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Military aircraft crashes in the south west Midlands - 1940

Details of the crashes and the names of the aircrew involved appear on this page. Please contact us if you are related to somebody on the list, or know of a photograph of them. If original photographs or papers are still in the family, we can help to caption photographs and explain the codes and nicknames that were used at the time. We appreciate the opportunity to copy original material for the museum's archive.

The Midland Aircraft Recovery Group has found the sites of many of the crashes, but we are still looking for a significant number, so we'd like to hear from anyone who can pinpoint a crash that we've listed. We are always looking for photographs, log books and anecdotes relevant to the units based in the Midlands.

The details below are have been compiled from numerous sources of information in the public domain over many years. We've done our best, but errors are inevitable. Please contact us if you have more accurate information on any of the crashes or people listed, or can add the names of crew that we haven't traced. Thank you.

10 January 1940 (10/01/1940) Audax K8332 of 3 FTS crashed in forced landing in the Pendock area.

5 February 1940 (05/02/1940) Shark K5651 of 2 AACU was abandoned near Kenilworth when lost in fog.  Pilot S/L R J Wilcox and W/T operator A C Verrier were unhurt.

6 March 1940 (06/03/1940) Whitley K7243 was Armstrong-Whitworth’s development aircraft for the Deerhound engine.  It crashed at Baginton attempting to take off with the elevators either locked or incorrectly set.  The RAF test pilot, Edward F Godfray, and Mr D V Edward and Mr Edgar Alan Stroud from Armstrong-Siddeley were killed.

8 March 1940 (08/03/1940) Tiger Moth N6613 of 9 EFTS undershot a night landing at Ansty and crashed into a hedge.  The instructor, P/O Craig, and pupil (LAC?) Maynard were only slightly injured.

5 April 1940 (05/04/1940) Puss Moth X9439 of 24 Squadron crashed in forced landing at Tewkesbury.  Names of crew not traced.

8 April 1940 (08/04/1940) Whitley K8957 of 10 OTU crashed at Long Marston after icing up.  F/O A L McSherry, P/O K R Ainsworth, P/O J M Davies and LAC M H Costello were killed.  P/O G W Salzgeber parachuted to safety.  He later changed his name to Salter.

25 April 1940 (25/04/1940) Oxford P1849 of 11 FTS hit a tree while force-landing at Chaddesley Corbett near Kidderminster during a cross-country flight from Shawbury.  Trainee pilot Sgt R N Harrison 741615 was unhurt in spite of the aircraft tipping onto its nose. Sgt Harrison later joined 9 Squadron and was killed on 22/12/1940, flying Wellington L7799, which crashed near Eastbourne on a sortie to Venice.

9 May 1940 (09/05/1940) Whitley K7227 of 10 OTU belly landed on approach to Pershore.  F/O D M Strong was unhurt.

24 May 1940 (24/05/1940) Hampden P1336 of 106 Squadron collided with a balloon cable in Coventry while on a cross-country flight.  Pilot P/O J M D Irvine, Sgt Collingham and A/C Firth were all killed.

31 May 1940 (31/05/1940) Tiger Moth N6590 of 9 EFTS dived into the ground at Ansty.  P/O T E Crossman was killed, but his pupil was not seriously injured.

5 June 1940 (05/06/1940) Blenheim L1232 of 5 OTU overshot Worcester landing ground at night and hit a house.  Pilot Sgt T L Armstrong was killed.

16 June 1940 (16/06/1940) Audax K5145 15 FTS Force-landed after engine failure at Sambourne, near Studley.  Pilot F/Lt J Rankin was unhurt.

19 June 1940 (19/06/1940) Master N7454 of 5 FTS force landed near Warwick and undercarriage collapsed.  Pilot Sgt F J Haines was unhurt.

15 July 1940 (15/07/1940) Battle L5768 of 3 Ferry Pilots Pool crashed in forced landing at Bewdley.  First Officer A W Coombs was unhurt.

16 July 1940 (16/07/1940) Audax K2030 of 9 SFTS forcelanded off Fell Mill Lane, Shipston-on-Stour.  The pilot was unhurt: name not traced.

27 July 1940 (27/07/1940) Hampden P1180 of 16 OTU hit trees at Upper Heyford and finally crashed at Kings Sutton.  Pilot P/O D M March was killed.

