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Thread: Crashed Lancaster near Mildenhall

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    Default Crashed Lancaster near Mildenhall

    Hi, can anyone help ? I'm currently working on a project around Mildenhall in Suffolk which is accounting for the loss of crews to 149 Squadron. During this research I discovered a Stirling crashed in the village of Holywell Row, which is not far from where I live on the evening of the 10/11th March, 1942. There is no memorial to them so I want to try and find out exactly where the aircraft came down, can anyone help ?

    Regards

    Nineonine

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    Bill Chorley’s book Bomber Command Losses 1942 identifies the loss as Stirling Mk. 1 R9295 OJ-G “East India III” which was returning from operations to Essen. Bill Chorley records the following : -

    T/O 20.00 Mildenhall. Overshot on return to base and crashed at 01.30 into trees at Holywell Row, Mildenhall. S/L Coleman, a New Zealander, who had joined the university Air Squadron while reading law at Cambridge in 1936, was a bomber pilot of considerable experience and had been the first New Zealand born airman to gain a Bar to his Distinguished Flying Cross.

    Strong by Night by John Johnston and Nick Carter also adds F/O CL Pilkington was at the controls of the aircraft which was damaged by enemy action. Unable to lower the undercarriage due to battle damage, he was forced to make a belly landing on return. Unfortunately, he overshot and hit the trees at Holywell Row in Mildenhall resulting in seven of the crew being killed and one injured.

    Bomber Command Losses 1942 records the following personnel : -

    F/O CL Pilkington : Pilot (killed)
    S/L LW Coleman DFC & Bar : Pilot (killed)
    Sgt. RA Shea : Flight Engineer (killed)
    Sgt. DA Graham : Observer / Navigator (killed)
    Sgt. J. Millichip : Air Bomber (killed)
    Sgt. L Kowalski RCAF : Wireless Operator (killed)
    Sgt. Harris : Air Gunner (injured)
    Sgt. H. Skelton : Air Gunner (killed)

    Regards

    Douglas

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    Hi Douglas,
    many thanks for replying to my thread and great information. If I wanted to find out more as in a crash report for example, any idea where I could find this info ?

    Again, many thanks.

    Andy

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    Andy,

    if you would email me at errol.martyn ATT xtra.co.nz I shall be happy to send you a copy of a letter from Coleman's file held here in New Zealand and which gives a summary of the crash circumstances.

    Errol

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