Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

WV908

Updated - Halifax R9531 crash at Scunthorpe 5/12/42

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Updated - now identified as Halifax B.II R9531 of 1568 HCU, but here is the original post;

 

Morning all,

  a far out reach here as I cannot seem to find any infomation. On the South eastern edge of Scunthorpe lies Mortal Ash Hill, just beyond the Southern boundary of Scunthorpe Steel works. It is known that a Dornier crashed on the crest of Mortal ash hill in the forest at it's Eastern end, approx 1/12 miles South West of Broughton. It is also known that a Lancaster / Manchester crashed at the Western end of Mortal ash Hill, just off the South Western boundary of the steelworks, 1 mile North of Bottesford and 1 mile East of Ashby. I know of the Blenheim and three Hurricane crashes in Scunthorpe, but cannot find any info on these other two. The Dornier was approx 1941 and the Lancaster / Manchester could be any time. I'd like to research these aircraft to build models of them as I live less than a mile from them both. Any help would be greatly appreciated as I've exhausted the usual sources

 

cheers,

 WV908

Edited by WV908

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is all I could find . . . 

June 1941:     Wellington, Filter Beds  - Bottesford

Dec. 5th '42:   Lancaster Crashed at Hydroprest Ltd. Scunthorpe

Dec. 5th '42;   Wellington crashed High Santon Scunthorpe

Dec. 5th '42;   Halifax W9014 'Scunthorpe'

Dec. 5th '42;   Halifax R9531 'Scunthorpe' 

 

No listings for Do.17 

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hi Chaps,

Thanks for the answers. 

I've mainly been using the incident logs but have found there are a few gaps, for instance they do not list the Blenheim I that landed on Dawes lane in Scunthorpe in July 1940. 

 

Does anyone happen to have any more information on the December 5th 1942 Lancaster at Hydroprest as this is the exact spot where one of the aircraft I'm looking for came down. Reportedly, the workers were outside on break at the time when the Lanc, which was heading left down Mortal Ash hill, handily came in and took the roof off the building as it crashed. 

 

It's interesting to note that the incident logs and Mancunian Airman's source have it listed as a Halifax crashing here (R9531) on the same day although I have it from other sources that this is incorrect as they say R9531 crashed on May 5th 1942, so yet another mystery. I also can't find any trace of W9014, but it looks like the Lancaster you mentioned is the one I'm looking for. 

 

With regards to the Dornier, I've noted that there a handful of them listed with no known info. With the crash being in woodland and therefore undisturbed, I can confirm that an aircraft came down on my listed Eastern location as I have visited the crater there in the past which has traces of aircraft parts.

 

Cheers,

  WV908

Edited by WV908

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The only other info I have points towards the Dornier being a DO24 which was shot down by AA on 18 August 1940 or a DO215 which was claimed by a 29SQ Blenheim on 24th August 1940, but evidence found elsewhere points to the latter being near Grimsby / Cleethorpes. In theory it could have been crippled over one of those places and limped to Scunthorpe before crashing 

 

Cheers,

  WV908

Edited by WV908

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Morning all,

  I've now gained information to prove that this Lancaster crash site is actually that of Halifax B.II R9531, with the casualty info and time from a newspaper clipping and cross referenced. Previously DY-R, but was more than likely blank by the time of it's crash two months after it's transference to 1658 HCU. There is also a possibility of it being coded ZB-? 

 

If anyone knows for sure what her codes were on 5/12/42 that would be very helpful. On the 'Dornier' front, there is a Spitfire crash listed in the same area as the crater 

 

Cheers,

  WV908

Edited by WV908

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing for sure but:

 

- Sturtivant's RAF Flying Training and Support Units lists TT and ZB as codes for 1658 HCU.

- Flintham and Thomas's Combat Codes (2nd Ed) gives Halifax IIs R9454 ZB-T and W7927 TT-R as aircraft serving with the unit, as well as Halifax III LW193 ZB-B.  The 1st Edition also has Halifax III LK864 TT-W.

- Rawlings' earlier Squadron Codes 1937-56 lists Halifax I Ser 1 DT618 TT-S and Halifax II Ser 1a HR547 TT-R.  (It also mentions R9454 ZB-T and LW193 ZB-B as listed above.)

- According to Air Britain serial listings R9454 was struck off charge on 31/5/44 and W7927 crashed on 10/4/44, so no light shed on precisely when those codes were observed.

 

So: both codes were in use later in the war (by April 1943 the unit had an establishment of 32 Halifaxes) but afraid I can't help with what may have been going on in late 1942.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately it's very hard to track down the HCU codes and I must say from memory very few, if any, are shown in the unit ORB for 1658.  It may be worth having a look at the mention of the incident in there though.  The base ORB for Riccall might be worth eliminating too.  If it isn't listed in Bill Chorley 'sbook of OCU losses then it may no longer be recorded.

 

Therefore no one can say you are wrong if you opt for something!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies chaps, 

 are the ORB's something that I'd only be able to find in the RAFM or IWM archives? 

 

The only things I have from Riccall in late 1942 are examples of three different Halifaxes (all early production II's from what I can gather) that have their codes painted out (one is covered in snow so is a bit hard to guess). I can only get a positive ID on one, which is BB374 so I could in theory run with maybe R9531 had no codes applied when she crashed. The only other snippet of info I've gathered is that if she was coded it would have been ZB-? 

