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Military aircraft crashes in the south west Midlands - 1945

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.

03/01/1945 Oxford V3878 of 18 PAFU was abandoned at Woodford Halse after it iced up. Belgian pilot F/O Georges Gaston François Nuyt and Free French pupil F/Sgt J E Durand were both unhurt.

03/01/1945 Tiger Moth T6571 of 14 EFTS was blown over while taxying at Elmdon.

04/01/1945 Wellington BJ832 of 22 OTU overshot following engine failure at Wellesbourne Mountford. F/O V Thygeson RCAF and his crew were unhurt.

04/01/1945 Wellington MF508 of 22 OTU lost its elevator controls, forcing the crew to bale out. The aircraft crashed at Wiggington Heath. W/O L J A Conolly and his crew were unhurt.

06/01/1945 Wellington HE633 of 24 OTU crashed on take off from Honeybourne when an engine failed. F/O J N Beatty RCAF and his crew were unhurt.

08/01/1945 Oxford NM578 of 18 PAFU swung on take off and hit a sodium flare at Church Lawford. Names of crew not traced.

08/01/1945 Wellington LN612 of 21 OTU suffered a double engine failure, so the pilot ordered the crew to bale out. 4 did so, but the rear gunner was still on board when the aircraft crash-landed at Gaydon. P/O W C Norman RAAF, F/O Howley RAAF, F/Sgt Cullinan RAAF, P/O Casterley RAAF, F/Sgt Poole RAAF and Sgt Hutchinson RAAF were all unhurt.

13/01/1945 Oxford V3769 of 1 FU dived into the ground on Bredon Hill, during a Gee exercise. Pilot Sgt G W Stafford and passengers F/Lt I R Sims DFM and P/O M Larkin RAAF were all killed.

13/01/1945 Reliant FL141 of ECFS flew into high ground at Malvern. Names of crew not traced.

19/01/1945 Mosquito HJ992 of 1 Ferry Unit crashed at Fladbury station after hitting HT cables. Pilot W/O J L Williams was killed.

19/01/1945 Oxford AT655 of 1545 BAT Flight suffered a double engine failure in a snow storm. The pilot attempted to land, but he was over Wassell Wood, where the aircraft crashed. Instructor F/Lt N B Worswick and pupil F/Sgt J R Payne were injured. Pupil pilot F/O F R Miller from New Zealand was killed.

19/01/1945 Oxford NM591 of 18 PAFU crashed after engine failure on take off from Snitterfield. Sgt A Hammond and New Zealand trainee pilot F/Sgt J R Palmer were both injured.

20/01/1945 Oxford LW863 of 18 PAFU was caught in a snowstorm and iced up at Hillmorton. F/O D J Turner successfully baled out, but F/O F Waddingham was killed.

20/01/1945 Tiger Moth T7027 of 14 EFTS crashed at Atherstone. The pilot was flying at 3,000 feet in a bad snowstorm and this was compounded when the aircraft’s engine began to give trouble. The pilot decided to make a forced landing, but having descended to 1,500 feet, he abandoned the aircraft. Name not yet traced.

22/01/1945 Wellington HF609 of 22 OTU overshot a single engine landing at Gaydon. W/O B D Cathcart RCAF and his crew were unhurt.

28/01/1945 Mosquito KB153 of 16 OTU spun into the ground near Barford St John following a port engine failure. F/Lt J M Richardson RAAF and F/Lt L A Butcher DFC were both killed.

01/02/1945 Anson EF937 of 3 OAFU dived into the ground at Childswickham. P/O I H Young RNZAF, F/Sgt L Wall, F/Sgt Reardon and Sgt W Holgary were all killed.

02/02/1945 Mosquito ML910 of Telecommunications Flying Unit was damaged beyond repair on landing at Defford.

04/02/1945 Mosquito LR529 of 16 OTU sideslipped into the ground at Barford St John. Pilot F/O Jackson was killed.

04/02/1945 Oxford HN854 of 18 PAFU crashed into trees while overshooting at Church Lawford. Instructor F/O A W J Lyons and pupil pilot F/O A S Lees were both killed.

05/02/1945 Beaufort LR924 of 1 Ferry Unit crash landed at Flyford Flavell following engine failure. Pilot F/O Felland Australian OK.

