RAF Crash Sites 1942 – 1945

55 comments on “RAF Crash Sites 1942 – 1945
  1. Joe Lilley says:

    A Blackburn Botha Mk1 crashed 1.5 miles North of Hooton Park Cheshire. Registration No L6290.
    2 Killed Including Russell Charles Denny from Western Australia. Plane stalled on approach.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Joe, this is not one I have documented. Was Flight Sergeant Denny a relative?

      • Joe Lilley says:

        I went home to UK after 35 years in Australia and noted a grave site at St Pauls Church Hooton.
        I have traced the family of Russell Denny and sad to say he was one of two that were lost out of a crew of 4. Three months after his crash the plane was withdrawn from service. I have met family members and still search for information. Flt Sgt Denny was the only son in the family with 3 sisters still surviving out of 4.
        I was in the ATC at Hooton Park which was our private playground as kids. We often played in the Spitfire that was left in one of the hangars at Hooton.

        • Ian D B says:

          Thanks for adding that Joe. I feel inspired now to visit the crash site and add it to these pages.

          Great memories of playing in the Spitfire at Hooton. I’d have loved that as a kid. I’d love it now, in fact.


  2. Donnie Stewart says:

    You might find a couple of pieces I have put on YouTube/Lossie History of interest. They are eye-witness accounts of two crashes I witnessed. One was Aug 1St 1039, the other in 1944.

    I seem to remember that there were about 370 men lost in crashes from RAF Lossie

  3. Colin Mackay says:

    Does anybody have any details of Halifax DK 192 that crashed at Garrowby Hill on 7th Feb 1944

  4. Terry Rafter says:

    Hi everyone. I’m Terry Rafter from Australia. My uncle (SHC Thrower) was killed 16/11/1943 when “Wellington Mk 1c, DV918, from 21 Operational Training Unit took off from RAF Enstone at 2010 to carry out a training exercise. The aircraft crashed ten minutes later in the circuit of Enstone airfield, at Hookerswell Farm on south-east side of Little Tew”. I was wondering by any chance does anyone know of any photographs (old or new) of the crash site/remains? Kind regards, Terry

  5. John Hugh says:

    I’ve been asked to find the site where Lancaster ED835 crashed in May 1943 when returning, badly damaged, from a combat mission. It is supposed to be on a farm in the area of Hotham and North Cave in Yorkshire. Any info gratefully received.

  6. Mick Wright says:

    Hi. This is the first time I have visited this site. Fantastic. What great work being done here. Wondered if anyone has any info on a crash that occurred on 27/08/1944 one mile n/w of Stowmarket in which my wife’s father was killed. He was the flight engineer.

  7. Hi there. Martin here. Does anyone know of the crash site of my uncle. I think he crashed in chorley . Cheshire. While he was traning another pilot. His name is flight sergent robert sidney brothwell raf 1238487. Hope you can help.

  8. Jonathan D'Hooghe says:

    Can anyone tell me anything about a crew of 4 all killed and buried in a civilian cemetery Aadum, Denmark. Date of crash/deaths is 29 April 1943. Crew were, Hailey, Sindrey, Barton and Surtees all RAFVR 218 (Gold Coast) Sdn. What were they doing? Any news appreciated.

    • David says:

      Hi Jonathan,
      On the 28/29th April 1943 was a hugh 207 aircraft force on a ” gardening radish” mine laying
      operation and because of low cloud base forced the aircraft to fly very low over the German and
      Danish coasts.. total of 22 aircraft were lost… thats all i know ..

  9. Pat Ladd says:

    Does anyone have info on the crash of an Albemarle in the fields just below the Westbury White Horse in Wiltshire. The Albemarle/Waco combi took off from Keevil. I saw the crash which was caused by the Waco on tow getting out of position and pulling the tail of the tug to starboard. The result was that the Albemarles port wing stalled and she dived vertically into the ground. I remember being interviewed by an RAF Officer who was interested that the Albemarle cast off the tow rope before falling out of the sky, thus saving the Waco. Had the glider still been attached the sudden dive/spin of the tug would have broken the Waco in half.

  10. Geoff says:

    Researchers in Germany are investigating the loss of RAF Lancaster PB209, 156 Pathfinder Squad. on 13 Aug 44 near Wasserliesch, SW of Trier. We have no photo of this aircraft and would very much appreciate any input. Numerous aircraft parts have been recovered by metal detection and some witnesses have come forward. I am a relation of a crew member located in Australia.

