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Thread: any incidents/accidents connected with RAF Winthorpe on 24/7/1944 ?

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    Default any incidents/accidents connected with RAF Winthorpe on 24/7/1944 ?

    hi all, I'm trying to research a man from the war memorial of my home town:

    HERBERT SAMUEL BUCKLEY
    Age:21
    Rank:Sergeant(navigator)
    Service:ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE
    Date of Death:24/07/1944
    Service No:1685014

    Place of death was RAF Station Winthorpe and cause 'Due to War Operations'. I've found the following men from the RAF who died on the same day in the Newark area:

    PARKER RAYMOND WILLIAM R W Sergeant '1851671' JOSLING JOHN BASIL J B Flying Officer '149633' FOX NORMAN N Sergeant '1593043' HOLFORD GEORGE WILLIAM G W Sergeant '1585928' MITCHISON JOHN J Sergeant '1595302'
    Obviously there was a lot going on around Newark so they might have no connection with my man at all.
    Does anyone have any details whatsoever? As far as my internet searching shows me there were no air crashes in the area that day.
    All help gratefully received!
    Phil

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    Default Herbert Samuel Buckley

    Hi Phil,

    Looks as if his birth was registered in Dec 1922 and he had two brothers and a sister all slightly younger. At least one brother has a family tree on GR and might be contactable.

    HTH,

    Howdie

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    Phil - On 24th July 1944 at 0040 Stirling EH978 took off from 1660 HCU Swinderby but hit an oak tree and lost the port tail plane and elevator. The pilot F/O J.B.Josling DFC made a desperate effort to land straight ahead at RAF Winthorpe but lost control crashing near the airfield killing all nine crew members including Buckley.
    Chris

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    Phil, Hi,
    One of those killed was Flt Lt Arthur Lyall Ray (414677) RNZAF which means that there is likely to be more information in the RNZAF Archives. Erroll Martyn is the forum's expert on the RNZAF. He might post if he sees this!
    Buckley Enlisted (1685014) at Padgate probably in the Spring of 1942
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 11th January 2014 at 15:42. Reason: Enlistment info
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    thank you so much folks, I wasnt sure whether I'd find anything concrete but that's more than I thought possible.
    In addition to Buckley,Josling & Ray can someone confirm who the other 6 were? I'm presuming Parker,Fox,Holford & Mitchison were four of them?
    How long did lads spend at a HCU normally? Were units like 1660 HCU purely for men who were already experienced,but not in Heavy Bombers,or were complete rookies also involved?
    Thanks again! Really pleased with this.
    Phil

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    Phil, the full crew was F/O J B Josling DFC, F/L A L Ray RNZAF, Sgt A S A Johnson, Sgt N Fox, Sgt G W Holford, F/O H J Bennett, Sgt H S Buckley, Sgt J Mitchison and Sgt R W Parker. Most probably the officers were instructors, Josling certainly had served with 57 squadron. The entry in Chorley's HCU losses states that the Stirling hit an oak tree and lost the port tail plane and elevator. With the Stirling perilously unstable Josling made a desperate effort to land straight ahead at nearby Winthorpe only to be baulked at the last moment by an aircraft on the runway. Seconds later he lost his last remaining vestiges of control and crashed near the airfield. Johnson was a Nigerian from Lagos who had enlisted on 4 August 1943.
    Heavy Conversion Units were nearly the final stage in training before being posted to an operational squadron. The trainee crew would have flown twin-engined Wellingtons at Operational Training Units but at HCU they flew four-engined heavies for the first time. Instructors at both types of establishment were screened airmen who had finished a tour of operations. The length of training at an HCU varied but typically it was around 2 months.
    Max Williams
    www.ordinarycrew.co.uk
    the story of Lancaster ME453

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    thank you very much for the information. Invaluable.

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