Memorial at crash site of Halifax RT922, Grindon, Staffordshire

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Halifax RT922

13 February 1947. During a particularly harsh winter, and with TB endemic in British cattle, Halifax RT922 was on a mission to drop supplies of powdered milk for babies in cut off communities, when it crashed with the loss of all on board.

The Halifax had attempted to make the drop twice, in a field with a cross of soot marking the spot, but poor weather meant they couldn’t locate the drop zone. Getting lower at each attempt, the third ended in tragedy when the starboard wing clipped the ground causing the bomber to cartwhile across the fields.

What makes this crash particularly sad is that the drop probably wasn’t necessary, the roads were opened the day after.

Squadron Leader Donald McIntyre, pilot
Flight Lieutenant Ernest Smith, navigator
Warrant Officer Gordon V Chapman, navigator
Warrant Officer Richard S Kearns, flight engineer
Flight Sergeant Kennth C Pettit, wireless operator
Warrant Officer W Sherry, despatcher

Mr J Reardon
Mr D W Savill

Visited the site in August 2010.

Details from Peakland Air Crashes – The South, Pat Cunningham, 2005


Original photo from the Leek Post and Times

28 comments on “Memorial at crash site of Halifax RT922, Grindon, Staffordshire
  1. redrocker_9 says:

    Ian this is amazing with the texture and what a tragic story!

  2. pasujoba says:

    Tremendous work Ian ! the texture makes for a super shot of the memorial and its echoed in the newspaper shot . I so struggled to get something worthwhile from this site .

  3. Ian D B says:

    Thanks very much, both! To be honest it wasn’t a great photo, that’s why it has been kicking around unused since last Summer. But SkeletalMess’ texture has breathed new life into it.

  4. Tim Spicer Photography says:

    A tragic story nice shot Ian, nicely processed.

  5. andyholmfirth says:

    Lovely shot of the memorial.And what a treasure that black & white is.

  6. rob of rochdale says:

    That’s terrific processing Ian

  7. genf says:

    Wonderful, what a visual treat.

  8. Mark McKie says:

    Great work here mate.

  9. Tech Owl says:

    As you say, rather sad. I like the effect of the textures, good result on the shot

  10. 5DII says:

    Excellent piece of work Ian. The texture effect really has made a difference. As always a moving story and a tribute to those involved.


  11. **Hazel** says:

    Brilliant shot Ian, the texture really gives the scene atmosphere!!!:)
    A wonderful tribute!!

  12. C J Paul (chris) says:

    brilliant work ian liking the texture .

  13. mick cooke says:

    brilliant photo like the texture and great story with it

  14. Richard Tierney says:

    Another special addition to the collection Ian….. Tragic just shows what decent people will do for those in need…..

  15. Billy Currie says:

    your texture works well, good atmosphere on it

  16. Reflective Kiwi %-) says:

    Great shot and lovely processing. Another tragic story! It’s always interesting to see the old ones too! It certainly looked like harsh conditions!

  17. N37US says:

    A memorial to a terrible tragedy.The Photograph depicted here was used front page by every national newspaper the following day. I was the photographer and the full story is in my autobiography "From Refugee to OBE" by Charles Strasser, pages 46 to 49 with pictures on pages C1 to C4 including the unveiling of this memorial with fly past of a Hercules. The book is available at

  18. Ian D B says:

    What an excellent photo you took!
    But sorry for the late reply.

  19. Ang Wickham says:

    what a tragic event. like so many during hard times, seems like sometimes things get harder. that photo from the news is incredible, a sense of urgency and fear come from it.

  20. Sue Sheldon says:

    Thank you for this photograph from the Leek Post and Times, such a sad loss, William Sherry was 24 years of age – is my husband’s great-uncle.

  21. James Allen says:

    Could you please give the coordinates for this crash site or a map as I tried to find it on Sunday the 17 th of August with no luck

  22. Paul Allonby says:

    Hello, I would like to add some additional information. The aircraft was, in fact, carrying one-ton of bread, meat, cheese, flour and fat (powdered baby milk is not mentioned in the manifest, and the two babies born locally in February 1947 were both fit and healthy, as per the ‘Staffordshire Sentinel’). The photographers killed were ex-RAF Warrant Officer Dave Savill, who was working for the ‘Daily Herald’ and who had been a wartime RAF photographer in the Far East, and Joe Reardon, a news photographer with the Keystone Press Agency of London. Mr Savill, who was in the rear turret of the Halifax, survived the crash and was rescued by farmer’s son Tom Henshall, but succumbed to his injuries. The farmer in the photo was Bill Henshall, pictured carrying a first-aid pack and a parachute, the latter being used to keep Mr Savill warm as he was transported by lorry to a nearby doctor. Tom Henshall was commended for his courage and prompt action by the Staffordshire Coroner at the inquest in March 1947. Thank-you.

  23. Richard says:

    Details of the memorial (and a less spectacular picture) are at

    More about the crash including results of the Board of Inquiry are at

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