Lancaster bomber NF908

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RAF Lancaster bomber NF908

This mostly Australian crewed bomber was on a fighter affiliation exercise on January 3rd 1945, but when descending through cloud the aircraft crashed on The Roaches, a craggy ridge in the Peak District, with the loss of all on board.

Half an hour later, a USAAF Douglas A-20G Havoc 43-9958 crashed just 3 miles to the North East near the village of Flash, killing pilot First Lieutenant Eugene H. Howard…. And the evening before, USAAF B17 43-38944 had crashed 3 miles to the North, also with the loss of all crew.

Flying Officer W V W Allamby, RAAF, Pilot.
Sergeant N Lees, RAF, Flight Engineer
Flight Sergeant Geoffrey James Dunbar, RAAF, Bomb aimer
Flight Lieutenant J I Pritchard, RAAF, Navigator
Flight Sergeant R Emonson, RAAF, Wireless Operator
Flight Sergeant T E H Wright, RAAF, Air Gunner
Flight Sergeant C C Watson, RAAF, Air Gunner.


Below; A Lancaster bomber photographed at Derwent Valley in the Peak District


January 2010 visit

New tab. Crash site of American Flying Fortress which came down a few miles away, just the evening before

7 comments on “Lancaster bomber NF908
  1. Lindsay Adams says:

    Many thanks Ian for revisiting the crash site. It certainly is harsh, unforgiving country. The burnt out section surrounded by pink heath is a sad reminder of so many young lives lost. The only redeeming factor would have been the quick death I suppose. The photograph of a Lancaster bomber in full flight was a good touch. You have turned the page into a nice, respectful tribute in its own way. My uncle Walter Allamby is with his mates in Blacon War cemetery. I am sure he would be pleased. Thanks Ian. regards Lindsay.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Lindsay, thanks for taking a look. I think that about the dead in these crashes, that they were at least often quick ends.

      Many thanks for your comment too. It’s good to be able to visit these places and record them as they are now.

      The Lanc photo was taken last year on the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid at Derwent where the 617 Squadron crews trained in 1943.

    • Gary Crofts says:

      As recently as a couple of years ago, I found an engine part laying in the heather. I was determined to return it to RAF Waddington last Saturday (3/1/2015) that being 70 years to the day of the crash. Sadly try as I might, I couldn’t get a response to enable its return to th airfield from which it last departed. Emails and phone calls were sadly ignored. I will try again this week.

    • Michael Handley says:

      Hello Lindsay,
      My mothers cousin was Jack Pritchard, navigator with your uncle. I have photos of their funeral. I have an model lancaster to build, and have had decals made to represent PO C, NF908, however I cannot find any reference to the nose art of that particular plane. Would you have anything from your uncle, photos etc that showed or described the nose art, if it had any. I believe that plane had flown 5 missions (thus five bombs markings). If you wish copies of the photos of the funeral, please email me on

  2. Lindsay Adams says:

    Your photo of the Lancaster bomber reminded me to look at the footage of Colin and Ewen McGregor flying in the only remaining RAF Lancaster. It was a great tribute to the aeroplane and the men who flew in them. This plane may have reaped havoc over Germany (rightly so)but it did so looking very ,very good. 70 years ago Colin and Ewen McGregor may well have ended up as names on a Tribute wall. It was good they realised that possibility.

    • Ian D B says:

      Good point re; the MacGregors. I recall watching that TV programme and thinking they were lucky buggers to fly in it!

      In the UK we currently have a visiting Canadian Lancaster flying as well, so we have the chance to see two in the air at once. I need to get to one of the shows while I have the opportunity…

  3. Andrew Broadhurst says:

    I am 51 years old now and many years ago aged around 14 I found a partial set of dentures at the site. Sadly they have been lost in the annals of time but, most certainly belonged to one of the crew. R.I.P. brave souls.

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