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Thread: Short Stirling III EF246 - 1660 HCU 29/1/44

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    Default Short Stirling III EF246 - 1660 HCU 29/1/44

    Hello everyone,

    Would anyone be able to help with further information regarding the loss of Stirling EF246 on 29th January 1944 or any of the crew?

    I have the entry from Bomber Command Losses and also the crew list.

    The crew consisted of:

    F/O J M Greig DFC
    P/O V F Dickinson
    Sgt A Spence
    Sgt G J Williams
    F/O E P Neary
    Sgt D L Helsby
    F/S J P Hayden RAAF.

    Also are there any photographs of this aircraft available?

    Thanks in advance,
    TEC

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    TEC

    According to Michael Bowyer's book "The Stirling Story" EF246 would appear to only have had a short flying career. The book indicates it was on charge 23MU on 17/11/43 after which it was transferred to 623 Squadron on 29/11/43 and then to 1660 CU on 13/12/43. Interestingly, he has the aircraft EFA (write off due to non-operational flying accident) on 10/1/44 although publications such as Bryce Gomersall's "The Stirling File" indicated the loss as 29/1/44.

    Due to its short career, I would think this may mean any photographs of the aircraft are unlikely. Then again, you never know.

    Douglas

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    TEC,

    Alan Storr provides the following summary on the loss of EF246:

    Stirling EF246, of 1660 Conversion Flight RAF, took off from RAF Swinderby at 2019 hours on 29 January 1944, on a night searchlight co-operation exercise. Shortly after 2200 hours, EF246 came into the Hull area flying on a course due south flying at 15,000 feet, and was illuminated by about 20 searchlights. The aircraft commenced violent evasive action, turning north, and diving appeared to be in distress with smoke coming from one side of the aircraft.

    All searchlights were doused at 8/9000 feet. The aircraft continued diving with smoke and flames pouring from one engine. The aircraft dived straight into the Humber River at 2203 hours.

    See: Storr: Vol.17 Airmen. A-K. Missing. NKG. (p.366 of 479).

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 1st August 2010 at 04:21.

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    TEC,
    Chorley in his vol. 8 page 86 has eight casualties. Also named Sgt S. Walker (who may have been Stanley WALKER - 658405).

    Henk.

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    Douglas, Col and Henk,

    Thank you all for your replies. You have helped me to start to piece together this event.

    F/O Greig had obviously been operational before, do you think P/O Dickinson and F/O Neary had been on ops before?

    Many thanks,
    TEC

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    Default Re: Short Stirling III EF246 - 1660 HCU 29/1/44

    Quote Originally Posted by Theletterwriter View Post
    TEC

    According to Michael Bowyer's book "The Stirling Story" EF246 would appear to only have had a short flying career. The book indicates it was on charge 23MU on 17/11/43 after which it was transferred to 623 Squadron on 29/11/43 and then to 1660 CU on 13/12/43. Interestingly, he has the aircraft EFA (write off due to non-operational flying accident) on 10/1/44 although publications such as Bryce Gomersall's "The Stirling File" indicated the loss as 29/1/44.

    Due to its short career, I would think this may mean any photographs of the aircraft are unlikely. Then again, you never know.

    Douglas
    My Uncle, Derek Leonard Helsby died on this flight, fortunately for the family his body was recovered as I understand some were not…thank for all the information still available about this last flight..I have been researching for my nephew in Canada.

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    Default Re: Short Stirling III EF246 - 1660 HCU 29/1/44

    Short Stirling Mk III EF246

    Hercules VI
    Built by Short & Harland Ltd
    Contract No 774677/38

    Date TOC Unit Operations/Incidents Code Load Release In air

    15 11 43 23 MU
    25 11 43 623 Sqn
    25 11 43 1660 CU
    ?28 29 1 44 On Bullseye and searchlight :C ..../2200
    co-operation exercise;
    and dived into River Humber, nr
    North Killingholme, Yks, out of
    control after violent evasive
    action in friendly searchlights
    133050 F/O JM Greig DFC Screen P k b Streatham Park
    170952 P/O VF Dickinson P RM211
    651579 F/S GJ Williams N RM223
    139724 F/O EP Neary AB RM208
    658405 Sgt S Walker WOp k c Newcastle(West Road)
    2209214 Sgt DL Helsby MU k b Sale
    A429560 F/S JP Hayden RG RM260
    1670414 Sgt A Spence FE k c Manchester

    29 1 Cat E/FA
    5 2 44 SOC
    Total flying hours: 79h

    Engine Nos (29 1 44) .....381459 347586 381707 381677

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    Default Re: Short Stirling III EF246 - 1660 HCU 29/1/44

    The Stirling actually came down on the south bank of the Humber very close to Killingholme lighthouse. For years a local fisherman would tie his boat up to an undercarriage oleo that was protruding from the mud. This, one engine and a large portion of one of the flaps was recovered from a nearby overgrown railway embankment in the 1970s by the embryo Humberside Aircraft preservation Society. The engine was stolen overnight by Gypsys before it could be transported but the remainder was put on display at the Bomber County Aviation Museum in Cleethorpes later moving to Hemswell. The Museum eventually closed and some of the exhibits went to Aeroventure at Doncaster. I believe the Oleo log is now at that location. I might be wrong but I think the flap was scrapped

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