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Thread: F/O Gerrald Campbell Liggett - crashed near the Cat and Fiddle

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    Default F/O Gerrald Campbell Liggett - crashed near the Cat and Fiddle

    F/O Gerrald Campbell Liggett, J/35331 RCAF, was killed on 12 March 1944 when his Oxford LZ745 crashed near the Cat and Fiddle, Buxton, Derbyshire. Seeing that this is quite the well known pub (which, in fact, I think I visited many years ago), does anyone know about the crash or any local stories that might have appeared in the newspapers?

    He was apparently flying a night cross-country exercise with No. 11 OTU when he went down. Can someone confirm that he left from RAF Westcott and what the a/c code letter was, KH-?

    Thanks
    Last edited by dfuller52; 22nd January 2009 at 21:00. Reason: correction on code letter
    David

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    This aircraft was with No 11 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit when it crashed. 11 (P) AFU's base was Calveley with satellite Wrexham. Someone here may know which it was flying from. There were a number of crashes in the Cat and Fiddle area.

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    Thanks Dave. I have also just double-checked the s/n with UK Serials, and they have it as a Proctor III, not an Oxford. What does your record say?
    David

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    hello,

    It actually should read LX745. According to the Oxford, Consul & Envoy File (Air-Britain), LX745 was posted to No. 11 (P)AFU on 6 November 1943. Flew into Shining Tor, near Buxton, Derbyshire, while on night navex, 12 March 1944.
    Navex is Navigation Exercise.
    Hope this helps

    Joss

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    Sorry, I didn't notice that you had it as LZ745! I was well aware that it was actually LX745 so that's probably why I didn't pick up the error.

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    Thanks Joss and Dave, more new facts to work with until I get his service file.

    I realized afterwards that it must have been the s/n that was wrong because the unit was flying Oxfords and not Proctors.
    David

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    The aircraft was flying from Calveley and flew into high ground in cloud, see the page on my site, www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/pages/peakdistrict/peakdistrictlx745.htm for more information.
    Last edited by alclark; 23rd January 2009 at 03:15.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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    Thanks Alan, great stuff - and a good reminder to brush up on my UK geography and check more of the crashes on my list against yours. One question though. Your info has him with No. 17 school, should that be 11?
    Last edited by dfuller52; 23rd January 2009 at 07:43.
    David

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    Yes it should be 11 (No.17 were one of the other local units that lost a/c to the hills), I have the AM Form 1180 and enty from the ORB both confirm 11 (P)AFU.

    Here is the entry from the 11 (P)AFU ORB.

    March 12th 1944, “Nr Buxton Derbyshire, Map Ref K4793” “Fatal Night Flying Accident, Oxford I LX745, this aircraft was engaged on a nightflying cross country exercise Calveley / Wrexham / Lichfield / Calveley, and nothing further was heard at base after the aircraft had been given a bearing when in the vicinity of Wrexham. Later another aircraft engaged on the same exercise heard LX745 trying to contact Calveley by W.T. in the vicinity of Lichfield. Nothing further was heard or known of this aircraft until it was discovered in moorland country on 17.3.44. The aircraft was totally wrecked and the occupants F/O C.S.G. Wood, Instructor, P/O G.C. Liggett, RCAF, AFU pilot and 1338841 Sgt Hall J. W/Op had all been killed instantly. An investigation was called for.”

    March 17th 1944, Squadron Leader D.G. Allison of Headquarters No.21 Group this day commenced an investigation into the fatal night flying accident which took place on 12.3.44. The findings and recommendations if of interest will be included in Form 540 for April 1944.”
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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    I have just plotted the intended route and the crash site on a google map. They were quite a ways off course and probably didn't expect to encounter mountains since, by their wrong reckoning they probably thought they were almost home to Calveley. I assume this happened often.

    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&ie=UTF8&t=h&msa=0&ll= 53.199452,-2.224731&spn=1.559771,2.719116&z=8&msid=1086406577 12108066962.000461280c21695ed5eb2

    Alan, can you help pinpoint the crash site more precisely? Do you have the take-off time?
    David

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