Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Dakota KG397

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Bracknell, UK
    Posts
    161
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Dakota KG397

    I'm looking for any pictures of Canadian Dakota KG397. Not sure if there are any taken after the crash on 13th of February 1946. Also if there is someone able to share any photos of the crew: S/Ldr R.G.Joyce - pilot, F/O A.J.Clarke co-pilot, F/Lt R.J.Mitchell - navigator and F/O A.W.Gallop w/op I will much apprieciate it.
    Few bits and pieces need clarification: is there any other description of this accident apart from added below?
    Aircraft was on a passenger run, Buckeburg to Croydon. Forecast was poor and he landed at Manston. After checking weather again he took off at 1055 hours, flying at 2,500 feet between two layers of 6/10 cloud. Approaching Croydon he tried "Gee" homing but could not pick up "V" beams. Overshot the field, turned about and was letting down when he hit a 12-foot hedge on a 700-foot ridge. The aircraft crossed a valley and struck on the other side against a 650-foot hit. Eight persons were killed, 14 seriously injured and two uninjured. At the time he had 1,485 hours of flying including 379 solo hours on Dakotas. Accident ruled to be due to "culpable negligence". No citation to Mention in Despatches

    As 435 Sqn's ORB states:"Court of Inquiry scheduled to convene at 10.30 Feb.14". Is there any chance to get a written report about that and if so, where?
    Also I've found a couple of discrepancies between sources. In most of the documents location of the crash appears as Beech Farm in Warlingham. In 435 Sqn's ORB location was described as ''Warlington''. I don't know this area so I'm not sure if there is a place like Warlington near by. Widow of S.Brzezina, who was sadly killed in that accident, received a letter which stated that Dakota crashed at 11.35. In 435.Sqn's ORB I can see slightly different time: 11.45. Which one is correct? Finally, does anyone know if there is a complete list of passengers and all the victims?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    273
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    I have looked at the report on microfilm at the Library and Archives of Canada and these are some rough notes I made
    Wednesday 13th February 1946
    + KG397 Dakota III (RCAF 435 Squadron) hit high ground on approach to Croydon UK, Beech Farm, 2M SW Warlingham, Surrey. Eight killed, 14 seriously injured, two uninjured. Was Buckeburg to Croydon, stopped Manston to check weather, departed 1055 flying at 2500’ between two layers of 6/10 cloud, approaching Croydon tried Gee homing but unable to pick-up the ‘V’ beams, overshot, turned about and was letting down in a NW direction when hit 12’ hedge on a 700’ ridge, crossed a valley and crashed into a 650’ hill on the other side nearly opposite Beech Farm House near Croydon-Westerham Road (map ref 824762) at 1120.
    J/36345 F/O A.J. Clark (P) killed
    J/6168 S/L R.G. Joyce AFC (P) killed
    J/26015 F/L R.J. Mitchell (NAV) survived
    J/85422 F/O A.W. Gallup (WOP) survived
    - Mr John Brittain British civilian killed
    2205894 LAC G.A Doxey RAFVR killed
    2216688 LAC D. Palmer RAF VR killed
    2113226 Driver D.I.Glover Royal Engineers killed
    131810 Maj Wheeler British Army seriously injured
    296381 Cpt Braithwaite British Army seriously injured
    643945 F/S A. Roberts RAF seriously injured
    76623 W/C Brodzicki RAF (Polish) killed (unable to trace)
    13379 Maj Gen ChiltonBritish Army slightly injured
    81811(?) Maj Howarth British Army slightly injured
    T/170118 Sgt Gerard British Army uninjured
    5340541 Sgt Jakubowicz British Army uninjured
    7403076 Pte Campbell British Army slightly injured
    2016710 Spr L.W.F. Bailey British Army slightly injured
    1726079 Gnr N. Fenwick British Army slightly injured
    224794 Cpt Francis British Army slightly injured
    ? Maj Fleming seriously injured
    ? Pte Jewell slightly injured
    ? W/C Durdin RAF slightly injured
    ? Brzezina? fatal

