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Thread: 5 M.U Halifax loss

  1. #1
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    Default 5 M.U Halifax loss

    Hi all,

    Can anyone give me any information with regards the loss of a 5 M.U Halifax near Kemble on 14/1/43 please?

    I have crew details but would like cause of accident.

    Thanks.

    Simon

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    Hello Simon,

    My not be the one but Air Brit series has -

    Mk.I
    W7844
    1 OAPU
    Stalled during manoeuvrability trials and spun into ground Oaksey Woods, 2 miles SE of Kemble, Wilts on 14th Jan 43.

    ATB
    Alex

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    I am sure that this a/c has been 'dug' and I have been trying to recall where I saw it. If it comes back to me I will post again.

    regards

    DaveW

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    Thanks Alex (again). Have you got the crew details for this one? I can guarantee I have the right aircraft then.

    Dave, I will be very interested to know if the aircraft has been 'dug'. I am currently corresponding with a relative of one of the crew (if I have the right aircraft).

    Regards,
    Simon

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    Simon,

    From 'Gloucestershire Airfields in the Second World War', David Berryman

    "January 1943 brought tragedy for No. 1 OAPU when Halifax W7844 crashed with eight personnel from the unit's despatch flight on board. The bomber has taken off on a routine test flight and a number of ground crew had gone along for the ride. The pilot was 34 year old F/L Frederick Harrison the CO of the Test and Despatch Flight. Another a/c seen in the vicinity at the same time is variously identified as a Spitfire or a Blenheim. There is no doubt that this second a/c is associated with the incident that followed but the details are obscure. What is known for certain is that the Halifax went into a steep turn at 2000', stalled and spun in. This was something the Halifax was prone to do off a steep turn. Harrison was comparatively inexperienced on this type of a/c and may have been taken unawares. The a/c came down at Oaksey Woods to the east of Kemble striking the ground vertically. One of those that saw the Halifax 'go in' was local man Bill Sherwood. He was one of the first to get to the crash scene. The a/c was a blazing inferno; crash recovery vehicles sped to the crash site across fields but could do nothing more than contain the fire."

    Still looking and thinking about the 'dig' info. Perhaps an article in Flypast, which I no longer take. If I remember correctly the dig was being conducted over a long time scale by a local man.

    I understand that a memorial plaque exists at or near the crash site.

    regards

    DaveW
    Last edited by davew; 6th March 2009 at 10:39. Reason: Correcting source

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    Hi Simon/Dave,

    The 'Dug' ref you need is;

    THREE YEAR 'DIG'.
    Phillips,Annie.
    Flypast. February 1994 (No.151) pp.56-7

    Sorry, no scanner.

    Col.

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    Thanks Col, no doubt someone can help with this now you have found the article.

    Simon, I have corrected the source of the quote in my last.

    Regards

    DaveW

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    hi,
    CWGC site has
    F/Lt. Frederick Charles Benjamin Harrison aged 23
    at rest at
    Plot 6. N.C. Row A. Grave 14. CIRENCESTER CEMETERY
    I have the Fly Past copy and can (I hope) scan and send it to you.
    Several photos in of finds.
    rest of crew were
    F/Sgt. T.J.G. Thomas
    Cpl. H.L. Munson
    and five young groundcrew
    Cpl. W.A.Ashworth
    Cpl. F.W. Heywood
    F/O. H.F.Hamilton
    AC.L.L.Smith
    AC. V.G.B.Hadrill

    Simon , have sent you an e-mail .
    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 6th March 2009 at 11:53.

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    Hi all,

    This is definitely the aircraft. I am in touch with Freddie Harrison's goddaughter/niece so she will be very pleased with this information.

    Thanks to everyone. Alex I have emailed you back and I look forward to receiving the article.

    Regards,
    Simon

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    I am trying to contact anyone who lossed a family member on this plane
    i have just raised money to buy a new slate plaque in aid of the crew if anyone can help me please contact 07808030220 asap as we unvail the new plaque 6th sept 2014 thank you.

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