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Thread: Bomber crashlanding on Ouessant (Ushant)

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    Default Bomber crashlanding on Ouessant (Ushant)

    Hello dear friends,
    Am not sure if I did or not previously post the following
    According to an account I took by phone, following the reading of the French book "Ouessant dans la guerre" (Ushant in the war) from Louis Le Guen, a bomber crash-landed on the north coast of Ouessant island (Ushant, north west of Brest) around mid March 1942 This aircraft was attacked by two fighters, whose at least one, would have been shot down by his own Flak, and crashed near the Stiff point. The second would also have, as the bomber, crash-landed on the island, but not far from the Stiff light house.
    This twin engined bomber (the author wrote it was a Wellington) tried to land with its undercarridge down, but it bounced, leaving it behind. The crew would have got out of it, running to the island north coast. One mentioned a crew of seven, as another a Canadian crew… (but that’s so usual to hear about Canadian crew as well as Canadian aircraft). The crew fired the first German soldiers who arrived there, but soon surrended.
    Only one suffered from a wounded arm, and was later tended at the nearest farm. In the afternoon, a German boat came and take them at the Lampaul harbour, where a great part of the population came and waving friendly hand signs or shaking their hanky.
    If the period is correct, it should be possible to find this only aircraft that crashed on the island, and not near, as so many others, with a safe crew all POW.
    Some Luftwaffe specialists unfortunately were unable to find these two fighters losses
    Thanks in advance
    Gildas

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    Gildas,

    Crash may have been on 15 March 1942. Following website

    www.absa39-45.asso.fr/Pertes%20Bretagne/Finistere/pertes_raf_finistere.html

    gives two Me-109s losses near Ouessant on that date.


    Regards,

    Leendert
    Brugge/Belgium

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    Default Bomber crashlanding on Ouessant (Ushant)

    Thanks a lot Leendert, but as I'm one of those who provided this info for the losses on the Finistere, and I'm afraid this is one of the mistakes we still have to correct.
    Moreover that the book author gave this date even if the witnesses he met told him around mid march 1942 and not on 15 march 1942, as they told me when I called them.
    I really hope to learn more one day.
    Dan was trying to gather several local historian researches to complete what they already had for Cotes d'Armor and Ille et Vilaine on ABSA 39-45 association. Finistère and Morbihan are new, and have still to be corrected.

    Thanks again
    Regards
    Gildas

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    Gildas,

    Have done some googling, but found no bomber crash somewhere in March 1942 on Ouessant (yet).

    Remarkably however, JG2 lost two Bf-109s on 26 March 1942, one of which (Wnr. 7203) was shot down by own Flak. Unknown pilot could bale out.
    The other one (Wnr. 13015) was lost due to enemy fighters/aircraft. Pilot Uffz. Heinz Jahnke was killed.
    But there's one big problem: above losses were near Le Havre, quite a distance from Ouessant.....

    That day 24 Bostons attacked Le Havre, one of which was shot down by Flak and two others crashed back in England due to Flak damages.

    Regards,

    Leendert

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    Thanks again leendert,

    You're right, I think this is much too far from the island. I now suppose the period may be wrong, but the witnesses mentioned this happened not far from a wedding, so wondered if this couldn't be something like a ferry flight, or meteo one, that wouldn't appear in any bomber command losses serie. Strange nobody has any good match for this one.

    Regards
    Gildas

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    If the date is wrong how about 4th Feb 1942 about 09:55 hrs?

    Regards
    Ross

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    Thanks Ross. Apart some Luftwaffe losses on Guipavas and Morlaix, I have nothing at all on this particular date. May you please share more about this loss ? Is it known as being "near" or "on" the island ? If it is "on", it's probably this one, as it's the only one.
    The time could be good as this did happen in the morning according to the book.

    Also, it this may be of some interest to you to know that the body of Sgt Gosden, his foot stuck to a dinghy, was found by a French fisherman off Ushant. He was given a local burial with full military honours by German soldiers. All the islanders attended the ceremony and placed flowers on the grave. Much probably Sgt GOSDEN Anthony RAFVR 916773 (Obs) on board Beaufort L9859 or L9851 lost on 18/06/1941, today buried row 1. G. 16 at Pornic War Cemetery. The author thought he was Canadian, but according to the War graves Commission, he was not…
    A B-17 crew was also brought to the island, and a Mosquito may havre crashed very close to the island.