05/02/1945 Mosquito KB469 of 16 OTU suffered a collapsed undercarriage at Barford St John. Pilot F/Lt J F Marshall DFC AFC was OK.

06/02/1945 P-51D 44-63271 of 83 Fighter Squadron, 78 Fighter Group at Duxford was abandoned by its pilot after getting lost. Lt William H Julian was unhurt.

07/02/1945 Oxford V3473 of 18 PAFU crashed on overshoot at Snitterfield. Pilot W/O H Concannon was OK.

19/02/1945 B-17 44-8281 326 Bomb Squadron, 92nd Bomb Group crashed at Temple Grafton after the crew baled out following an engine fire. 2/Lt John E Deegan, 2/Lt Claw W Baker Jr, F/O David Livis, Sgt John V Mendes, Sgt Keith E Leevit, Sgt Joseph T Doyle, Sgt Claud N Russell Jr, Sgt Lloyd S Desant and Sgt John J Jonas all survived.

19/02/1945 Oxford HN311 of 1533 BAT Flight struck a tree at Thurlaston Grange. Instructor W/O F Needham and trainee pilot Sgt E Kershaw were both killed.

20/02/1945 Mosquito KB365 of 16 OTU suffered a collapsed undercarriage at Barford St John.

20/02/1945 Wellington LP654 of 105 OTU hit an HT pole at Corley and crashed into a bungalow. F/Lt John V Billett, F/Sgt Frank W Stroud and F/O Leonard Davies were all killed. Five civilians were also killed: Alice Markham, Hilda Sands and her daughter Patricia, Kathlyn Harris and her daughter Mollie. The accident was probably the result of an incorrectly-set altimeter.

23/02/1945 Halifax NA656 of 644 Squadron was returning to base after a diversion when it lost 2 engines. While attempting to land at Honiley, it lost a 3rd engine and crashed on the perimeter. Pilot W/O J C Bailey and flight engineer F/Sgt M Miles OK, air bomber F/Sgt W R Gregory slightly injured. Navigator F/Sgt W Brooks, WO/AG F/Sgt J W Tomlinson and air gunner F/Sgt R Gent were killed. Murray Miles re-visited the site in June 2007.

01/03/1945 Tiger Moth N9145 of 14 EFTS crashed when force landing at Halesowen. P/O Wigglesworth was injured.

01/03/1945 Wellington MF538 of 24 OTU had an elevator failure and crashed at Lenchwick. P/O W A Leslie RCAF, F/O F Scott RCAF, F/Sgt G D McVicar RCAF, Sgt E J Cooper RCAF and Sgt A C Thomas RCAF were all killed.

01/03/1945 Wellington PF839 of 12 OTU flew into the ground shortly after take off from Edgehill. P/O L Hampson was injured.

02/03/1945 Tiger Moth DE490 of 14 EFTS hit the ground on approach to Elmdon in fog. Names of crew not traced.

05/03/1945 B-17 44-6464 612 Bomb Squadron, 401 Bomb Group crashed at Bitteswell after the crew baled out. Pilot Lt Ed Rheinhard and his crew were all unhurt – the other names have not yet been traced; details appreciated.

10/03/1945 Mosquito RR287 of 16 OTU hit a tree after take off from Barford St John. Pilot P/O J G Howell and pupil F/Lt A S Fardell were both killed.

12/03/1945 Oxford W6647 was being refuelled when DF350 ran into it at Church Lawford. Both aircraft were from 18 PAFU.

17/03/1945 Oxford HN486 of 18 PAFU stalled on overshoot at Church Lawford. F/O Bennie RNZAF was unhurt.

20/03/1945 Mosquito KB125 of 16 OTU suffered a collapsed undercarriage at Barford St John. W/O D Little was unhurt.

22/03/1945 Beaufighter RD334 of Signals Flying Unit belly landed at Honiley.

24/03/1945 Mosquito KB523 of 16 OTU belly landed at Milcombe. F/O P B Jackson RAAF was quite badly injured.

26/03/1945 L-5 44-17117 of USAAC crashed near Dunchurch. Pilot 1/Lt R H Parker was killed.

26/03/1945 Wellington LP435 of 12 OTU force-landed at Wellesbourne Mountford with hydraulic failure. W/O O J Mann and his crew were unhurt.

