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Thread: F/Sgt W A MacD Brettell, killed 23/6/43

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    Default F/Sgt W A MacD Brettell, killed 23/6/43

    Hi, can anyone give any details to say in which aircraft F/Sgt Brettell was killed on 23rd June 1943, please.

    I have been contacted by a British Legion gentleman who is doing some research into airmen from his area and this is one known to have been killed in a flying accident but as yet the aircraft has not been identified.

    The information he has given is that Brettell was carrying out training in the area of his parents house when the wheel on the tail of his aircraft hit the chimney of his parents' house. The aircraft crashed in a nearby field, killing both on board. This is presumed to be in the Worcester/Shropshire/Herefordshire area.

    CWGC has him as being with 98 Sqn, who were at Foulsham.

    many thanks, Rich Allenby
    Last edited by Rich Allenby; 29th December 2009 at 21:21. Reason: extra info added

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    This the death register information.

    Name: William A M Brettell
    Death Registration Month/Year: 1943 Apr-May-Jun
    Age at death (estimated): 20
    Registration district: Tenbury
    Inferred County: Worcestershire
    Volume: 6c
    Page: 108
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Mitchell FL213? Crashed near Rochford.

    A

    EDIT - ahh Tenbury is on the other side of the country to Rochford so probably not correct aircraft
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Clip your parents house in a Mitchell bomber! I presume it was a squadron hack or run about.

    John R P Dawson also died that day, same district from 98 Squadron.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Yes did happen as described, crash while aeros over parents house.

    Got the full write up in a book on local crashes...just got to find it...

    Give me a few days unless Tom rides to the rescue..

    Amrit,

    Correct aircraft and location..Rochford, Worcestershire is a small village on the River Teme.

    Ross
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    Hi folks, very many thanks for these postings, my chap is from the Tenbury British Legion branch so that fits for the region of death.

    I would like to pass a scan or transcript of the passage in the book to him if thats possible.

    many thanks Rich

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    Hi Rich,

    Glyn Warren

    From ISBN 0 907700 11 X



    B25 Mitchell, FL213, 98 Squadron. Foulsham, 23rd June 1943. Easthan, Nr. Tenbury.
    The Mitchell was a rare bird indeed, and very seldom seen in the skies over Worcestershire. Eyes were raised at the Royal Observer Corps Post at Clowes Top, as it flew overhead, ‘What the dickens is he doing over here’.

    Indeed it should have not been over there. The day in question, 23rd June 1943, a young pilot, aged only 20, by the name of William Anthony MacDuff Brettell, only on leave three days before at his cousin’s house in Eastham, could not resist the urge to come over and ‘beat’ up the cherry orchard near the Eastham home.

    Several people in the village watched petrified as the Mitchell, diving and sweeping, rattled the chimney post with its low flying. The family were unaware that the pilot was in fact Tony Brettell, but a hint of suspicion soon began to enter their mind.

    Then tragedy struck, as it does so often in these moments of temporary excitement. The Mitchell came too low, struck the tall chimneys on the house, an engine was torn out and Tony Brettell lost control.

    The aircraft just managed to clear the orchard, with the pilot obviously trying desperately to put down in the large meadow at the rear of Eastham Church. But to no avail, out of control and with only two hours previously logged on the Mitchell his chances were nil. Flt./Sgt. Brettell perished along with his navigator.

    Brettell a famous name in the Tenbury area, where Tony’s Father, the late Sqn./Ldr. W.D.M. Brettell landed his first aeroplane in the large field at Tenbury. He went later to live in Kenya where Tony was born. Tony later returned to this country as a young man, along with his brother George, to be educated at Oswestry School. A considerable part of his youth was spent in the long summer months at Eastham.

    Tony joined the Royal Air Force in 1941, doing his elementary training at 26 E.F.T.S. (Elementary Flying Training School) ‘Guinea Fowl’ in Southern Rhodesia flying the Tiger Moth. Next posting was 22 S.F.T.S. (Service Flying Training School) Thornhill, on Harvard Is and IIs. In February 1942 he went to 21 S.F.T.S. ‘Kumalo‘ to train on the Airspeed Oxford.

    Returning to the United Kingdom in September 1942 he was posted to 15 (P) A.F.U. at Acaster Malbis. Then a short course at 1516 B.A.T. Flight at Middleton St. George on Oxfords, and finally on to 13 O.T.U. Bicester flying Blenheim Is and IVs.

    After his last leave at Eastham, Flt./Sgt. Brettell was posted on the 8th June to 98 Squadron, R.A.F. Foulsham, Dereham. The last entries in his log book are:
    Course Report 2nd June 1943
    June 12th-16th-19th-20th Dual Instruction Mitchell V
    June 21-23 Self ‘Local Flying’. Total hours 4.55

    As if at the Brettell family had not suffered enough, Tony’s brother George, a Sergeant pilot, was killed in action with the Royal Air Force in Italy.

    Tony Brettell, born on the 6th May 1923, now lies in peace in the little churchyard of Eastham, close to the scene of tragedy, but also near the village he loved so well, which drew him back like a magnet, that day back in 1943. A young man barely 20 years of age, as were so many that perished in those terrible war years.

    Ross
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    Ross, very many thanks indeed. I appreciate the transcript, didn't realise it would be as long. I have passed it on and will see what else comes back.

    Thanks again, Rich

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