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Thread: Whitley Z6646 78 Sq 16.10.1941 crash location?

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    Default Whitley Z6646 78 Sq 16.10.1941 crash location?

    Hi-This Whitley Bomber Z6646 from No.78 Squadron crashed on the 16.10.1941 somewhere in north-east England.Where did this Whitley Bomber crash as I am in contact with the 2nd pilot's son Mr.Whitehorn.There is no mention of this crash in the Operations Record Book and the location given on the Air Ministry Form 1180
    or the aircraft accident card is "not on Durham".All the aircrew were seriously burned.Where did this aircraft crash?

    Regards,Philip
    55 Aircraft Accidents Research Group

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    Hello Philip

    Ignore the printed "Not on", regarding location.

    Unfortunately, I don't have this Whitley Z6646 p/copy, so if you are able to scan and email me a copy, that would be useful, thanks.

    Where "Co Durham" is written in, to the left of the AM1180 Accident Card you will see 'Aerodrome' or 'Place' which one has been struck out? Very occasionly, both have been struck out and then one underlined (sometimes with a broken line), due to changing back to the original.

    Any clues in the Narrative / Nature of Accident, as to whether field, runway, building, or road?

    I can only find it in one 1978 book so far, which says:- Force landed in Co. Durham after port engine failed. 4 injured.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 24th May 2015 at 22:18.

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    In case you hadn't seen it, Bill Chorley's additions and amendments site states that the aircraft crashed in the circuit at Middleton-St-George, as opposed to Croft in the printed 1941 volume, and also adds that the injured were taken to Sedgefield Hospital.

    Regards

    Simon

    EDIT - thanks Col!
    Last edited by wwrsimon; 25th May 2015 at 09:30.

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    Simon,

    Your link won't work - try: http://www.rafinfo.org.uk/BCWW2Losses/1941.htm

    1941/162 78/Z6646.

    Col.

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    Default Whitley Z6646

    Hello Philip

    Simon and Col, thanks.

    When I also had County Durham and looked at the Yorkshire Aircraft site, Croft airfield appeared uncertain and checking the 1" War OS [Sheet 15] and Postwar 1970s OS showing Airfields, Croft airfield was in Yorkshire.

    The County boundaries of Yorkshire and Durham, ran along the River Tees in this area.

    The place of Croft on Tees was basically on the County boundaries and Croft Airfield was to the South in Yorkshire.

    Middleton St George was in the County of Durham.

    Philip, I'm interested in the Whitley Merlin X and a scan of this Card please? I could email a colour extract of the 1" War OS scan by return of this area?

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 25th May 2015 at 10:10.

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    Hi-Thanks for your replies.Being well into the research of RAF documents or apart from the locating of aircraft crash sites I have a good insight into the 1180's etc but initially Colin Whitehorn contacted me to ask for my help as he intends to visit the area shortly to hopefully visit where his Dad's aircraft came down.On the 1180 aerodrome is crossed out and I knew the boundary point would come up as this is a slight problem but the question is where did the Whitley Bomber crash? His Dad's flying log book does not exist as it was not reunited to his Dad after the crash and at the time their mother was told it looked as if this crash was an act of sabotage.All Colin remembers that his Dad told him they crashed very near to a river or a stream as they barely doused water onto them as they were badly burned.Again there is no mention in the ORB or in the summary of events.The only report which might still exist is a Form 765c or the Form 412 Court Of Inquiry enclosed in the service record of one of the aircrew who was French-Canadian.

    Regards,Philip

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    Hi, gents. I wonder if Gerry Dufort's RCAF personnel file at Library and Archives Canada has been checked for any crash location details. Such a file may have excellent info.

    But, then, now that I think of it, this file may not be open to the public, without Gerry's permission, or for a few years after his death. I'm forgetful of the rules, but they're on-line.

    So, then, has Gerry been tracked down to ask for his recollections...and, if not done, to see if he'd OK access to his RCAF file (which then takes months...if one doesn't know an associate who will visit LAC to view the file directly)?

    In the following news story, it was written last June that Gerry, 93, resided in Worthing:

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/481...Indoe-unveiled

    A search of "Dufort" in "Worthing" on the BT residential phone numbers search page gives an address and a phone number for a G Dufort -- hopefully it's Gerry.

    There's also the Air Historical Branch. Helping Gerry to request crash site details from the AHB is another possible option.

    Regards,

    Matt

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    Hello Philip, Simon, Col, Matt and All

    Philip, I have sent 3 maps. This Whitley Z6646 is an interesting one, because the claim by Chorley suggests, that the Whitley was landing at an Aerodrome (first Croft, changed to Middleton St George) and the crew were taken to Sedgefield Hospital.

    However, the Accident Card, which has additions in a different handwriting (nothing unusual about that), does not have "Aerodrome" highlighted, but gives the "Place" of accident as "Durham". Not Co. Durham, as I first suggested, from Nicholas Roberts published in 1978.

    Also the hospital location of Sedgefield may not help, as the crew will likely have been taken there for specific treatment and it is also halfway between Durham and Middleton St George.

    Apparently, there was "No" Court of Inquiry. There was, should be a Form 765c which appears to be entered on the Accident Card as NS.D4/5 825 and a reference on the reverse which appears to say "wrote 4/5". Looking at other Cards, I have always believed the Form 765c numbers (in this case) "4/5" to be a date. Suggesting the Form was issued later?

    The Card suggests P/O B O Smith 69425 is Landing and it also has a reference in the "Duty" box added, regarding Drem F/P with goose necks, but the "Place" says "Durham". The word "Aerodrome" is struck out, which even leaves me wondering dummy drome? Perhaps the Station ORBs AIR 28, or Group ORBs AIR 25 might / might not help? The injured crew, suffering with shock and at "Night" would only be interested in getting help.

    I always feel that when a book is amended, it is useful to give the source.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 26th May 2015 at 11:01.

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    Would Durham Constabulary have a report on a wartime aircraft crash?

    Simon

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    Hello Philip and Simon

    Further to my post #8 and Simon's post #9, yes Civil records, such as Police (where they survive), especially Fire Brigade Occurrence Books, Station records etc., (also the Fire Committee might sometimes have a summary of incidents attended) also check for ARP, War or Defence Committee, Home Guard, A.A. Unit records any surviving Observer Corps Logs, County Emergency Planning (although the mid Aug 1940 Hants E.P., numbered entries had been rubbed out and rewritten over, with a reduced number entries), Ambulance Logs, at County Archives or with Local Authorities.

    Local Libraries, sometimes have people's research/recollections filed under various headings, which can be useful for comparing with other records.

    Hospital records are usually 100 year closure to non family.

    The RAF Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre at Imjin Barracks, Innsworth, once told me they use Fire Brigade records, to resolve some location issues. These are usually either still with the Fire Service or County Records Office/Museum.

    Some crash sites are registered on the Historic Environment Record with County Archaeologists too, where official documented information has been supplied by families / researchers.

    Matt's suggestion, regarding the AHB should have the 'Casualty file' (but not the Accident file) with the Casualty Signal/s and limited correspondence and although they won't usually photocopy 765c, have in the past given extracted information.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 26th May 2015 at 10:52.

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