Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Wellington LP981

  1. #1
    Jill Guest

    Default Wellington LP981

    I'm trying to find out more about the crash of the above aircraft in April 1945 at Fleetwood.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Zelhem, Netherlands.
    Posts
    6,313
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Wing hit water in turn; crashed off Fleetweed. Pilot (Polish) and 3 airmen killed; 1 airman still missing; 2 airmen rescued but injured.

  3. #3
    Jill Guest

    Default

    My father was one of the 2 survivors from this plane crash so we have some information about it including his own account in his memoires and a letter from the other survivor. Would you be interested in their accounts of the crash?
    A couple of things I would like to know is the name of the pilot, and is it possible to find out the exact place it came down as I have a reference to it being off Fleetwood. Can anyone help please.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bewdley, UK
    Posts
    2,700
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Hi Jill,

    From the RNLI Records of Service 1939-46

    APRIL 13TH. - FLEETWOOD, LANCASHIRE.
    At 10.50 in the morning a Wellington bomber crashed in the sea a mile northwest of the life-boat station. The southerly breeze was light, the sea calm. As the coxswain and crew of the life-boat were not within easy reach, the motor-mechanic, to save time, gathered a scratch crew consisting of an able seaman of the Royal Naval Reserve, two corporals of the United States Army, and a civilian visitor, and the life-boat was launched at 11.10. Ten minutes later she reached the aeroplane, but a fishing boat, going to sea, was there before her, and had rescued three airmen, one of whom died later. Four airmen were missing and the life-boat searched for them, but found no one. She returned to her station at noon. In the early evening, when the tide was out, the four missing men were found in the aeroplane, dead. - Rewards, 5 5s. 6d.

    Regards
    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

  5. #5
    Jill Guest

    Default

    Thanks Ross for this very helpful information. Do you know where the lifeboat station was at that time?
    Last edited by Jill; 10th August 2008 at 15:37.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kirkeby
    Posts
    441
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts

    Default Wellington LP981

    Hello Jill,

    I have found a photo of the aircraft in a leaflet.

    Military Aircraft Crash sites - 2002 by English Heritage.

    On page 12 of this PDF leaflet, you will find a photo of the wreckage of Wellington LP981.

    link:

    http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/upload/pdf/Mil_Air_C_Sites.pdf

    Regards

    Finn Buch

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Dublin
    Posts
    4,421
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 22 Times in 22 Posts

    Default Google books saerch

    Doing a Google Book search for Wellignton "LP 981"

    returns the following Polish airmans name:

    P-782840 Leon Trzebiatowski Born 22 Oct 1919

    Was this aircraft with 10 AGS at the time of the crash?

    The book is
    Księga lotników polskich, poległych, zmarłych i zaginionych, 1939-1946: poległych, zmarłych i zaginionych 1939-1946
    By Olgierd Cumft, Hubert Kazimierz Kujawa

    Perhaps if Franek Grabowski sees this he can give us better details, my ability to translate Polish is nil I'm afraid.

    Jill, would you mind listing the crew members names as you know them? Especially your fathers full name and that of the other survivor.

    Henk, you must have previously posted these names, can't find the posting, it might be on the old Forum.
    W/O (Wop/Ag Instr.) Harold HARRIS - 1314386
    Sgt (Wop) Michael F. BRENNAN - 1824294
    Sgt (Wop) Norman R. DRAKE - 1594311
    Sgt Ronald W. McMILLAN - 2209933
    and two seriously injured:
    Sgt Edward BEDELL
    Sgt Robert BEMBRIDGE

    http://ww2chat.com/forums/war-air/360-military-aircraft-crash-sites.html

    regards

    Dennis
    Last edited by dennis_burke; 11th August 2008 at 12:14. Reason: Correction
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,638
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    I mentioned this aircraft on another forum and stated that Henk had provided the crew list on an old rafcommands thread.

    http://ww2chat.com/forums/war-air/360-military-aircraft-crash-sites.html

    But I can't find the old rafcommands thread.

    A

    EDIT: Dennis beat me to it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Zelhem, Netherlands.
    Posts
    6,313
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Indeed Dennis, the unit was 10 AGS. F/Sgt Leon TRZEBIATOWSKI - 782840 indeed was the pilot; his death is registered at Fylde.
    Regards,
    Henk.

  10. #10
    Jill Guest

    Default

    Thanks to all for this fascinating insight to my Dad's crash.

    Dennis, I only know the 2 survivors names, they are Robert Alan Bembridge 2221770 (my Dad) and 'Ted' Bedell.

    I will let my Dad tell you what he remembers of the crash with an extract from his memoires.
    0n the morning of Friday, 13th April, 1945, I was part of such a mission, and was sitting in what would have been the Wireless Operator's seat having completed my part of the exercise. It used to get quite warm inside the fuselage and I may have dozed off as a result. Whatever happened beforehand, I woke to realise that the fuselage was filling up with water and it reminded me of some horror film. I saw daylight coming from what appeared to be a hole in the top of the fuselage, so I clambered out of this and fell into the sea outside! We had crashed into the sea within sight of Fleetwood. I learned many years later that there had been a malfunctioning of the controls and that the aircraft had turned over and landed upside-down.
    I now noticed a colleague floating in the sea, but not trying to swim, and I swam to him and tried to take him in tow. This however, proved too difficult and I had to let go. I do not know whether he was alive or dead. As I swam, I noticed that the rubber dinghy from the aircraft (a yellow colour) was inflated and was floating on the sea some distance away. I struck out in its direction, as it seemed a safe haven. Whilst travelling along using my breast stroke/side stroke, I noticed people had gathered on the beach at Fleetwood. They looked quite small but recognisable as people. At some stage in this swim my fur-lined flying boots slipped off my feet, and were lost to me forever.
    Eventually, I reached the dinghy and now had to raise myself into it. It was quite a struggle to do this but I finally made it and then lay exhausted in the bottom of the dinghy. I don't know how long I lay there, but the next thing that happened was that a small fishing boat came alongside and took me aboard. I later learned that the boat was called 'White Heather'.The boat took me into Fleetwood harbour and from there I was taken to the civilian hospital of the town. It was here that I met up with my RAF colleague, Ted Bedell, who was a trainee like me. I later learned from him that he had been rescued by a Canadian RAF man and a local fisherman, who had swum out to him. The Canadian was on a day out visiting Blackpool and Fleetwood. Ted and I were to discover that we were the sole survivors of the accident. Pilot, instructor and three other trainees perished on that fateful Friday the 13th!
    My Dad was not badly injured and was only in hospital for a short time.

    I also have a couple of letters that Ted wrote to Dad some years after the crash. Ted says he was sitting in the drop down seat used by the second pilot and remembered there was a malfunction of the controls. He also says no one ever asked him about the cause of the crash but his letter has no more details other than he was badly injured and these injuries were with him throughout his life.
    Last edited by Jill; 11th August 2008 at 19:50. Reason: missed out Dad's service number

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •