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Thread: Loss of Wellingtons Near the Scillies

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    Default Loss of Wellingtons Near the Scillies

    A local fishing boat has recently recovered what appears to be a Bristol Pegasus from the sea, about 4.5 miles north of the islands. I am thinking that it could be from one of the two OTU Wellington 1c aircraft that were lost in 1942 and 1943. I am wondering if anyone has any information about the approximate site of either accident?

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    Chris,

    Wellington, W5714 of 15 OTU, crashed into sea off Scillies, 23/12/43.
    Of the 6 on board, 5 missing, one body recovered.
    F/O D.E. Raymond, RCAF, missing.
    F/Sgt G.A. Hebblewhite, missing.
    Sgt, C. Griggs, missing.
    Sgt, A.C. Miles, missing.
    Sgt, F.W. Mittonette, missing.
    F/Sgt, A. Lipshitz, body recovered.

    I expect that engine is well and truly tucked away in Stevens's yard now. Tried many times to get a look, but to no avail. Only time i got anything off Newlyn pier, was by talking personally to a crew who still had the back end of a bomb on deck (approx 4ft tall with fins) which is now in my back garden.
    Alan.
    Last edited by AlanW; 15th April 2013 at 16:44.

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    Hi all, there was also one Wellington of 311 Sqn ditching nearby.

    29.9.1942
    Wellington Mk.IC HF921/KX-M
    Ditched approx 20 km south of Land´s End near to Isles of Scilly after 40 min dogfight with German long range fighters - Do217 and 3 Ju88 when run out of fuel due to riddle petrol tanks. After impact the fuselage broken into two parts.

    Crew:
    S/Ldr Josef ŠEJBL DFC (Cpt) - injured on head and back
    F/Sgt Vojtěch KUBALÍK (2nd pilot) - abrasions and shock only
    F/O Karel Petr SLÁMA (Nav) - multiple wounds in legs
    Sgt Jaromír BAJER (WOP) - multiple wounds in legs
    Sgt Pavel FRIEDLANDER (F/G) - missing, drowned with the wreckage
    Sgt Josef Petr ŠTERN (R/G) - small finger shot away

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

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    Default Loss of Wellingtons Near the Scillies

    Hello Chris,
    Have a look at the yearly lists in this website -
    http://www.rafdavidstowmoor.org/index.html

    I could find the following -
    11-07-1941

    Vickers Wellington VIII W5631 DF-T 221 Squadron RAF St Eval on return from an Anti-Submarine patrol was in communication with base and was plotted in the vicinity of the Isles of Scilly. Contact was suddenly lost and information received that an aircraft had exploded in mid-air near the islands. It was thought that an enemy fighter had shot the Wellington down. A search by British fighter aircraft from RAF St Eval failed to find any trace of the Wellington or its crew of six. F/O I CM Sanderson 77042 (Argentinian) P/O R Edwards 84917, P/O D H M Jack 88692, Sgt L P MacDowell 978205 , Sgt V S Payne 975776 and Sgt R G W Perkins 977815


    27-11-1942

    Vickers Wellington II W5550 of 104 Squadron on delivery to the squadrons base at RAF Luqa, Malta ditched off the Isles of Scilly

    23-12-1943

    0121hrs
    Vickers Wellington Ic W5714 of 15 Operational Training Unit based at RAF Hampstead Norris when on a night navigational exercise became lost. The aircraft was presumed to have crashed into the sea W of the Isles of Scilly. F/O D E Raymond RCAF, Flight Sgt G A Hebblewhite RAAF, Sgt C Griggs, Sgt A CR Miles and Sgt F W Mittonette are missing the body of F/Sgt A Lipshitz DFM was recovered.

    Others were lost on Ferry Flights also may be possibles.

    All the very best
    Alex

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    Hi Alex,
    Wellington 5550, which was already with 104sqdn, was actually lost off "Sicily", on ops from Luqa to attack an airfield at Gerbini.

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    Default Loss of Wellingtons Near the Scillies

    Hello Allan,
    Thank you for the update re Wellington W5550.
    I checked the AB "W" series and also BCL Middle East & Mediterranean Vol 1.

