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Thread: 36 Sqn Wellington Crash Chivenor 26Dec1944

  1. #1
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    Default 36 Sqn Wellington Crash Chivenor 26Dec1944

    Hi All,

    F/Sgt (Nav/B) Frederick Eric Mingay is buried in the churchyard of his home village of Lingwood in Norfolk. I have established, via the squadron ORB and CWG certificate, that he was killed along with F/O Perrin (2nd Pilot) and Sgt Cox (W/Op) in the crash, shortly after take-off, of a 36 Sqn Wellington MkXIV at Chivenor in the early hours of 26/12/44. The pilot F/O Smith and radar operator Sgt Quaife survived but were both badly burned. The tail gunner Sgt Haddock was uninjured.

    Unfortunately the 36 Sqn ORB gives no details of the aircraft's identity or the circumstances of the accident other than it occurred shortly after take-off.

    Edit : Having done a trawl of Air Britain serials I now think the aircraft was HF278 (N)

    If anyone can confirm the aircraft identity or provide any further details of the accident I would be most grateful. I have not found any mention of the crew involved in this incident throughout December 1944 in the 36 Sqn ORB so I am wondering if they may have been new to the squadron. Any info about the crew's previous history - particularly that of F/Sgt Mingay would also be much appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    John
    Last edited by norfolkjohn; 3rd November 2016 at 22:32. Reason: Updated with pos A/C serial No

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    John,

    HF278 is the serial No I have for this incident. The a/c crashed at Way Barton Farm, St Giles in the Wood, Great Torrington.

    Regards

    DaveW

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    Thanks for the S/N confirmation and crash location Dave.

    Much appreciated,

    J.

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    I have been speaking today to the landowner and will visit the crash site later in the week. There is a memorial there too but unusually far from any road

    Wreckage from the aircraft is on display in the Davidstow Moor museum that I visited last week

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    Hello,

    Here is the pilot of 36 Sqn Wellington HF278:

    https://www.eastgrinsteadmuseum.org....ampbell-smith/

    Col.

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    Thanks, see he only died 2 years ago

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    Been to crash site this evening, commemorated by the planting of a tree. Shown there by owner of the land. There is a memorial too though hidden away

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    John Campbell Smith J23702 - East Grinstead Museum

    John Campbell Smith - As For the Canadians' By Rita Donovan, pp. 191-195.

    Alan „Jack“ Smith - The Reconstruction of Warriors: Archibald McIndoe, the Royal Air Force and the Guinea Pig Club by E. R. Mayhew, pp. 146-7

    John Campbell „Jack“ Smith - McIndoe's Army' by E. Bishop, pp. 101-103

    Canada Gazette: F/O John Smith, RCAF, (J23702)

    Why Campbell?

    Rest of the crew:
    F/O Stephen Edward Perrin, (2nd pilot), RAF, (137390)
    F/Sgt Frederick Eric Mingay, (Nav/B), RAF, 1395994
    Sgt Ian Martin Quaife, (Rad/op), RAF, 1644947
    Sgt Donald Arthur Cox (W/Op), RAF, 1817720
    Sgt Haddock (tail gunner)

    Mojmir

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    Hi Forumites
    I have Sgt Haddock's logbook and confirm that they were flying in HF278.
    Also, he wrote in his logbook details of the accident on the 26th December, 1944:
    "9th operation. Shipping strike. Aircraft developed trimmer-box
    trouble and starboard engine failure.
    Got out of control, and crashed into
    Way-Moors Wood, N Devon. Caught
    fire and blew up. Escaped with minor injuries. Co-pilot,
    Navigator and radar Operator killed.
    Captain and W/Op severely injured. Flight time .15 mins

    Although a late reply, I hope this is interesting
    Andy wis

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    I have sent you message Andy wis

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