27/03/1945 Wellington NC973 of 12 OTU crashed into the road after hitting a windsock at Edgehill. F/Sgt Thompson was badly injured, but the rest of the crew were unhurt.

02/04/1945 Spitfire MJ890 of RAF Pershore suffered an engine failure while flying on drop tanks. It hit telegraph wires when force landing at Halford. F/O R A Branson was unhurt.

03/04/1945 Spitfire MH486 of 1 FU got bogged down while taxying at Pershore and tipped on its nose. Name of pilot not traced.

05/04/1945 Beaufighter NV307 1 Ferry Unit had its undercarriage collapse on landing at Pershore.

05/04/1945 Oxford AT728 of 18 PAFU suffered a collapsed undercarriage when landing at Warwick RLG. Names of crew not traced.

06/04/1945 Mosquito KB343 of 16 OTU suffered a collapsed undercarriage at Barford St John. F/O H M George was unhurt.

08/04/1945 Wellington BK133 of 21 OTU crashed at Great Rollright following engine failure. F/Sgt J K Vickers RAAF, F/Sgt A G Brunskill RAAF, F/Sgt J W Newcombe RAAF, W/O C H Harrison RAAF, F/Sgt E C Graebner RAAF and F/Sgt J R Thomas RAAF were all killed. This was the last Wellington Mk III to be lost by a Bomber Command Operational Training Unit.

12/04/1945 Oxford HN850 of 18 PAFU swung on landing at Snitterfield and the undercarriage collapsed. Names of crew not traced.

17/04/1945 Wellington NC667 of 105 OTU crash-landed in the circuit at Bitteswell after engine failure. Names of crew not traced.

18/04/1945 Oxford HM988 of 18 PAFU overshot take off from Snitterfield and hit a hedge. Names of crew not traced.

18/04/1945 Oxford MP308 of 18 PAFU was hit by Oxford HM609 after landing at Snitterfield. Became instructional airframe 5328M.

18/04/1945 Wellington LP286 of 12 OTU crashed at Chipping Warden while trying to land on one engine. F/Sgt W J Hillier, Sgt H Mairs, Sgt A G Grant, Sgt J B Egan and Sgt P McGowan were all killed, while Sgt P V Birch was injured.

19/04/1945 Wellington HZ363 of 22 OTU crashed on take off from Wellesbourne when an engine failed. F/O J F Tees RCAF and his crew were unhurt.

20/04/1945 Mosquito KB495 of 16 OTU overshot landing at Barford St John and its undercarriage was raised to stop. W/O C G Johnson was unhurt.

22/04/1945 Wellington LN549 of 12 OTU swung on take off and hit LN710, of the same unit, which was parked at dispersal. LN549 continued its take off and was destroyed on landing at Woodbridge, whereas LN710 was written off at Chipping Warden, or possibly Edgehill. F/O A Duckworth, F/O M P Floyd and the rest of the crew were unhurt.

26/04/1945 B-24 42-51251 406 Bomb Squadron, 492nd Bomb Group was carrying propaganda leaflets when it iced up. The crew had baled out when the bomber crashed at Whitnash, with the pilot, Lt Jean Anderson still on board. The rest of the crew survived: radio operator S/Sgt Robert G Davis, gunner S/Sgt William L Blackard, gunner Sgt Robert J Sullivan, gunner Sgt Robert W Roos, engineer S/Sgt Harold F Wesley Jr, bombardier 2/Lt Melvin H Davis, co-pilot 2/Lt Richard L Halle, navigator 2/Lt Richard C Klenoski.

27/04/1945 Mosquito LR531 of 16 OTU crash landed at Barford St John after an engine failure. W/O G J M Robertson RCAF was unhurt.

01/05/1945 Wellington HE822 of 12 OTU crashed in forced landing at Wardington. F/Sgt K Tregoning RAAF and his crew were unhurt.

05/05/1945 Oxford HN637 of 18 PAFU crashed at Norton Lindsey after engine failure at night. Sgt C S Jones was killed.

11/05/1945 Mosquito KB123 of 16 OTU overshot landing at Barford St John after flying through a violent hailstorm. F/O G E Warriner RCAF was unhurt.