    26/27 Nov 1942
    104 Sqn
    Wellington II W5550 "Q"
    Op: Gerbini
    P/O F M Benitz DFM RCAF - pow
    F/Sgt S W Thrower - pow
    F/O K C W Cope - +
    Sgt F Parkinson - pow
    Sgt B Jones - pow
    Sgt A Haxton - pow
    Took off 0010, Luqa, to attack the airfield at Gerbini.
    Ditched off Sicily on return.
    F/O Cope is commemorated on the Malta Mkemorial.

    So, this detail now raises the question of which Wellington it was that was lost off the Scillies this date if it was not W5550. Or was it simply an error by reading Scillies for Sicily ? ?

    In any event it reduces the numbers of those lost arounf the Scillies.

    Note to Chris,
    Engine number, if the people that have the engine are lucky they may be able to find the engine number - that will connect it to a particular aircraft if Squadron records or the maintenance records can be aquired.

    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 17th April 2013 at 15:39.

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    Hi Alex,
    Although i use Davidstow Moor website, being in the West Country myself, it has a lot of mistakes, as do a lot of sites. I have emailed the owner in the past, with amendments, but no reply. As for the engine, my reply to Chris is a quip about the main fleet owner in Newlyn. Don't know if he's still with us, but i tried for many years to get a look at his collection of aircraft parts, dragged up from the sea bed, but to no avail. Anything dragged up, used to be put in a compound near the quay, before being moved to his own yard, and many's the time i've stood looking at the engines, props and bits of fuselage in view, but he was a hard man to bargain with, and would not let anyone near them. Unless the skipper of the boat that brought the engine up, is independant of the Stevensons fleet, i doubt if the engine will be available for viewing. Unless of course, someone else a bit more lenient is in charge now.
    Last edited by AlanW; 18th April 2013 at 04:36.

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    Default Loss of Wellingtons Near the Scillies

    Hello Allan,

    Thanks for clearing up the whereabouts of the engine. From what you say this is with many other aircraft wreckage that is for some reason stored by a Fishing Fleet owner?
    I had thought that when such wreckage was found and recovered the Air Force had to be notified and that the RAF would then retrieve the parts for examination so as to ascertain the aircraft type, and where possible identify the individual aircraft so that in the event of any MIA's connected with the aircrafts loss then as with the P40 in the desert, relatives can be notified eventualy as to the fate of their loved one.
    Maybe I am wrong but that is what I had always thought to be the case.
    Have a good week
    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 18th April 2013 at 04:05.

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    Hi Alex,

    Same rules as for land discovery but different bods and results for sea recovered wreckage.

    Anything found at sea in UK Waters should be declared to the Receiver of Wreck. The Receiver will try to find the rightful owner (either original owner or insurer if insurance has paid out).

    http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga07-home/emergencyresponse/mcga-receiverofwreck.htm

    The Receiver of Wreck will estimate the current market value of the recovered items and then try to broker a deal with the owner for the sale return of the items along with reasonable salvage costs.

    So the usual scenario is the MoD being offered lumps of corroded aircraft scrap at metal value along with a bill for boat fuel and the cost of net repair.

    MoD normal answer is "thanks, but no thanks" you can have the metal to pay the costs of salvage/net repair. As a result few fishing owners declare any find to RoW and just move direct to the final result of scrap metal in their yard.

    Same result for EOD lifted into the dredger. Mod says it's "all yours" if it explodes in the hopper and will only deal with it if any attempt to land it for RoW looks likely.

    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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    Many thanks for those replies, I will continue with my research. The engine is here in Scilly still, and not likely to go far for a while if anyone would like to see it. I do have a number of pictures too, which could save an awkward journey! I am pretty sure it was a Wellington 1c (if it was a Wellington) as later marques didn't have Pegasus engines. I am guessing that the 1c would have been a first choice for OTU squadrons too, leaving more capable versions for front-line squadrons. The only other recorded loss of a Pegasus engined aircraft near here, by the way, was a Hampden, and this occurred 70 miles to the south west of the islands whilst the engine was retrieved from the north north west, about 4 1/2 miles out. There is no hope of getting an engine number I fear, as all of the aluminium components except the prop have corroded away completely.

    Kind regards,

    Chris.
    Last edited by Chris Peat; 18th April 2013 at 12:21. Reason: Engine number suggestion.

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