    • David Franklin says:

      Hi Geoff, have you seen this? This is the pilot who shot down PB209.


      cheers, David

      • Geoff says:

        Yes, thanks David. Schnaufer survived the War, took over the family wine business & was killed in a collision with a Citroen truck carrying gas bottles in the Bordeaux region near the tiny hamlet of Jauge. He was driving an open-topped Mercedes & was struck on the head by a gas bottle, whether full or empty is not recorded. Also whether or not the truck driver was full or empty. Also worth noting that one can stay at the Restaurant les Grépins & that the UK company http://www.solognac.co.uk has a campus there. We like to do research in depth.

  11. Roger Nash says:

    Searching for accurate location of Mitchell crash 30 August 1944 near Peper Harrow/Shackleford, not far from Godalming Surrey. Pilot Fl.Lt. Cees Waardenburg, DFC, and Gunner FO Harry Payne were only men aboard, up from Dunsfold, and both killed.
    Hoping to help Dutch son of Cees’s best friend from those days.

    • Nick Macfarlane says:

      Hi Roger,

      I’m also hoping to find a more accurate crash site for this aircraft. I know that it crashed close to a Canadian Army vehicle park which I have since found. I work for the local council and would seek to put some sort of memorial up should it be located on the part of the heath that we manage.

  12. Mike Hillier says:

    Does anyone know if there is a memorial to the 4 aircrew members of 157 Squadron who died when their Airspeed Oxford (HM763) crashed after a dummy attack by an American Pilot flying a Mustang near Methwold in Norfolk on 1st May 1945?
    Aircrew members who died were: F/O Thomas James Michael Nash (Pilot), P/O James Cunningham Porteous, W/O Peter Alfred Merrall and Flt/Sgt. Frederick Fraser.

  13. Derek Matthews says:

    Do you know of an aircrash or have a photograph of which I witnessed as a 4 year old at Cairnbulg It occured at the beginning of the aerodrome near where we were staying about 1944 I think it was a spitfire and the trainee pilot had come in too low and his rear wheel caught on the railway fence. My father Cpl JR Matthews ran along the adjacent railway(Fraserborough to St Coombs)opened the hatch and pulled out the bewildered pilot.

  14. les templeton says:

    remember avro anson crashing from walney airfield in field next to where i live avon street killing all crew .i believe two brothers were with them .1942 ? over the years think of them when i walk that way .
    would like to see aplaque in remembrence .anybody any info?

  15. David White says:

    I am looking for information on a tragic double Halifax collision on 21st August 1944 over the skies of Birkin, North Yorkshire. Flights MZ633 and N1687 collided mid air during unauthorised flying formation.
    The 75th anniversary is looming and me being the Parish Chair for Birkin we are to erect a memorial to the flight crews at the crash site.
    The problem is I don’t know exactly where it is. I was shown the site many years ago by an eye witness to the crash but memory has faded. Is there anyone out there who can either supply info or point me in the right direction .
    Thanks. David White.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi David, I will take a look when get chance (busy this weekend) but will get back to you in a couple of days, see if I can find anything that might jog your memory!

  16. David A Palmer says:

    I am trying to find the Exact location of Blenheim X3338 that crashed on a training exercise 1.5 miles North East of Woodford Northants on 13th January 1945? Info on this can be found here http://aircrewremembrancesociety.co.uk/styled-5/styled-10/styled-269/index.html
    Any info gratefully accepted.
    David AP

  17. remember as a lad finding a canopy of either a spitfire or hurricane on spare land between clifton,the irwell and agecroft collery in manchester,never did find out which it was and i think its been dug up

  18. Beryl Compton says:

    My Uncle William Pinfold was involved in an aircrash after taking off from RAF Harwell where he lost a leg. The crash was at Blewbury Hill Didcot. I have found a report in Jim Jones Personal history of RAF Harwell which I think my be this accident”march 11th Wellington X3874 observed by schoolboys to roll over on it’s back 600feet over Didcot and spiral down, it crashed and burnt outin Fleet meadow.It’s said the pilot was practising single engine flying when he got into trouble” the accident was thought to be 1942 but not sure.
    Can you confirm if this is the accident or give me any more details thank you

    • Beryl Compton says:

      I have since found out that Uncle Bill’s accident was on 8t h Oct 1941 he was in 15 OTU.

