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Thread: F/Sgt Reginald G Bradley 90 Sqn

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    Default F/Sgt Reginald G Bradley 90 Sqn

    742284 Reginald Gilbert Bradley died in a crash at Wilbarston 28/7/1941. Has anyone knowledge of the circumstances leading to the crash? Was it that date or did he die from injuries. He is buried at Palmerston Rd Chatham. As a matter of interest the CWGC replaced his broken headstone within 3 weeks of notification

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    Dear Pete,

    Chorley's B C Losses has Fortress AN534 taking off at 1700 hrs from Polebrook for a high altitude test and crashing shortly after 1700. The Fortress entered severe turbulence and the starboard wing failed. The aircraft crashed near Wilbarston, 4 miles west of Corby, Northants. The crew of F/S H C G Brook, F/S R G Bradley, Sgt R Henderson, F/S R C A Muir, Sgt R Smith, Sgt P S Pugh were all killed.

    90 sqn ORB for the day:
    P/O Sturmey and crew made an altitude climb at 1100 hours.
    Sgt. Brooks [sic] and crew took off at 1700 hours for an altitude climb and this aircraft crashed soon afterwards. Every member of the crew lost their lives in this unfortunate accident. A copy of the Court of Enquiry proceedings is attached. Appendix "D3.
    Weather fine small amounts of cloud at 4,000 ft.

    Unfortunately I do not have a copy of the appendix, but assume it would have much the same info as Chorley's entry.

    Hope that helps,

    Sam

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    Pete/Sam,

    I find the reference to the Fortress's structural failure being caused by severe turbulence rather odd and wonder what the source of that was. The aircraft couldn't have been at any great altitude since it crashed soon after taking off from Polebrook, so it's unlikely to have reached altitudes where strong winds can cause turblence.

    By chance I happened to be in the Met Office Library today, and looked up the weather at the time of the accident. Meteorological ascents were flown by 1401 Met Flight aircraft based at Mildenhall (just down the road from Polebrook) at 1130 and 1730 hours. On both occasions the pilot reported about half cover of thin cloud, base 4000, top 5000 ft; there was also some thin cloud around 21000 ft at 1730 hours, but otherwise there was no other significant cloud directly over the area. The absence of any deep convective cloud, and especially cumulonimbus, immediately rules out turbulence in cloud. Wind speeds up to 27000 ft were mostly in the range 15-25 miles per hour, far too low to be associated with turbulence.

    However, in addition to recording upper air temperatures and cloud details, Met Flight pilots were also required to note icing and turbulence; crucially on this occasion there was no mention of either - not even slight turbulence - during the two ascents.

    Be interesting to see what's recorded on the F1180.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 16th March 2012 at 22:25.

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    Hi Brian,

    The accident was subject to an AIB investigation,

    The small report survives in AVIA5/20.

    As you suspected there is no cause attributed to weather and although the cause is not defined it was considered to be either faulty instrument flying or incorrect engagement of the autopilot.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Thank you for the confirmation Ross. After a bit of Googling I found the following which is consistent with your advice:

    http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?3783-Flying-Fortress-AN534-Memorial-Stoke-Albany

    Brian

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    Thanks everyone

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    Default STOKE ALBANY - B-17 Flying Fortress (AN534) Crash Memorial - Eyewitness account

    STOKE ALBANY - B-17 Flying Fortress (AN534) Crash Memorial - Eyewitness account

    My uncle who lived in Cottingham at the time of this incident, which is a village near this crash site, witnessed this plane fly past and also what was the cause of the plane's dive and consequent crash. His father, who was an Air Raid Warden & Bomb Reconnaissance Officer, visited the crash site with my uncle.


    Anyone wishing further details can contact me via this website and I'll will pass this to my uncle.

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