    Regards
    Gildas

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    Hi Gildas,

    I was considering your crash for this loss on 04/02/42

    At 00:38 hrs Whitley V, P5050, No.502 Sqn, YG-M took off for a Stopper Patrol from RAF St Eval.

    Crew was
    S/L N S F Davie
    Sgt B C Gillespie RAAF
    Sgt M F Sikal RCAF
    Sgt T R Calder
    Sgt G S Harris
    Sgt J F Barnes

    Missing from patrol off Ushant. Several w/t messages were passed between 08:15 hrs and 08:38 hrs before the Whitley was possibly shot down by Fw H Baudach of 1./JG 2 at 09:55 hrs. All the crew are listed as PoW.

    A Stopper Patrol was a patrol during darkness off Brest.
    48 35N 05 25W
    48 03N 05 23W
    47 43N 04 40W

    Modified Stopper Patrol was
    48 25N 05 25W
    47 52N 05 25W
    47 17N 04 38W

    There were two Mosquito losses into the sea off Ushant in 1944
    21/07/44
    248 Sqn
    HP973

    Hit by return fire from He177 and caught fire. Crashed into the sea off Ushant.

    10/06/44
    248 Sqn
    HR117

    Hit by flak from R boat and crashed into the sea off Ushant.

    L9851 crashed 24/12/40 on solo flying training at Denzel Downs, UK.

    Gosden was the pilot of L9859.

    Regards
    Ross

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    Hi Ross,

    What makes me think it may be the good one is the time, and moreover a complete crew POW for a crash « off Brest ». I found on Avions magazine « hors série n°21 » (by Pierre Watteuw, in the serie « Les pertes de la chasse de jour allemande en France (German day fighters losses) 1939-1945» the following for the date you gave :
    « Wednesday 4 Febr 1942 :Bf 109 E-7 (6496) 80 % damaged. Unit 1./JG2. Fw Helmut Baudach craslands after combat with a Whitley. Near Brest ».
    This also may be correct, as one of the two fighters did crashlanded on the island, with the pilot safe. But no record of the second pilot who crashed in the sea east of the island…

    So, this may be possible, but how to prove it. I may post a new querry in the case a member would have the POW report of one of this crew, This may answer the question where they fell, and say which one was lightly wounded.

    I enclose a link to a Whitley picture that appeared in a book whose author is feeling very bad today, and can’t be contacted. It’s legend is « N° YG 502 Sqn Armstrong Whitley crashed near Brest » source ECPA. Someone maybe can at least identify this Whitley as a Mk V. it may be the only 502 Sqn Whitley lost near Brest, the others I know not being from the same squadron.

    http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l229/Gildas4044/Whitley-502-Sqn.jpg


    I’ll have to send a copy of this picture to my contact on the island, hoping there are still some witnesses alive… But on the 3 views drawings I have found of Whitleys, there are not so many antenna masts over the fuselage.

    About 10/06/44 248 Sqn Mosquito HR117, Hit by flak from R boat and crashed into the sea off Ushant, I have the copy of a letter written to Ouessant from someone who asked one of his friends to make a monument « in memory of the two airmen from the british aircraft that fell into the sea at Kenzy on June 10 1944. This place is not far from the island, not really « off », but 3 km to the north/north west of Lampaul (the main harbour), and some 400 meters from the little island of « Keller », just north of Ouessant, very close.

    The R boat would have had on board the survivors of U-821, following the attack of two Tsetse and four FB Mk VI. The submarine would have been later sunk by 206 Sqn Liberator EV943 (from a copy of a french book whose author may have used Mosquito Bomber/Fighter-Bomber Units 1942-45)

    I enclose also a copy of Ouessant death register for Gosden.
    http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l229/Gildas4044/Gosden-registre-dcs-24.jpg


    Thanks and Regards
    Gildas

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    Hi Ross,

    I called today one of the witnesses I’ll send a letter to on Monday, with Whitley drawings and pictures, and can already confirm this bomber had a grey colour. One girl who got in it said the seats were red. Was this usual in some particular aircraft ?
    This man is going to show the Whitley picture from the book « Les bombardements de Brest » from Frédérick Jacquin (This author, at the time he wrote the book, belonged to Brest bomb disposal) to the last few others witnesses he know. Am of course impatient to hear more from them and willof coure let you know about it.

    Regards
    Gildas

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