Peter(?) KRAUSE.
    According to the operation records, KRAUSE, WEST, LEECH, HIGGINS and PICKERING took part in a night operation on 21/22nd April bombing targets in Belgium, with WO2 W. SARASIN and F/S M. PETT. Probably their last operation before the training affiliation flight on the 24th.
    John GILLIES also took part with a different crew (LW 379 "D").
    Last edited by jayjay; 13th January 2013 at 08:19.

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    Default Accident card

    I asked the RAF Museum for a copy of the accident card for this crash and have just received a reply saying that they do not have one for MZ525. They suggest I contact the Air Historical Branch (RAF) for casualty details and RAF Disclosures for a copy of service records.

    Hopefully I will eventually find some information about what happened to this crew of nine, at the moment it's very mysterious.

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    Default MZ 525 - FO Peter J. Krause

    Quote Originally Posted by jayjay View Post
    Many thanks to you both for your help. I have written to Hendon and will do the same to obtain the records from Canada.

    I would be glad to hear from anyone researching the other members of this crew: P/O Kenneth CAMPBELL, F/O John GILLIES, Sgt Alfred HIGGINS, Sgt John LEECH, P/O Richmond SMITH, Sdt Charles WEST, Cpl Leonard WILCOX, F/O Peter(?) KRAUSE.
    According to the operation records, KRAUSE, WEST, LEECH, HIGGINS and PICKERING took part in a night operation on 21/22nd April bombing targets in Belgium, with WO2 W. SARASIN and F/S M. PETT. Probably their last operation before the training affiliation flight on the 24th.
    John GILLIES also took part with a different crew (LW 379 "D").
    Peter Krause was my father's brother. I was anaware of the interest in this flight and the related crash, but have always been interested in knowing more about what happened.
    My father frequently told us how he had contacted the US military authorities on behalf of his mom, Nellie and never got much more information than the plane had crashed during a training mission as opposed to an operational mission.
    Will be looking forward to hearing more about what is known. Thank you and best regards.

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    Default Alouette Loss

    G'day

    Halifax s/n MZ525 and coded KW*C, spun to the ground and burnt out 2 miles north-east of Topcliffe on the 24th of April 1944 while on a fighter affiliation training flight with a Hurricane from No. 1695 (B) Defence Training Flight. No. 1695 (B) D. .T. F. was based at Dalton,Yorkshire

    Cheers...Chris
    Last edited by Dakota; 18th August 2013 at 14:43. Reason: spelling error

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    Welcome to the board, can you have a read of the moderators preference for not using the quote function
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?9289-Use-of-Quote-Function

    Cheers and happy hunting
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

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

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