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Thread: 40 Squadron crash, 23/24 november 1943

  1. #1
    Micky.38 Guest

    Default 40 Squadron crash, 23/24 november 1943

    Hello, i would know more about a 40 squadron loss, happened on the night on 23/24 november 1943. The plane was a Vickers Wellington who hit a mountain in north italy, the crew was: F/Sgt F.H. Haegi, (pilot), F/O W.A. Eagles, (navigator), Sgt R.S. Colvin, (air gunner), P/O J.C. Harthill (bomb
    aimer), and F/Sgt W.C. Andrews. I would know the target of the night, and any pssible informations on the crash, thanks in advance.

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    Micky,

    The correct date is 24/25 Nov 1943 and the target the Villar Perosa ball bearing factory at Turin. The aircraft crashed into mountains near Genoa in severe weather.

    Source: David Gunby's excellent history of 40 Sqn, RAF - 'Sweeping the Skies'.

    2 other 40 Sqn Wellingtons were also lost. In all, 17 of the 76 205 Group Wellingtons despatched were lost on this disasterous raid. Gunby devotes pages 243-245 to the night's events.

    Errol

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    Default For Errol

    What was the serial number of F/Sgt Haegi's Wellington ?
    Were the other two Wellingtons of 40 Sqn lost DF734 and HZ473 ?
    Thanks and regards,
    Henk.

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    Henk,

    Haegi's Wellington was HZ552/M.

    The others from 40 Sqn were DF734/G (see also p166 of Vol Two of 'For Your Tomorrow') and HE487/M captained by Plt Off T J Gosling, DFM.

    Errol

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    Thanks Errol. HZ552 and HE487 both coded 'M' ?
    Regards,
    Henk.

  6. #6
    Micky.38 Guest

    Default Many thanks!!

    Thanks guys, the Pontremoli's local autorityes will build a monument in Bratto to remember these proud aviators!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Henk Welting View Post
    Thanks Errol. HZ552 and HE487 both coded 'M' ?
    Regards,
    Henk.
    Henk,

    Both M in the book but checking now with the author. Will advise response in due course.

    Errol

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    Henk,

    David tells me that HE487, Gosling's aircraft, actually wore code letter H.

    Errol

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    Thanks Errol (and David) for this quick reply. Will amend my files.
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Default 40 Squadron crash, 23/24 november 1943

    I read with much interest the threads regarding this crash - I am the granson of the group of villagers who retrieved the remains of the crew on that awfull night, there are many stories and none were particularly nice - but one crew member was intact, presumably jumped before impact but parachute didnot deploy. If anyone is interested, i have pics of a piece of wreckage (6mm steel fin of some sort, large piece), a photo of the new memorial that has been restored and erected where the crew were initially buried and a raft of accounts of what happened - i have ordered the pages of the book referred to that concern the crash along with records from the national archives and RAF hendon museum - bad weather is the reference but I have the acounts of several witnesses that differ from this. I so wanted to source a picture of the brave young men that lost their lives that night - if anyone could help here I would be much obliged. Drop me an email p.pini@ntlworld.com if you want anything that I have on this. I have tried to look up the relatives of the crew with no success either.
    Thanks
    Paul

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