30 July 1940 (30/07/1940) Hampden L4169 of 16 OTU was abandoned after its controls locked on a test flight, crashing at Bishops Itchington.  Pilot P/O G E Weston RNZAF was unhurt.

1 August 1940 (01/08/1940) Battle L5075 of 18 OTU crashed on landing at Bramcote.

1 August 1940 (01/08/1940) Hereford L6067 of 16 OTU crashed at Shouldern.  Pilot Sgt O G Day, 2nd pilot F/O G H Thevenard, wireless operator Sgt S N Barker and passenger Ac2 G W Rhodes all killed.

7 August 1940 (07/08/1940) Hampden P2086 of 4 Ferry Pilots Pool stalled at Honeybourne, attempting to force land after an engine failure.  Pilot P/O A S Malcolm was injured.

8 August 1940 (08/08/1940) Battle L5597 of 301 Squadron flew into the ground at night in the circuit, at Bramcote.  Pilot P/O D Fengler (Polish) was killed.

19 August 1940 (19/08/1940) Tiger Moth T7032 of 2 EFTS hit wires at Tewkesbury.  Sgt W N Davis died of his injuries and LAC P W Spencer was seriously injured.

28 August 1940 (28/08/1940) Master N7408 of 5 FTS hit a balloon cable and crashed at Smethwick.  Pilot Sgt F J Rosbothom was killed.

31 August 1940 (31/08/1940) Tiger Moth K4248 of 14 EFTS was damaged beyond repair in a heavy landing at Elmdon.  Crew not traced.

16 September 1940 (16/09/1940) Junkers Ju 88 B3+HH Wk Nr 7087 of I/KG 54 hit a balloon cable over Coventry and crashed at Withybrook.  Hptmn Henke and Uffz Rattay were killed; Fw Baur and Fw Perleberg baled out and both were taken POW.

26 September 1940 (26/09/1940) Tiger Moth N6794 of 9 EFTS was damaged beyond repair on this date and may be an aircraft that came down in Coventry.  The names of the crew have not been traced.

28 September 1940 (28/09/1940) Master N8010 of 308 Squadron crashed on take off from Baginton.  Pilot F/Lt Laszkiewicz (Polish) was unhurt.

29 September 1940 (29/09/1940) Hurricane L1913 of 504 Squadron was shot down by anti-aircraft fire at Bramcote airfield, was abandoned and crashed at Nuneaton.  Pilot P/O M Rook was unhurt.

7 October 1940 (07/10/1940) Tiger Moth N5478 of 9 EFTS fouled the barbed wire round a defence position while taking off from Ansty.  Although both airframe and engine were written off, neither the instructor, F B Day, nor his unnamed pupil were injured.

11 October 1940 (11/10/1940) Blenheim T2273 of 27 Maintenance Unit crashed in forced landing on Honiley airfield, which was being built.

11 October 1940 (11/10/1940) Skua L2970 of 760 squadron crashed at Twyning while flying in formation.  Lt A F Adie and AM1 W H Souls were both killed.

11 October 1940 (11/10/1940) Spitfire P7323 of 611 Squadron became lost returning from an action with Dornier Do 17s over Wales and force landed at Cooksey Green in poor visibility.  The pilot Sgt K C Patterson died of his injuries two days later.

16 October 1940 (16/10/1940) Hurricane P3399 of 308 Squadron hit a balloon cable and crashed at Whitley, Coventry.  Pilot S/Ldr J A Davies was killed.

26 October 1940 (26/10/1940) Tiger Moth L6920 of 2 EFTS crashed at Kinver.  LAC John Shirley Bunbury was injured and admitted to Corbett hospital, Stourbridge. He recovered and completed his training. F/O J S Bunbury was killed on the 17th August 1942, whilst flying a Lancaster of 50 Squadron on a mission to Onsabruk.

28 October 1940 (28/10/1940) Blenheim R3840 of 3 Ferry Pilots Pool struck a balloon cable in Birmingham.  Pilot First Officer Leonard Satel was killed.

29 October 1940 (29/10/1940) Tiger Moth N5457 of 9 EFTS hit a tree at Brinklow.  Names of crew not traced.

9 November 1940 (09/11/1940) Anson N9945 of BATDU hit a balloon cable in Birmingham.  The pilot P/O Frederick Phillip Fry, navigator P/O George Edward Goldsmith, special wireless operator LAC Donald Biggs, Sgt John Edgar Murphy and Sgt George McGeogh were all killed.  This was almost certainly a special flight to investigate the German 'Knickenbein' blind bombing radio beams, as the Anson was flying over the city during a raid.

