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Thread: Help ID Crew Whitley 77 Sqn N1387 Crash landed April 17 1940. Pilot S/L Mark Hastings

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    Default Help ID Crew Whitley 77 Sqn N1387 Crash landed April 17 1940. Pilot S/L Mark Hastings

    The crew abandoned this aircraft and pilot S/L Mark Hastings forcelanded near Grantown-on-Spey , Morayshire

    Crew are

    P/O James Arthur Piddington
    Sgt Burr ? *********NOT *********Sgt Vincent Herbert Barr #740019
    Sgt W Wight/Wright ? Possibly 523473 Sergeant William Wight
    AC1 I Pacey Possibly Ivon David Pacey #629822

    Can anyone confirm any others at 77 Sqn for April 1940 ?

    Thanks Paul
    Last edited by paulmcmillan; 7th November 2013 at 13:36.

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    Hi Paul,
    Can't help with the crew and I don't know what you already have but from "The Whitley Boys" by G L(Larry) Donnelly N1387 was one of 4 Whitleys of 77 Sqn sent to bomb Vaernes airfield nr Trondheim and ran out of fuel on return. The a/c was wrecked in the subsequent crash-landing by Hastings after the crew Baled out. Unfortunately no other names are given.
    Piddington is mentioned later in the book as skipper of N1365 which was hit by flak over an oil target nr Mannheim on 13/14 Jul 1940and suffered engine damage causing failure over Holland. They got back to UK where 3 of the crew baled out and Piddington and his co-pilot landed at Martlesham Heath. Only Piddington is named. From the description of his incident it is possible to suggest that he was co-pilot in April
    Regards Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 7th November 2013 at 18:14.

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    Unless it's a long standing mistake in the ORB, Burr and Wight are listed on previous occasions to the 16th.
    Crew for Piddington, in Dick's reply, were.......
    Sgt Penning.
    Sgt Amos.
    Sgt Silverwood.
    Sgt Barrie.

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    Thanks Wight it is then.. Just need to track down Burr

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    Sergeant R H Burr thanks to Air 81/159

    Possibly 580866 Royston Harry BURR, D.F.M. (

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    OK now have AIR 81/159 I will post the whole report on loss when I transcribe it. Crew:
    S/L Mark Hastings #33028 Pilot - Uninjured
    P/O James Arthur Piddington #39562 2nd Pilot - Uninjured
    Sgt Royston Harry Burr #580866 Air Observer - Slightly injured broken ankle
    Sgt William Wight #523473 Wireless Operator - Uninjured (Wright sic in report )
    AC2 Ivon David Pacey #629822 Air Gunner - Uninjured
    Last edited by paulmcmillan; 29th January 2014 at 08:59.

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    As promised:

    77 Squadron Detachment,
    R.A.F. Kinloss.
    Morayshire.
    Reference : 77Det/2/P.2
    21. 4. 40.
    Accident to Whitley V. N.1387.
    Sir,
    I have the honour following my signal A.2 dated 20/4 to report that when returning from an operational flight on the night of April 16/17 adverse weather was encountered about 80 miles from the coast of Scotland.
    In the vicinity of Kinloss aerodrome there were heavy banks of clouds, to-gether with snow storms, extending down into the valleys. The captain endeavoured to locate Kinloss aerodrome by 'homing' a M.F.D.F. at Inverness. Four other aircraft were also working that Station so that bearings were not readily obtainable, and it was not until two approaches had been made from the east that a Q.D.M. was obtained. This bearings placed the aircraft to the S.E. of Inverness amongst high mountains.
    At 04.15 after 11 hours 15 minutes flying the captain ordered the Air Observer and tail gunner to abandon aircraft. This was quickly executed. The Air Observer sustained a cracked ankle on which he had to walk some three miles, the tail gunner was unhurt. At 04.25 hours the W/Optr. and 2nd. pilot were ordered to abandon aircraft and both landed without injury. Very shortly after this the aircraft broke clouds and the captain saw below him a valley with a field in which he thought he could make a forced landing. The light was still very poor and during the approach both engines stopped owing to lack of petrol. The aircraft with the undercarriage retracted touched down safely, but after sliding a few yards the starboard wing struck a tree thereby swinging the aircraft into a small wood. The captain of the aircraft was Squadron Leader M.H. Hastings.
    I have the honour to be,
    Sir,
    Your obedient Servant,
    Wing Commander, Commanding, 77 Squadron Detachment, R.A.F. KINLOSS.
    The Under Secretary of State, Air Ministry., (Depts. C.I.Accidents & P.4 Cas.)
    Adastral House, Kingsway. LONDON.
    Copy to:- O.C.RAF.Station,DRIFFIELD No.4 Group.

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    Hello,

    Does anyone know the exact location this aicraft came down please?

    Thanks
    Linzee

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    Hi Linzee,
    Location of the crash, according to the Police report, is 400yds East of Lagg Farm steading, Boat of Garten. Lagg (Lagyie) The only small wood near the fields appearing on old OS maps is at NH966210 but has been cleared.
    Alan.
    Last edited by AL90; 27th September 2018 at 11:44.

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    Hi Alan,
    Many thanks for that. I'm guessing that the aircraft would have been recovered fairly intact so likely nothing to see there now? It's all agricultural land at that location bar some small collections of trees and some standing stones. We're not far from there so may check it out in the near future. We have an interest in this aircraft as it came down in our local area and my husband is from Trondheim where the aircraft had been returning from.

    Do you have a copy of the police report you would be willing to share?

    Thanks again
    Linzee

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