      The Adobe does sound like a discription from what has been handed down but I have an open mind
      Any help would be appreciated

  19. Gemma M says:

    I was looking to see if you had any details relating to a crash on Wrotham Hill, Kent 21st December 1944? I believe it was an Oxford I. 5 lives lost + 1 seriously injured

  20. Levi Wilson says:

    Hiim looking for the exact location crash site of Stirling Lk116. It crashed by the river chelmer great dunmow 20/3/1945. One air crew survived. I have shown some photos of possibley that aircraft. But a friend from the Stirling society is a doubtful they are of a Stirling crash.

  21. K Booth says:

    I am 85 years old and I have a vivid memory of a spitfires or huracane crashing at Heanor Derbyshire in a farmyard .I can’t find anything locally can you help?

  22. Mel Davies says:

    I have been searching for an aircraft crash that occurred in 1943-4 in Holmes Chapel (Church Hulme, Cheshire. I was four years old at the time, but have a vivid memory of very small pieces of aircraft scattered, of what seemed to me at the time over a wide area. I lived with my mother in the middle of three houses opposite the site (my father was serving in the RAF in the Sudan at the time). I remember one of the older girls next door (the coal man’s daughter) holding my hand and taking me over there to see the crash site.

    The grid reference is SJ764674, just North of the A535 and East of the A50.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Mel,

      Sorry, I have not been able to identify this crash, I’m afraid. Your memory of the exact spot is interesting, but I have not been able to find any air crashes at Holmes Chapel from around that time. It is not unlikely as there were a number of aircraft which crashed taking off and landing at RAF Cranage. Maybe someone else reading this might be able to help?

      I’ve gone through what lists I have (which are far from being complete), looked through ‘Eyes of the Night’ by Bamford & Collier (the book provides a lot of detail about RAF Cranage) and have looked up the air crashes listed on my page about RAF Cranage. Do take a look at the comments section, there is quite a lot of info people have added about air crashes in the area (link below).

      RAF Cranage

      Other than that, all I can suggest is the usual approaches which you may have already made or considered; a trawl though the mircrofilm archived local newpapers of the time at the local library is time consuming but can turn up all sorts of stuff. The Winsford & Middlewich Guardian, for example. Or you could ask at the Holmes Chapel local history group or put a post on the RAF Commands Forum; the group members there may be able to help?


  23. Levi Wilson says:

    Trying to find the exact location of crashed Avro Lancaster 11 683
    Reg Ds827 Feb/5/1944
    Crashed Great Dunmow En route to RAF Witchford.
    All 8 occupants killed.
    Regards Levi Wilson

  24. Allan Wilson says:

    On October 17th 1940 a wellington bomber returning from a raid on the Kiel canal ran out of fuel. The crew parachuted to safety over Penrith and the pilotless bomber crashed into Brownrigg fell near Plumpton, a village a few miles north of Penrith. Is this site known to you and do you have any further information? I couldn’t find anything on your website,

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Allan, not a site I have visited, but it was Wellington L7857, crashed 17 October 1940. I haven’t much info, but do you have a copy of Michael J Hurst’s book on Lake District air crashes? He says the crash site presents a “large discoloured patch of soil” following the fire as the Wellington was still carrying its bombs, apparently?

      Wellington L7857

      • Allan Wilson says:

        Hi Ian, thank you for the prompt reply. Unfortunately I don’t have a copy of Michael Hurst’s book however I learned of the crash site reading a review of a new book ‘ Cumbria At War 1939-45’ written by Ruth Mansergh and published by Pen and Sword.

        • Ian D B says:

          Hi Allan,

          Hurst says that a machine gun was found at the site in 1973.

          He provides a rough grid reference for the crash site; NY521371


          • Peter Finn says:

            Just read your threds on the Plumpton Wellington L7857 crash site. I have visited the site, although theres nothing to indicate there has been a crash with nothing on the surface. Some small fragments, showing signs of burning can be found amongst the heather at the site. The site is on the west side of Brown Rigg roughly at Hurst grid ref, a path goes through the site. Unfortunately Michael Hursts book, whilst being detailed, many of the locations are wrong, he deliberatly did this.

  25. Paul A Doyle says:

    Lancaster 2 LL683 of 514 Sqn crashed out of fuel just west of Sawbridgeworth airfield on 31/3/44. Pilot Warrant Oficer W L McGowan and all crew were ok.