10 November 1940 (10/11/1940) Hurricane P3891 of 308 Squadron crashed in forced landing at Halesowen.  Pilot Sgt Zaniewski (Polish) was unhurt.

14 November 1940 (14/11/1940) Hart K4769 of 9 FTS crashed into a tree while attempting to force land at Whitchurch.  Pilot LAC Norman Dennis Steele was killed.

19 November 1940 (19/11/1940) Audax K7322 of 9 FTS ran into the windward hedge while landing at Hockley Heath.  Pilot LAC R S Richards was unhurt.

19 November 1940 (19/11/1940) Heinkel He 111 G1+KL Wk Nr 2877 of 2./KG 55 shot down by anti-aircraft fire and crashed at Withybrook.  Pilot Oblt Hans Glawe was killed, observer Fw Wilhelm Gutekunst, wireless operator Uffz Rudolf Zeiss and air gunner Gfr Xavier Hirschel were all taken POW.

29 November 1940 (29/11/1940) Reliant W7979 of 1 Camouflage Unit crashed in forced landing on the railway line at Long Marston.  One of the crew was the artist George Warner Allen who was serving with No 1 Camouflage Unit and the pilot's name has not yet been traced.  Neither was injured.

4 December 1940 (04/12/1940) Hurricane V7071 of 308 Squadron collided with a balloon cable and crashed at Ryton-on-Dunsmore.  Pilot P/O R Koczor, Polish, was killed.

5 December 1940 (05/12/1940) Blenheim T2353 of 6 Anti Aircraft Co-operation Unit crashed in forced landing near Baginton.  Pilot Sgt Morawiec (Polish) was unhurt.

5 December 1940 (05/12/1940) Hurricane L2124 of 55 OTU nosed over on landing at Moreton-in-Marsh.  Pilot Sgt B C Walmsley was unhurt. The same pilot was later wounded after being shot down over Ta Venezia in Hurricane MkII Z3061, on 1 May 1941. He was the victim of German ace Joachim Müncheberg who scored 135 aerial victories in over 500 missions.

5 December 1940 (05/12/1940) Magister N3824 of 5 EFTS crashed in forced landing near Rugby.  Fate of crew unknown.

8 December 1940 (08/12/1940) Magister P6450 of 16 EFTS crashed in forced landing near Banbury.  Fate of crew unknown.

10 December 1940 (10/12/1940) Blenheim L4844 of 17 OTU dived into ground out of cloud at Grimley.  Sgt G W Penman, Sgt A Ferguson and Sgt J Roberts were all killed.

10 December 1940 (10/12/1940) Tiger Moth N9115 of 14 EFTS stalled and crashed at Maxstoke.  Possibly two killed; names not traced.

12 December 1940 (12/12/1940) Audax K7445 of 9 FTS hit a ballon cable at Longbridge, Birmingham, crashed and burnt out.  Pilot LAC S R Phillips was killed.

12 December 1940 (12/12/1940) Hurricane P2548 of 55 OTU force landed and overturned at Hunningham.  Pilot Sgt G A Collins was killed.

14 December 1940 (14/12/1940) Dragon AW173 (G-AEMI) of 7 Anti Aircraft Co-operation Unit crashed in forced landing at Pillerton Hersey.  Pilot P/O Tadeusz Walczak and Sgt T Tubis, both Polish, were both killed.

17 December 1940 (17/12/1940) Hurricane V7403 of 213 Squadron crashed in forced landing at Norton near Worcester.  Pilot P/O R M Chatfield was unhurt.

21 December 1940 (21/12/1940) Tiger Moth T7152 of 14 EFTS was damaged beyond repair - details unknown.

27 December 1940 (27/12/1940) Hurricane N2458 of 32 Squadron crashed in forced landing at Dunchurch.  Pilot Sgt J M Wright was killed.

28 December 1940 (28/12/1940) Oxford N4575 of 2 FTS hit wires on overshoot from the unfinished airfield at Chipping Warden, crashed and caught fire, killing the nineteen year old pilot, LAC Arthur Gordon Howse. 

31 December 1940 (31/12/1940) Tiger Moth K4272 of 14 EFTS stalled in a low turn when attempting to land Hockley Heath while lost.  Sgt D A Stockton and A Armstrong died from injuries received.

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