Wellington DV810 on Broomhead Moor.

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Wellington DV810 on Broomhead Moor.

On 9 December 1942 Wellington DV810 of No.21 Operational Training Unit was on a navigation exercise, its crew under the tuition of Flying Officer Baker who was between tours. Lost in cloud, F/O Baker brought the aircraft down thinking they were much further to the east than the moors above Stocksbridge.

Cunningham (2010) notes that F/O Baker was gingerly easing down through the cloud, thought he spotted some change in the uniform grey and a moment later “…there was a bang and my port engine was on fire.”

Being a gently sloping moor, and F/O Baker having had that glimpse of a warning to pull back and warn the crew to prepare to crash, the bomber hit the ground and skidded across the moor before coming to a halt with all on board injured and shook up, but alive. Flying Officer Baker got his crew off the Wellington and clear of the wreck before the fire from the engine ingnited the fuel, and the plane blew up.

F/O Baker ended the war as a highly decorated Wing Commander leading a Pathfinder Squadron. But 4 of those on board were killed a few months later. Statistically it was bound to happen. 3 of the Australians along with 18 year old Sgt Allwight of Reading, got through the rest of their training and were flying Wellingtons from bases in the Middle East with 40 Squadron. On 19 April 1943, these four along with another Australian, Flt/Sgt R.B.McIlroy, formed the crew of Wellington HZ248 ‘R’ which was shot down while bombing German targets at Soliman in Tunisia, by Luftwaffe night fighter pilot Oberleutnant Stefan Machat. All were killed.

Flying Officer Stanley Baker, OTU staff pilot.
Sergeant Anthonoy St Clair Turner, RAAF, trainee pilot, injured
Flight Sergeant Donald Norman Dawson, RAAF, navigator, injured
Flight Sergeant Walter Samuel Sinclair, RAAF, bomb aimer
Sergeant Alan Gordon Allwight, RAFVR, trainee wireless operator, injured
Sergeant Ronald Douglas Weeks RAAF, air gunner, injured.

30 comments on “Wellington DV810 on Broomhead Moor.
  1. rob of rochdale says:

    Blimey, that’s a proper mess

  2. pasujoba says:

    terrific research Ian ….am gonna have to edit mine now 🙂 that will teach me not to believe whats written in books 🙂
    I did wonder about the extra man , I presume you could find no trace of him either , I couldnt find him on CWGC but that might mean he lived .

    Tch , I,m getting my sites mixed up it was the Stirling crash site where they all survived through the war

  3. Ian D B says:

    Him and Ronald Weeks, I think he survived the war too.

  4. Keartona says:

    The description of how the plane blows up after all the crew have managed to reach safety is like something from a Hollywood film.
    No happy ever after for the survivors though was it.

  5. 5DII says:

    Thanks for the history Ian. I’m amazed that so much debris remains. Glad, that at least for a little, all survived this crash.


  6. **Hazel** says:

    That is an amazing shot Ian! What a terrible sight and to think people were in that and survived!! Thanks for sharing the information!!!:)

  7. redrocker_9 says:

    Well this is a bit different for you Ian, being as they all survived this crash.

  8. bill_fawcett says:

    Ian, thanks for the photos and the research you do on each crash site.

  9. Nate Parker Photography says:

    this all would be a fine book Ian-

  10. SolarScot. says:

    good work Ian

  11. mick cooke says:

    said it before ian its a pity you cant get your stories and photos published be a dam good book and a good read , great work ian photos and stories
    all the best

  12. andyholmfirth says:

    Surviving such a crash is really something but to go on flying and be killed just months later is so sad.

  13. Ian D B says:

    Thanks everyone, very kind of you, especially regarding publishing these in a book.

    I have thought about a book, but the amount of effort involved – Andy once kindly gave me some pointers – is more than I would want to invest in it, really.

    Did go to one publisher once, pitched the idea but they said no thanks, and I have left it at that. I know, I’d need to pitch it to dozens before I get a sniff of interest and that’s my point, seeing your photos in print is always a thrill, and a whole book would be amazing, but it doesn’t mean so much to me that I want to keep trying to flog the idea to people, I might end up sick and tired of the whole thing and I don’t want that to happen! I’m happy with uploading them on flickr, they get plenty of views long after the photos disappear into the depths of the photostream, and get to be seen by people who wouldn’t normally be aware of these places.

    But thanks again though, your comments are always encouraging, if no-one viewed and commented on them I would’ve stopped long ago.

  14. Neal. says:

    Always fascinating, i discovered there’s a crash site in the hills North of us and the pilot, again an Australian, is buried at the site as his body couldn’t be retrieved.

  15. P_H_I_L_L says:

    Great descriptive story as always. The difference with this story is the crew survived, normally your stories involve people dying. Makes a nice change. I’m surprised too to see big pieces of wreckage, you would think they would have some scrap value and given how disrespectful people seem to be, I’d have thought they’d go.

    You’ve probably seen this book Ian, a chap at work has it, he told me about it after I showed him your stream.


  16. Ian D B says:


    Thanks Phill, yeah that book is the one referred to above by Cunningham. I get a mention in the acknowledgements which is nice. It is a very good book, and the grid refs are always spot on too.

    Hope to get to Scotland this year, lots of sites I’d really like to visit and document up there.
    You should do a piece on it Neal, be great to see your take on a crash site!

  17. het broertje van.. says:

    Impressive as always man!!!


  18. Tech Owl says:

    A fair amount of debris and another interesting story – as far as a book is concerned, you could always do a photo book version which several people offer now. Text is available too (I’ve done a couple just for family)

  19. Richard Tierney says:

    Agree Ian.. do or try a photo book.. next best thing to publishing your own book. Am sure you would get some interest. A simple comiplation of your "best" would be enough to get people started/interested. Not a huge effort and to see it in book form nicely printed woudl be great.

  20. C J Paul (chris) says:

    brilliant ian like the added pictures too mate.
    great info go for the book ian great idea.

  21. seansonofbig says:

    Spoke to Pat, he stands corrected…

  22. *Psycho Delia* says:

    Excellent shot Ian

  23. Kingsdude/Dave says:

    Excellent story Ian as ever – I reckon a book would be a great idea given the interest just on Flickr alone ? Know what you mean about time and doing the rounds with publishers but I`d still go for it 🙂

  24. Pleasureprinciple2012 says:

    Ian man, you have already done all the hard stuff and ground work, putting it into print for the likes of me to purchase is a must!!!

    Great stuff above as usual.

  25. Air Frame Photography says:

    And now you have been to the airfield where it took off from….

  26. Ian D B says:

    RAF Edgehill, yeah!

  27. PeaceLoveScoobie says:

    70 years ago today. Glad to hear they survived the crash but sad to hear most of them didn’t make it past the war.

  28. hose_dk says:

    Last week I bought 2 silver beakers. I have put them on display here, http://www.925-1000.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=45805

    The beakers dit belong to the German pilot that shot down the plane. He had 2 Wellingtons on his list, and each time he ordered a silver beaker.

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