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Thread: Lancaster Bomber crash landing Lakenheath 25/26th February 1944

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    Default Lancaster Bomber crash landing Lakenheath 25/26th February 1944

    Lakenheath Lancaster crash 25/26 February 1944
    I am looking for information regarding the Lancaster bomber that overshot the runway on 25/26 February 1944 returning from Augsburg, and subsequently burst into flames killing 6 of the 9 crew.
    I have read the thread regarding the rescue of three of the crew members, but unfortunately it does give any specific details of the crew or the aircraft.
    I have been researching a crew member Flight Engineer Douglas Haydock 980744 and believe him to be one of the crew members to perish that night.
    Would anyone have information they could share me about the flight history and number of the Lancaster ( apologies if this is the wrong terminology), also the names of the other crew members - who survived and who died that night, or guide in the right direction where I could find this information.
    Douglas Haydock is buried in my local cemetery, I am in the process of researching all war casualties buried and commemorated there for both world wars.

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    Hi Susan,

    980744 Sgt D. Haydock was aboard Lancaster ED383 coded LS.C
    The crew were,
    Pilot, Flt/Sgt J. A. Davis +
    Flight Engineer, Sgt D. Haydock +
    Navigator, Flt/Sgt J. E. Carrott +
    Air Bomber, Sgt W. R. Geraghyt +
    Wireless Operator, W/Off G. Franklin injured
    Mid Upper Gunner, Sgt H. Bysouth injured
    Rear Gunner, Sgt W. E. Harbridge injured then later died.

    Regards,
    Wayne.

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    Hi Wayne,

    thanks for the info regarding the details of the Lancaster and the crew members names. Do you have any idea as to why the plane crashed landed?

    regards Sue.

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    Hi Sue,
    The aircraft over-ran the runway, into soft ground. It then overturned and caught fire. This was the pilot's second attempt to land in very poor visibility. Time; 0510 hrs.
    Doug.

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    Default Poor visibility

    This was the bain of many a crew. Tired after their very stressful operation and then unable to get into safety first time round. Bless them each and every one of them.

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    thanks for the replies!

    Doug where did you find the info? I have searched high and low on the internet and unfortunately coming up with nothing much about the crash itself, apart from the resue attempt of its crew.

    I have managed today to do a bit of research into other crew members that died, family trees etc, and hopefully it may lead to contact with family members.

    Any ideas anyone how long the crew of the aircraft had been together and how many missions they completed????
    Any information no matter how small will be much appreciated.

    Regards Sue

    such a loss of young lives.

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    Default Lakenheath

    Might be worth seeing if anyone has the the Sqn F540 which is 199 Sqn I think. Having transcribed some sqn months that usually shows when a crew arrived at the sqn in full. For their operations they are listed I think by the successful pilots names but it will also show any training they did as well... 149 Sqn were there too but they had Stirlings and didnt get Lancs till Aug so not the right Sqn I think. Hopefully someone on here can help.
    You can get basic details via Cranwell of service history for the guys but it costs...And might not give you what you want to know...
    Good luck.
    Dee

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    Sue / Dee

    The Lancaster belonged to 15 Squadron according to Bill Chorley's Bomber Command War Losses 1944. 199 Squadron flew Stirlings at Lakenheath and I think 149 Squadron did not receive Lancasters until August 1944 when the Squadron were based at Methwold.

    Douglas

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    Quote Originally Posted by susantydd View Post
    thanks for the replies!

    Doug where did you find the info?
    Hi Sue,
    I did my research many years ago and cannot remember the source. I have checked my notes from 15 Sqn ORB and the details did not come from there. They may have been recorded in Lakenheath Station records or even on the Accident Record Card for this aircraft.
    You could try online at the National Archives. The relevant piece number for 15 Sqn is AIR27/204. However, if you are able to visit in person, you would be able to trace most of the crew on mircofilm.
    Regards, Doug.

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    Sue / Doug

    From the Lakenheath ORB, the following is recorded "1 aircraft "C" of 15 Squadron Mildenhall was diverted from Mildenhall to Lakenheath returning from a raid on Augsburg. The aircraft badly overshot on landing, turned over on its back and caught fire. Only 3 members of the crew were saved at taken to Ely Hospital suffering from burns and shock."

    As previously recorded by Wayne, one of the 3 injured, Sgt. Harbridge subsequently died of his injuries.

    Douglas

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