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Thread: Blenheim Crash 1940 in Andover

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    Default Blenheim Crash 1940 in Andover

    Hi, can anybody help me with this Blenheim. It crashed on a chicken farm (near to Rooksbury road) on the outskirts of Andover in the summer of 1940 (I believe). It had possibly taken off from RAF Andover in formation with other Blenheims when its tail fell off. The home guard who guarded the crash site said it had been crewed by Australians and New Zealanders. I know its not much to go on, but I have an eyewitness account and would like to know more details. Many thanks

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    Hi Andy
    It would be useful if you can find a way to tie down the date and possibly the Unit . The accident may be in Warner's "Blenheim" in one of the Appendices but without a date and a clue as to the type of Flight involved it would be a difficult search.
    Regards
    Dick

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    Default Blenheim Crash - Andover - Summer 1940

    Hi Andy,

    In response to your question I offer brief details of seven Blenheim crashes in that period involving aircraft of 2 School of Army Co-Operation, the main user of Blenheims at Andover.

    03/05/40 - L9297 - Mk IV - Engine failed on take-off, it stalled and spun in. Crew killed.

    31/05/40 - L1296 - Mk I - Crashed on take-off.

    06/07/40 - N3555 - Mk IV - Hit trees on night take-off, killing the crew.

    18/07/40 - N3566 - Mk IV - Engine cut on take-off, swung and hit hedge.

    06/08/40 - L4853 - Mk IV - Lost height on a night take-off and hit the ground. 1 killed, 2 injured.

    04/09/40 - L9022 - Mk IV - Undershot a night landing and hit a tree. 1 injured.

    10/09/40 - K7073 - Mk I - Engine cut on overshoot and crashed. 1 injured.

    I hope these brief details might get you a bit further and I would be very interested in seeing a copy of the eye-witness account if you can manage it.

    All the best,

    L9172

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    Andy,

    From my trilogy 'For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 (Volume Two: Fates 1915-1942':

    Not a 1940 event but a slight possibility it might be the one refered to? Is Rooksbury road anywhere near Clatford?

    Thu 8 Oct 1942
    Army Co-operation Command
    Dual instruction
    42 Operational Training Unit, RAF (Andover, Hampshire - 70 Group)
    Blenheim I L1140 - piloted by Fg Off J E F Griffin, RAF, crashed at 1607 near Clatford, about 2 miles south of Andover, when part of the tailplane detached, possibly while carrying out a rolling dive. The two crew are buried at Andover.
    2nd Pilot: NZ413095 Fg Off Thomas James Albert LONG, RNZAF - Age 23. 351hrs.

    Warner (1st ed) adds 'lost tailplane during roll, struck by detached engine cowling, and dived into ground.

    Errol

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    Errol.

    That seems to fit, although the 2 miles south of Andover is a bit odd. Rooksbury Road is about 1.5 km southwest of Andover town centre, and 2 km east-southeast of Andover airfield. There are a couple of Clatfords just south of Andover, but no Rooksbury road goes through them (at least not on my map).

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 1st November 2009 at 22:39. Reason: spelling

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    Rooksbury Road is within about 600 metres of Upper Clatford (according to google maps)and considering that Andy's farm was 'near Rooksbury Road' then it would have to be one heck of a coincidence not to be the same crash!

    Cheers,

    Tom

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    Hi everyone, I am always amazed at the information this forum brings. Errol, it looks like you are spot on with L1140. Rooksbury road would have been on the outskirts of Andover back then. It is so close to the village of Upper Clatford. Today a footpath links the town and village and this can be walked in a few minutes. I will go and look for the graves this coming weekend in Andover cemetry (as this is where I live).
    L9172 the story I have is that some children were playing when they saw several Blenheims coming over. Suddenly the tail of one flew off and it crashed not far from where they were. It was then guarded by the Home Guard who said it was crewed by New Zealanders and Australians. Although I was told it happened in 1940, it now appears to be 1942, which considering it was 67 years ago, and the fact many aircraft were falling out the sky in and around Andover at the time, can be forgiven. Thanks also for the other Blenheim info.
    Cheers Dick,Tom and Brian

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    Thank you for those few details AndyR, every little helps.

    L9172

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