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Thread: Lancaster crash 1944

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Thornaby, Teesside
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    Default Lancaster crash 1944

    Evening Gents,
    I am looking for information regarding a 103 Squadron Lancaster MkI Reg No LL913. This airacraft attacked Dusseldorf on 22nd April 1944, Piloted by P/O T.E.Astbury. On its return from the raid it became lost over the North Yorkshire Moors & crashed near Ampleforth village to the South of Helmsley with the loss of the whole crew.
    The aircraft is listed as PM-? in both Chorley's & the Harleyford book of the Lancaster. I have checked with my close friend David Fell of Elsham Wolds Association, but the ORB only lists the aircraft by LL913. I know the air crew in their log books list the aircraft by Squadron code but these are not available so can not be checked.
    Would there have been a recovery of the wreckage or any other way of identifying its Squadron letter.

    Thank you in advance for any help.


    David Crawford

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Thanked 36 Times in 33 Posts


    have you checked the RAAF mens casualty files or gotten them digitised?? From the Australian National Archives?
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default Ll-913

    Dave; The notation in AIR 14/3460 has this aircraft listed as PM-D


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Sergeant Cyril Whittle

    Hi David, I'm writing a book about Irlam and Cadishead's role in the Second World War (we published a similar book last year on WW1). Sergeant Cyril Whittle (one of our local men) was on board LL913 when she crashed. I have some information in draft (copied below). I wondered whether you may be able to add anything to our information? Any information would be much appreciated.

    Best regards

    Sergeant Cyril Whittle:
    Sergeant (Flight Engineer) 1106196. 103 Squadron, No. 1 Group, Bomber Command, Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve).
    103 Squadron was based at RAF Elsham Wolds.
    Killed on air operations Sunday 23rd April 1944. Buried at Newchurch churchyard, (Golborne – possibly Culcheth). Son of John William and Elizabeth Whittle, of Higher Irlam. Resided at 7, The Crescent, Higher Irlam and had been employed at Royles Ltd. Article and Photo 29/04/44 and article IG 06/05/44.
    He was aboard Lancaster Bomber Mark I, serial No. LL913, Code letters ‘PM’ which took off from RAF Elsham Wolds at 23.16 on 22nd April 1944. This aircraft was one of 596 aircraft (323 Lancaster’s, 254 Halifaxes, and 19 Mosquitoes of all groups, except No. 5 group) on a bombing mission to Dusseldorf, Germany. 16 Halifaxes and 13 Lancaster’s were lost on the raid.
    It was later reported that whilst returning from Dusseldorf Lancaster LL913 flew into the side of a hill near Thorpe Hall, Rudston, Yorkshire, at 04.55 hrs on 23rd April.

    All seven crew were killed:
    Pilot officer 172418 T. E. Astbury, Sgt 1546820 D. Hopkins (Navigator) Sgt Whittle (Flight Engineer), Sgt 911476 D. A. W. Leftly (Air Bomber), Sgt 15858814 A. Jervis (Wireless operator / Air gunner), Sgt 622825 W. B. Graham (Air Gunner), Flight Sergeant AUS/436032 A. Hogg (Air Gunner).

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