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Thread: Thorney Island Stirling crash July 1944

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    Default Thorney Island Stirling crash July 1944

    Stirling LJ477 crash landed at Thorney Island on the 6 July 1944. It was an aircraft from 149 Squadron engaged in an SOE supply drop in France. Has any member had an interest in this previously or anyone able to offer advice on the possibility of any Thorney Island Station Records to gleen anything from. Flight Sergeant F L A White the crews Navigator was the only casualty in the forced landing the remaining crew suffered injuries.

    Thanks for looking at my request.

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    Default Thorney Island Stirling crash July 1944

    Hi Colin,
    Can't help with the Thorney ORB's, I'm afraid. I have this on the incident - 5th July 1944. 10 aircraft detailed For ‘Special Ops’ ( OJ-M - Target codenamed ‘Harry’ as part of Operation GONDOLIER 16). One aircraft shot up on return, crashed and burned out at Thorney Island, Navigator killed. Pilot was C W Holmes, DFC . Navigator was Flt Sgt White F.L.A. All the surviving crew members were injured. Their mission was unsuccessful, as no reception committee showed up.

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    Thank you for that: I can find no reference to any night fighter claim for a Stirling that night so probably Flak damage caused the incident. I need to investigate the possibility of any station records at Thorney Island which just may give me more detail. Can I ask does your reference advise how many 149 Sqd aircraft failed to recognise any reception committes on this SOE deployment.

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    Hi Colin

    I've had a look at my copy of the Thorney Island ORB and narratives for Jul'44 (AIR 28/841 and AIR 28/846 respectively) which make no mention of this loss aside from operations by the resident 848 squadron. I'm aware of some senior Allied commanders passing through the same airfield later in the month and again no mention other than in a summary and not date specific, so can only assume that whoever was compiling records at the time rigidly stuck with operational sorties only connected with that airfield. The only mention of outside visitors does no occur until early Aug'44 when there is mention of V1s' coming down in close proximity.

    Kind regards
    Pierre

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    Pierre.

    You have been of great help thank you so much, what a shame no detail, quite amazing to think a crash landing with the loss of life was not worthy of having been detailed in the Station ORB's records. I will see if the aircraft loss card in the RAF museum will help any. However once again Pierre I thank you.

    Kind regards. Colin.

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    Colin

    How have 149 Squadron recorded this loss in their own ORB as surely both the Form 540 and 541 should indicate something of the crew's failure to return to base, and a record of what happened to LJ477?

    Allan
    Allan Hillman

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    Allan.

    See 149Nut's reply this is in essence the 149 Sqd ORB information.

    I am hoping to find out more information relevant to the crash landing or forced landing that took place. I suspect that the Navigator may have been killed by Flak but it may well have occured as a result of the incident at Thorney Island.

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    Thanks Colin - you are probably correct that he was injured as the result of flak and not the crash, this could have even been a friendly fire incident by our own AA if it had overflown the Normandy beachhead for example, where the Luftwaffe was very busy at night, en-route to Thorney island, which also of course is in the area where ships were being loaded for the beachhead as well.

    Allan
    Allan Hillman

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    Hello Colin

    According to Steve Smith on a post dated 22 June 2004, Steve refers to the 149 ORB and indicates that LJ477 was still flying on 11/12 August 1944, albeit as aircraft OJ-E. Could be an ORB typo, or not?

    If ordering Accident Card copies, might be worth getting Aircraft Card copies too?

    If you get to Kew, I should try AIR 28/538 and AIR 28/539 Methwold as many of these Station ORBs are stamped "Original" and the Station ORB sometimes has a snippet of additional info and as you are probably aware, some casualties were reported through the parent Station HQ.

    Also Group ORB and Appendices might shed some light on a diversion, if the aircraft was diverted?

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 11th November 2014 at 17:36.

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    Default LJ577 or LJ477

    LJ477 was the aircraft which crashed at Thorney Island (OJ-M) , LJ577 (OJ-E) did indeed fly with 149 for a time. It was eventually SOC 7.2.45. Very little was recorded in the 149 Sqn ORBs, the Operations were given as 'Special Ops'. The ORBs have a copy of a letter asking for Op details to be released, but this was refused as 'Top Secret' at the time. Two other aircraft failed to get 'reception'.

    Hope this helps

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