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Thread: Aircraft crash, Langwasser-Nürnberg Forest near Stalag XIIID, 16/3/45

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    Default Aircraft crash, Langwasser-Nürnberg Forest near Stalag XIIID, 16/3/45

    Hi,

    in his book, 'Footprints in the Sands of Time', Oliver Clutton-Brock relates that prisoners-of-war at Stammlager XIIID at Langwasser, southern Nürnberg, witnessed an four-engine aircraft crash on the boundary of the camp on the evening of 16 March 1945.

    I have my copy of the book stored at the other end of the country so I don't have the page number that the passage is on, nor reference for this information, which, from memory, was from the memoir of a Bomber Command PoW at the camp.

    Can anyone:

    1. provide me with the name of the book from which Clutton-Brock obtained the information?

    2. once the book is known, can anyone provide the relevant passage from the memoir?

    3. is anyone aware of any official reference (i.e. other than the memoir) to such a crash, as may have been reported or related by senior Allied authorities at the camp? I would have thought that Oliver Clutton-Brock might have mentioned anything on camp files at the TNA but there is no such reference in the book.

    I am interested about the identity of the aircraft and the subsequent burial of any deceased crew members.

    Based on information from Germany, I originally thought that the aircraft was 100 Squadron Lancaster PB117, but this has proved to be incorrect. I can account for the crash sites and burials of crews from all aircraft on this night bar:

    1. the crash site and fate of the missing crew members of 625 Squadron Lancaster RF145. The crash site and remains of five of the crew were never found post-war. The body of Sgt Jones was discovered in a field 1.5 km south of Bürglein, but there was no corresponding crash site of RF145 reported in the area. The survivor, F/Sgt Ryan reported that the aircraft was hit by a night fighter at 16,000 ft, on a north-easterly heading, some five minutes before bomb release.

    2. I don't have the location of the crash site of 100 Squadron Lancaster ND644, but believe it to have been in the Nürnberg-Fuerth-Kraftshof area, since four of the crew were originally buried at Kraftshof (possibly at the scene of the crash) and another at Fuerth.

    The above two aircraft losses, according to copies of official documentation that I have are the only two where there may be doubt about the crash locations, so I am trying to establish the validity of the claim that a four-engine aircraft crashed near Stammlager XIIID on the night of 16-17 March 1945.

    Cheers

    RodM

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    Hi Rod,

    I have found the entry in 'Footsprints' it is on page 141 of the book. It has been taken from the book 'Lancaster Down' by Steve Darlow from the diary of his Grandfather Arthur Darlow pages 182/3.

    No mention of the aircraft or the crew in either books mate.

    I trust you are well.

    Cheers,

    John.

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    Hi John,

    thanks for the reply. In the book, 'Lancaster Down' is there mentioned on what happened to the aircraft (i.e. Germans collect bodies for burial, take wreckage away) and how close it crashed to the Stalag?

    Cheers

    Rod

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    Hi Rod,

    There is not much detail in the book, it says that the burning Lancaster screamed over some of the camp huts and crashed to earth amongst some trees just outside the wire.

    There is no mention of what the Germans did with the wreckage or crew.

    Cheers,

    John.

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    Hi John,

    thanks for the confirmation. I'll follow up at TNA when I can, as I would have thought that the camp "man of confidence" would have found some way to report such a crash to the British authorities. In any event, it's hard to establish the identity of the Lancaster, if one did indeed crash.

    Cheers

    Rod

    PS - two German Ju88s crashed in the vicinity of Langwasser on this night as well. One came down near the Reichsparteitagsgelaende Kongresshalle, some 3.5 km N.W. of the Stalag and the other crashed somewhere close to the Stalag, near Fischbach, so I wonder if the "Lancaster" could have been a Ju88?

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