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Thread: Crash of Halifax at Montcony 24 Oct 1942

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    Default Crash of Halifax at Montcony 24 Oct 1942

    Other than the information shown in Chorley's BCL does anybody have any additional information into the circumstances of the crash of Halifax W1018 or know if the crew were found in or close to the wreckage? A relative of one of the crew believes that they were shot down by a night-fighter but I can find no proof of this. The only German claim that I can find is for a Stirling and there was a 218 Sqn Stirling lost on that night.

    Any assistance appreciated.

    Daz

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    Hi Daz,

    just in case you have not know them already:
    http://www.ww1cemeteries.com/ww2_cemeteries/montcony_chyd.htm

    http://www.histavia21.net/HISTAV2/Cra1942.htm

    The first one stated "shot down by night fighter" but with no prove.

    You are also right that there was lost only a Stirling in the list of Tony Wood.

    But there were 3 Stirlings lost/crashed but as far as I am able to find out in no case there is mentioned an attack by night fighter?

    Also there is possibility that the claim was not indentified correctly,
    sometimes only "four engine bomber" was claimed so the German pilot could identify it as Stirling but it was a Halifax.

    From the Tony Wood list it is known the time of attack - 02.50 German time.
    So what I can recommend - try to find out the time of Halifax and Stirling crash and if known using the conversion Britsih-German time you can try to find the victim of German night fighter.

    Hope this helps a little

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Pavel

    thank you, I had seen the first site but not the second and in addition you have inadvertantly answered another of the questions that I had in my head. I take it form your answer all of the times shown in German records or books like "Luftwaffe Night Fighter Combat Claims 1939 -45" are one hour in advance of British Summer Time.

    Regards

    Mutley

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    Hi Daz or Mutley or both:-)

    yes there may be the difference 1 hour but in different periods the difference was 0, 1 or 2 hours. There was also a thread sometime in the past on this forum.

    I suppose you have not info when the Halifax crashed? In the case of Stirlings are there any records? Any record from British side or last SOS or when seen the impact by Dutch or French or where they crashed may be helpful.

    Goog hunting

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Default Montcony Halifax Crash

    Daz

    There is a book in the Sqn crewroom written by a French teacher (in both English & French) on the subject of WWII Allied aircraft accidents in this area of France . . .

    There is an entire chapter dedicated to the Montcony crash. I willl look at it tomorrow and report back . . .

    Tony

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    Of the 3 Stirlings lost, 2 came down in the UK, leaving 218 Sqdn as unknown loss.

    W1188 was one of two 103 Sqdn Halifaxes lost on this operation. (See: W1223). Airborne 1828 24 Oct 42 from Elsham Wolds. Shot down by a nightfighter and crashed between Nant le Grand and Ligny en Barrois (Meuse), 12 km SE of Bar le Duc in France. Those killed are buried in the Nant le Grand Communal Cemetery. S/L Fox gained his DFM while serving with 83 Sqdn, while W/O Spiller had previously served with 12 Sqdn, being Gazetted 11 Feb and 21 Nov 41 respectively.
    S/L S.H. Fox DFM KIA
    Sgt H.F. Wood KIA
    Sgt L. Fitzsimmons KIA
    W/O H.J. Spiller DFM Evd
    F/S R. Maddocks PoW
    P/O G. Wollerton PoW
    Sgt P.C. Heath KIA
    F/S N.A. Mercer KIA
    F/S R. Maddocks was interned in Camps L1/L6/L4, PoW No.838.
    P/O G. Wollerton in Camp L3, PoW No.785.
    As W/O Spiller evaded, his report must have mentioned the nightfighter attack.
    Based on Luftwaffe only claiming one and one Halifax being reported as shot down ,the inference is that the loss of W1018 was either flak related or an accident.

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    Kevin, Tony, Pavel

    Thanks for the assistance, I have been musing over this all weekend. I believe that the locals in the area of the crash put this down to a night-fighter but I'm not convinced. The night fighter claim in German records corresponds to the 218 Stirling or at least I believe it does. My own thought is either damaged by flak and then crashed or catastrophic structural failure, cause unknown leading to the crash. The family of one of the crew had a belief for years that the airframe had been sabotaged but I (a) don't know why they thought this or (b) believe that this could have been the cause given the distances involved.

    Tony

    I'd be interested to see what the book says, you can get me on my work address.

    Regards

    Daz

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    Hi Daz,

    Herbert Spiller, the navigator on Halifax W1188, wrote a book several years ago entitled, 'Ticket to Freedom'. Basically, it is the story of the 24/25-10-1942 mission, from take-off to Spiller's successful evasion.

    Here is a short excerpt:

    Lulled by the ease and quietness of the journey we drifted on. revelling in our luck to have clicked for a 'doddle'. The attack when it came was sudden and incisive.

    An incandescent missile zinged across the navigation table and ricocheted off the thick steel panel between my position and the wireless operator's compartment. At the same time the aircraft gave a series of shudders and began to yaw to port, in a slow diving turn. The angle made it difficult for me to rise to see what was happening and as I pulled myself upright using one of the fuselage stanchions I heard Sid broadcasting to the crew in measured tones that the aircraft had been attacked and that our port engines and wing were on fire. He was losing height in an attempt to put the fire out.

    'We will be able to maintain height on two engines but standby to abandon aircraft if need be.'

    There is much more to be had, other than this quick grab. I suggest you seek out the book.

    See:
    Ticket To Freedom.
    Spiller,H.J.,DFM
    London:William Kimber,1988
    p.29

    Col.

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    Col

    thank you for the info I will certainly seek out the book. Spiller was shot down the night after my aircraft, my problem with the loss of W1018 on the night 23/24 Oct is that there is no claim by a German night-fighter and the loaction is well away form the areas normally frequented by fighters. I can find no evidence to support the fact that it was the victim of a fighter.

    Regards

    Daz

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    Default W1188

    W1188 was one of 103 Sqdn Halifaxes shot down by a nightfighter near Bar le Duc on the night of 24th/25th October 1942 at 21.50. Gerhard Friedrich claimed the victory as his fourth, serving with unit II./NJG 2. This as you know was the night after your aircraft came down. My father HJ Spiller survived the crash and escaped using the Comete line. He wrote the book "Ticket to Freedom". Sadly he died in August 2011 and I am returning his ashes (22 October) to Nant le Grand cemetery, as his wish was to be reunited with his crew.
    Kind regards,
    Laura (nee Spiller)

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