 

Cheers,

  WV908

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be interested to know any information about the distribution of the ZB- and TT- codes.

 

The ORBs are at The National Archives.  Hopefully I will be able to get over there in the next fortnight so I can have a look for you then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Afternoon all,

 Thankyou for the kind offer Vicarage Vee.

 

I've been sent this extract from the 'and in the morning' series, which pretty much confirmes everything known so far;

 

‘and in the morning…’

On Saturday 5th December 1942 Halifax R9531 from No.1658 H.C.U. had taken off from RAF Station Riccall, Yorkshire for a cross country navigational exercise. At roughly 13.00 hours eyewitnesses reported that an aircraft was observed flying low near Scunthorpe, it was also observed that the aircraft started to bank and the attitude of the bank getting steeper with the aircraft eventually stalling and falling to the ground. The aircraft was observed to crash amongst buildings, which turned out to be Hydroprest Ltd. Concrete Works injuring nine work men, a further three people were injured by flying glass in a nearby hotel. The aircraft crashed through the roof of the factory and exploded killing all but one of the crew members. 

Crew of Halifax R9531

F/S (R/103468) D.C. Cameron RCAF Pilot, aged 22, son of Wilfred L. Cameron and Emily T. Cameron, of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and now rests in Plot C. Grave 466, Brigg Cemetery Lincolnshire.

Sgt (1311937) R.J. Marshall RAF(VR) A/B aged 22, son of Robert Henry and Hannah Marshall, of Torquay; husband of Winifred Joan (Kitten) Marshall, of Ellacombe, Torquay and now rests in Sec. S. Grave 21727 Torquay Cemetery and Extension, Devon.

F/S (1001911) J.C. Macaulay RAF(VR) WOP/AG, aged 22, son of John and Jane Wyness Crichton Macaulay, of Dundee; husband of Anna McKay Macaulay and now rests in Sec. X.E. Grave 333, Dundee Eastern Metropolis, Angus Scotland.

Sgt (656732) C.F. Bonorino RAF(VR) A/B, aged 23, son of Albert Edward and Clara Matilda Bonorino, of Moseley, Birmingham and now rests in Plot C. R.C. Grave 48, Brigg Cemetery Lincolnshire.

Sgt (406709) J.A. Barrett-Lennard RAAF aged 21, son of Victor Dacre Barrett-Lennard and Blanche Isabell Barrett-Lennard, of York, Western Australia and now rests in Grave 372, Brigg Cemetery Lincolnshire.

Sgt (1132754) H.G. Jenkins RAF(VR) A/G, aged 21, rests in Sec. I. Grave 2545, Gwaelodybrithdir, Glamorganshire.

Sgt R.F. Pretty RAF(VR) critically injured. 

It is important to note that the crew comprised of two W/Op’s and three Air-Gunners…

Halifax Mk.II R9531 was one of 100 aircraft built by Handley Page Radlett to Contract No.69649/37; Requisition No.102/E11/37 and delivered to No.102 Squadron for operational duties, later transferred to No.1658 H.C.U. becoming the 3rd aircraft to be struck off charge by the Unit and the 62nd aircraft from the H.C.U’s to be struck off charge.

May those that served and those that died in the H.C.U’s rest in peace ‘Brave Warriors of the Skies’

Per Ardua Ad Astra.

 

Cheers,

WV908

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, WV908 said:

The only things I have from Riccall in late 1942 are examples of three different Halifaxes (all early production II's from what I can gather) that have their codes painted out (one is covered in snow so is a bit hard to guess). I can only get a positive ID on one, which is BB374 so I could in theory run with maybe R9531 had no codes applied when she crashed. 

Personally, that would be good enough for me.  For the period you have limited indicators to the positive and no evidence to the contrary.

Edited by Seahawk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

There are a series of photographs of R9430 of 1658 HCU apparently taken on a test flight to determine sink-rate on one engine.  They appear in quite a few books on the Halifax.  The spinners appear white forward of the propeller blades and the aircraft carries a large number 19, possibly in yellow in place of code letters.  R9430 was a veteran of several previous squadron Conversion Flights (before these became the HCUs) so it's not impossible that some of these markings were retained/not yet deleted from there.  One picture here.

 

It would think that both R9430 and R9531 are both Mk II Series I airframes.  They came from the same Handley Page contract. 

 

In the absence of further evidence I am inclined to agree with Seahawk and to model it without codes, but I shall have a look and see if anything is recorded and report back.

 

 

Edited by Vicarage Vee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Vicarage Vee, 

  I look forward to seeing what you uncover. That Halifax in the photo certainly is an unusual scheme! The last thing I wonder is if these HCU halifaxes retained their tallies. From what I can see so far, the answer is no, surprisingly. 

 

Cheers,

  WV908

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I have news but unfortunately the entry only notes the serial and not a code, if indeed there was one.

 

The 1658 HCU clerk who filled in the ORB clearly didn't relish the job, it's rather sparse on detail unlike many others.

 

Best wishes

 

VV

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Vicarage Vee,

  No worries, thanks for your help. I'll go with no codes then, or if I decide I want codes I'll use her previous ones which are known.

 

cheers,

 WV908

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×