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Thread: Halifax LW330, 78 Squadron, 21 December 1943

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    Default Halifax LW330, 78 Squadron, 21 December 1943

    Looking for more information on the loss of this aircraft, I know it stalled while awaiting to land and all crew were lost - I beleive the crew were on their first operation so inexpereience may have been a factor. I need to order the records from the RAAF crewmembers but thought I would start a thread while waiting.

    Thanks

    Alistair

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    Default LW 330 EY-O Orange

    The following details taken from file held in our Sqn Memorial Room

    20th/21st December 1943: Halifax MkII-LW330 EY-O

    Built by English Electric Co (Salmesbury & Preston) this particular aircraft was delivered to 78 Sqn between 4th and 21st October 1943

    The crew were briefed to attack Frankfurt. The ATD of the aircraft from RAF Breighton, Yorkshire was 1622

    LW330/EY-O was one of five 78 Sqn aircraft lost on this operation. See also; JN974/EY-M; LW271/EY-S; LW320/EY-Z and LW338/EY-Q

    On returning to base and while awaiting permission to land, LW330/EY-O stalled. The aircraft crashed near Howden, roughly 4 miles SSE of the airfield, and burst into flames on impact at 0200

    Pilot F/Sgt A. Molloy RAAF +
    Flight Engineer Sgt A.D. Meynell +
    Navigator Sgt F.E.J. Hothersall RNZAF +
    Bomb Aimer F/O B.D. Heading RAAF +
    Wireless Operator F/Sgt F.W. Doonan RAAF +
    Mid Upper Gunner Sgt W.E. Edwards RCAF +
    Rear Gunner Sgt J.M. Blake RCAF +

    Apart from Sgt Meynell, who was taken to Darlington West Cemetery for burial, all of the Commonwealth airmen are buried in Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery

    I will request further info on LW330/EY-O from a contact who is currently writing a book on the WWII history of 78 Sqn to see if he has more info. It might take a while though as he is currently serving somewhere hot and sandy !

    Rgds

    Tony H
    78 Sqn
    RAF Benson

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    Alistair,

    From my '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 1943-1998)':

    "Mon 20/Tue 21 Dec 1943
    BOMBER COMMAND

    Raid on Frankfurt, Germany (by 650 aircraft - 44 lost)
    78 Squadron, RAF (Breighton, Yorkshire - 4 Group)
    Halifax II LW330/O - took off at 1622 captained by Flt Sgt A Molloy, RAAF, and reported bombing the target at 1939. On return to Breighton, stalled while circling to land, crashed, and burned out near Howden, 4 miles SE of the airfield, at 0002. The cosmopolitan crew, none of whom survived, was made up of members of the RNZAF (one), RCAF (two), RAAF (three) and the RAF (one), all but the last being buried at Harrogate.
    Navigator: NZ421934 Flt Sgt Francis Edward HOTHERSALL, RNZAF - Age 30. 373hrs."

    Note crash time (taken from BCL) of 0002 (not 0200).

    Papers on Hothersall's service record confirm that Molloy was on his first op, and that the cause was put down to inexperience, as you suggest.

    Errol

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    Default

    Thank you both for the replies, I have just had Molloy's A705 digitised (I imagine the other RAAF crew members files are similar) and that does basically give pilot inexperience as the likely cause.

    Thanks again

    Alistair

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    Halifax LW330, 78 Squadron, 21 December 1943

    I have read with interest all the posts on this forum for this aircraft and its crew as I am related to the Flight Engineer, Sgt AD Meynell. The story as I understand it, is that on its return to base after a successful sortie over Frankfurt, the pilot was asked to circle in order to allow some damaged planes to land first, and whilst circling this plane ran out of fuel, the cause of which was later put down to a batch of faulty fuel gauges. As we live not too far from Breighton Airfield, Sgt Meynell would spend his free time with us, and the last time me and my family saw him was 20 December 1943, and he said the raid he was due to go on the following night had been cancelled on 2 previous occasions and he hoped this wasn't a bad omen!!!

    Kind regards
    Trucker1

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