    See fuller details in ‘Where the Lysanders Were …..’ (the story of Sawbridgeworth’s airfields) by Paul A Doyle, ISBN 0 9525624 0 5

  26. WILLIAM B RICKARDS (Barry) says:


    Trying to find the exact site of crash landing of Lancaster R5905 24/9/42 “near madum” Denmark? My father was the pilot (William V. Rickards not V.H.Richards) he and his crew survived the war apart from Sgt William Gregor who died in POW camp.
    Flying to Denmark for first time in April.
    Thank you

  27. Beth Allen says:

    Great site! I am looking for any info on my Uncle, Pilot Officer Arthur Glyndwr Thomas, who died in a plane crash (Lancaster?) on April 3 1945. I believe(?) it was near Gainsborough? This is all the info I have and as you can see I’m not as sure on some of it.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Beth,

      Thank you for your comment.

      It looks like your uncle was the pilot of Lancaster ME323 which was shot down at eight minutes past one on the morning of 4 March 1945.

      From Bomber county aviation resource are these details;

      “Coded PH-P, Shot down by an Intruder during a night training flight and crashed 0110 4th Mar between Stockwith and Blyton, two villages 3 miles NW and NE respectively from Gainsborough. The five Australians were buried in the Cambridge City Cemetery and the other two were taken to their home towns. P/O A.G.Thomas KIA, F/S T.McCaffray KIA, F/S E.L.Horstmann RAAF KIA, F/S W.N.Pridmore RAAF KIA, F/S G.E.Davis RAAF KIA, F/S A.Cryer RAAF KIA, F/S A.H.Weston RAAF KIA.”

      Apparently two Lancasters, ME323 and PB476 of 12 Squadron were on training flights when shot down by Luftwaffe Junkers 88s. They had the misfortune to be undertaking night navigation exercises the same night that the Luftwaffe launched its last big revenge attack against the RAF. It was called Operation Gisela, lots of aircraft were shot down that night, with some of the last Luftwaffe Junkers 88s crossing the North Sea to wait for RAF bombers returning to base from their attacks on German targets. In the Luftwaffe crash sites section of this website is the memorial to what is alleged to be the last Luftwaffe aircraft shot down in England during this raid.

      There is a link to the wikipedia page about this raid below. Your uncle is mentioned in the reference to ME323 under the British losses section. The crews, including your uncle Arthur, were based at RAF Wickenby and had only been there a few days before losing their lives.

      In the village of East Stockwith is a memorial to the crew. It appears to be quite new as it is not on Google street views. But anyway it is on the corner of Back Street and St Peter’s Close in the village.
      mosquito LR412
      Photo from this page;
      Society for Lincolnshire History & Archaeology

      There is also this distressing reference in a book called ‘Intruders over Britain’ by Simon W Parry (2003);
      “Mrs Nelson, wife of the Station Commander at RAF Blyton, was outside when she saw a fire overhead. There were two explosions as the aircraft began to disintegrate in the air and a third as it hit the ground. When the station’s crash crew appeared at the site they found the remains of a No.12 Squadron Lancaster scattered over the ground and among the wreckage, the bodies of its seven crew. They were later identified as Flying Officer Thomas and his crew who were overdue from a cross country navigation exercise.”

      If you look on Google satellite maps, you can still make out the runways of what was RAF Blyton.

      The downing of Lancaster ME323 is also mentioned in ‘Nachtjagd War Diaries Vol 2 – An Operational History of the German Night Fighter Force in the West, April 1944 – May 1945’ by Dr. Theo Boiten and Roderick J MacKenzie (2008) in which they identify the possible credit for the shooting down of ME323 to Lt. Günther Wulf. He attacked the Lancaster over Hull.

      wikipedia page about Operation Gisela.

      Hope this helps and fills in some of the gaps! But there is more out there about this if you want to look for it. Google search “Lancaster ME323” to find more.


      • B. Allen says:

        That is fantastic info!! Thank you so very much for finding all that. I know that Uncle Arthur is buried in Holy Cross Churchyard in Taibach Port Talbot, his birthplace, with his mother and father. I also knew from my mother, Hetty Allen (sadly died May 19 2019) that he was also shot down over Malta and that he was a member of the Guinea Pig Club. His name is listed in the GPC book. Thank you very much!

  28. Mark Place says:

    My late father Vincent Place was rear gunner lancs I have been told his aircraft crashed on a training flight in Snowdonia only him and the pilot survived 1943/44 I would be great full if you have any info on this as I can’t find any info on his war records any where thank you

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Mark, have you any more details at all? Approximate location, date such as time of year, the name of the pilot, anything from memory such as stories you heard from your father or other family – anything like that could help enormously.

  29. Beth Allen says:

    Thanks Ian. Her 98th birthday is today June 6, and her funeral is tomorrow.

  30. Melissa G F says:

    Does anyone have any information regarding the collision of two Lancaster’s, just outside Waltham airfield, on Black Thursday?

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