    Ian Macdonald
    Last edited by Ian M Macdonald; 4th December 2009 at 01:55.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Zelhem, Netherlands.
    Posts
    6,313
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Polish fatal casualties:
    G/Cpt Stanislaw P. BRZEZINA - PAF P.76782, and
    W/Cdr Stanislaw GRODZICKI - PAF P.76623,
    both buried Brookwood Mil. Cem., Woking, Surrey.
    Regards,
    Henk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Bracknell, UK
    Posts
    161
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thank you both Ian and Henk for your effort. I have another question: is there any 435.Sqn's Association in Canada? I couldn't find anything.
    Does anyone know which unit was responsible for ''tidying up'' crash places in South England in 1946? Something like 49 MU from Faygate during the Battle of Britain ...or any civilian company? People from Croydon or Biggin Hill airfields perhaps. These two were closest to the crash site.

    Quote Originally Posted by Henk Welting View Post
    Polish fatal casualties:
    G/Cpt Stanislaw P. BRZEZINA - PAF P.76782, and
    W/Cdr Stanislaw GRODZICKI - PAF P.76623,
    both buried Brookwood Mil. Cem., Woking, Surrey.
    Regards,
    Henk.
    Henk, they are both buried St Mary Cray, Orpington.

    Thanks a lot
    Peter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Zelhem, Netherlands.
    Posts
    6,313
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thanks Peter for changed burial location of the Polish casualties.
    Regards,
    Henk.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Kg397

    Dr John Brittain , the only civilian, on board the flight, was a rocket scientist, employed by the Ministry of Supply.
    I was always given to understand that before the emergency services were on the scene, some of his possesions were stolen by looters but can find no reports to substantiate this.
    I was also told that one of the survivors who got up and walked away from the scene had already survived two previous crashes and eventually went mad.
    Dr Brittain is buried at Greatness Park Cemetry, Sevenoaks, Kent.
    I would be interested to hear if anybody has any further information
    Regards
    John Brittain

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire
    Posts
    1,116
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    Yes, W/C Durdin left the accident site and made his own way to the Air Ministry - to attend a meeting.

    I would have thought leaving an accident where there were several dead and many injured showed a certain disregard for basic decency and failure to assess priorities correctly.

    I do not know what happened to this officer subsequently. There is a W/C O W Durdin who was an RCAF officer so perhaps one of our Canadian contributors can post about this officer.

    Colin Cummings

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,517
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    John,

    I'm guessing you are Dr Brittain's son. If you've not seen it The Times, dated 23 Feb 1946, carried an obituary for your father. The paper's reports of the accident are sketchy in the extreme. If you'd like a copy of the obituary either PM or email me.

    Brian

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    [I imagine that he must have been suffering from shock. I read somwhere that he was a partner in a firm in London, Ontario and become an Alderman of the city. I do not know if this was before or after the accident.
    Many thanks
    John

    QUOTE=Oldduffer;82443]Yes, W/C Durdin left the accident site and made his own way to the Air Ministry - to attend a meeting.

    I would have thought leaving an accident where there were several dead and many injured showed a certain disregard for basic decency and failure to assess priorities correctly.

    I do not know what happened to this officer subsequently. There is a W/C O W Durdin who was an RCAF officer so perhaps one of our Canadian contributors can post about this officer.

    Colin Cummings[/QUOTE]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Bracknell, UK
    Posts
    161
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Dakota

    Gentlemen

    I'm glad that this topic is back on track as I'm still looking for any information and materials related to the 13 February 1946' tragic accident. Just last Saturday I was actually visiting the crash site with Mr Brzezina, son of G/Cpt Brzezina. Now I have a brief idea of the last few seconds of Dakota KG397.
    Unfortunately I wasn't able to track any witnesses, although I have placed an article in the local paper.

    Regards
    Peter

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •