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Thread: Whitley BD233 3(C) O.T.U. lost 19.08.42

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    Default Whitley BD233 3(C) O.T.U. lost 19.08.42

    Finally, after many years, I am starting to get my records of aircraft crashes in Northumberland in some sort of order. As part of this process I am cross referencing my notes with official documents.

    Derek Walton's Northumberland Aviation Diary mentions that Whitley BD233 crashed south of the Long Nanny Burn in the sand dunes forming part of Beadnell Bay south of Beadnell village and broke up over a wide area.

    Two of the official documents I have come across so far in my collection seem to indicate that the crash occurred further north near Holy Island, one confirming that the aircraft was beached at low tide 100 yards off the north shore of the island.

    Can anyone confirm this?
    Jim Corbett

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    Hi Jim,

    Air Britain Whitley File says "crashed into sea near Holy Island" which I thought maybe wasn't of much use, but on looking further I see the two places you mention are over 10 miles apart so maybe of interest.

    regards Peter

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    Jim

    Ross provided the undermentioned info. some time ago.

    "Approached Low Newton from the sea. It then turned north towards Beadnell beach, passing low over Links House, crashing just south of Long Nanny burn. As it careered over the dunes and sand it cut a pathway through the rough ground, totally breaking up in the process."

    DaveW

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    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for that.

    That is the same information which appears in Derek Waltons book. I wonder if this refers to another crash and not that of the Whitley. This information appears to suggest that the aircraft crashed on land but the entire crew appear to be missing, which fits with the crash being at sea, albeit possibly just off shore.

    I will investigate further and await further clarification here. Maybe Ross has more information, I do know that he was investigating losses at sea a while back and we communicated on and off about such matters around 10 years ago.

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    Thanks Peter,

    "Crashed into sea near Holy Island" seems to be the consensus within the official documents I have looked at. As you say, the two locations are around 10 miles apart which got me thinking.

    Jim

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    Good morning

    I am researching the death of my Great Uncle (William John Knapp) who was a Sergeant Observer for Coastal Command (OTU 3). Having read the very helpful threads on this site which span some 11 years or so, are we any closer to determining how the Whitley bomber BD233 actually came down on the 19th of August 1942? The main threads appear to be that had a port engine fire then crashed just on land in the sand dunes breaking into pieces but reading the above is this now believed to be less likely and she went down in the water perhaps largely intact? I am writing up the history of William thus I would like to be as accurate as I could be. Some of the threads state they may have hit a ships mast, my family were always told they flew into a Balloon (assumed some kind of Barrage Balloon perhaps?). I would really appreciate any clarification on this or a most likely outcome. It's a sad story, he only married 8 weeks before this event took place. Many thanks for your help.

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    Teletran, welcome to the forum,
    Page 79 of https://digital.nmla.metoffice.gov.u...-f36b71e77d28/ will give you the met chart for the day, and you can also extract the observations made at the official reporting stations on the NE coast.
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Thanks for that Peter, it all helps build up the picture. I see some of the threads imply BD233 was shot at under 'friendly fire' possibly by the ship it is alledged to have struck, the mystery depends...

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    I would just like to bring this together a bit more if I could, the threads indicate BD233 may have crashed either around Long Nanny Burn or near Holy Island, reports saying there is about 10 miles between them. Are we confident there was only one Whitley crash in that area during ww2 or do we think there may have been more? If there was only one then the description of the plane coming in low and creating a path through the sand dunes may be correct but just recorded in the wrong place or are we saying this description cannot now be linked with BD233 as she crashed out at sea. If she did crash out at sea is it believed she still collided with something, ship / balloon, etc. The book by Ross McNeil 'Coastal Command vol 1' goes as far as 1941, it appears vol 2 was never published. Sorry for questions, I very much appreciate your help with this.

    Kind Regards

    Teletran

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    I came across BD233 whilst researching a find I made a few years back. Like you Ive been confused as to the actual crash site which made me wonder if there was another downed Whitley within close proximity or if the report of a crash at Long Nanny was incorrect but I must admit the witness report seemed very compelling. The report of a Whitley crashing into the sea just north of Holy Island would be more in line with where I made my find. I came across a pulley wheel which had a unique AW (Armstrong Whitworth) stamp on it which must almost certainly have come from BD233 as I couldn't finds any crashes within the vicinity of any other AW aircraft.
    I found it on the strand line just north of Holy Island Grid Ref 0745 4403 which is several miles from Long Nanny and I do wonder how it could possibly have drifted so far bearing in mind theres an estuary at Long Nanny and the Holy Island causeway in the way. I guess you would need a marine drift expert to see if this was possible.
    Heres a link to my find research if your interested. https://ww2aircraft.net/forum/thread...-please.50558/

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