11/05/1945 Tiger Moths T5982 and T6910 of 7 EFTS at Desford collided at Maxstoke while changing formation.  Instructor F/Sgt R M Robson and pupil AC2 K W Halliday in T5982 and instructor Sgt J H Strudwick and pupil Cpl H S Farndale in T6910 were all killed.  

11/05/1945 Wellington NC713 of 105 OTU crashed on approach to Bitteswell after engine failure. W/O F W Duck, F/Sgt N W Wynn and W/O J D Ormesher were all killed.

11/05/1945 Wellington PF880 of the Signals Flying Unit was taking off from Honiley when the undercarriage was retracted by mistake. F/Lt D H Payne and his passenger were unhurt.

13/05/1945 Wellington PF848 of the Signals Flying Unit had its undercarriage collapse on landing at Honiley. F/O R N Holton and F/O G Wotherspoon were unhurt.

22/05/1945 Tiger Moth T6047 of 14 EFTS hit a blister hangar on approach to Hockley Heath. P/O C S Barber was unhurt.

24/05/1945 Hurricane PG495 of 21 OTU force landed with glycol leak at Moreton-in-Marsh. Pilot F/O L T Tiso was OK.

08/06/1945 Oxford NM299 of 3 PAFU disintegrated in the air while avoiding another aircraft at Kemerton. Pilot F/O T H Furlong was thrown out and landed safely by parachute.

12/06/1945 Beaufighter RD691 of Signals Flying Unit slipped off jacks while being maintained at Honiley.

17/06/1945 Mosquito KB272 of 16 OTU suffered a collapsed undercarriage at Barford St John.

23/06/1945 Wellington LP822 of 105 OTU overshot landing at Bitteswell and was damage beyond repair. Fate of crew not known.

25/06/1945 Beaufighter V8490 of the Telecommunications Flying Unit was abandoned by the pilot when fire broke out in the starboard wing; crashed at Malvern Wells. Pilot F/Lt W J Devine was OK.

25/06/1945 Oxford V4211 of 295 Squadron crashed in forced landing near Moreton-in-Marsh. Fate of crew not traced.

01/07/1945 Mosquito W4053 of 16 OTU was landing with one propeller feathered when it swung and hit a tree at Barford St John. F/O W J Mepham DFC and Lt(A) W G Addison-Scott RNVR were both killed.

02/07/1945 Mosquito KB223 of 16 OTU suffered a collapsed undercarriage at Barford St John. F/O J Howard was unhurt.

05/07/1945 Mosquito KB496 of 16 OTU suffered a collapsed undercarriage at Barford St John. W/O S Dennis was unhurt.

07/07/1945 Wellington HE908 of 105 OTU belly landed at Bitteswell after colliding with an Oxford in the air. There were no injuries.

10/07/1945 Tiger Moth N6836 of 14 EFTS crashed on take off from Elmdon. P/O W R Fieldhouse was slightly injured.

11/07/1945 Wellington LP873 of 10 OTU crashed at Pillerton Hersey, possibly after loss of control in cloud. F/O R L Walters, F/Sgt J E Fivash, F/O M E Tardif, Sgt J Grant and Sgt B W Kelly were all killed.

12/07/1945 Beaufighter JL814 of 1 Ferry Unit undershot landing at Pershore

19/07/1945 Tiger Moth T7222 of 14 EFTS stalled during aerobatics and crashed at Allesley. P/O J M Molder and P/O B A Smith were both killed.

03/08/1945 Hotspur HH490 of 3 GTS damaged beyond repair in heavy landing at Wellesbourne Mountford.

20/08/1945 Mustangs KM113 and KM201 of 303 Squadron collided near Bromsgrove. W/O A Rutecki and F/Sgt S Magdziak, both Polish, were killed.

20/08/1945 Tiger Moth N5467 of 14 EFTS crashed while force landing at Meriden. Names of crew not traced.

23/08/1945 Mosquito KB194 of 16 OTU broke up in cloud and crashed at Rollright. Pilot F/O George Mansell Proctor DFC and pupil navigator F/O Keith Leslie Kelly, both New Zealanders, were both killed.

01/09/1945 An unknown aircraft is believed to have crashed on Broadway Hill. No other information has come to light – details appreciated.

01/09/1945 Harvard KF431 of 7 FTS crashed at Hillmorton on night navigation exercise – cause unknown. Pilot M Weidmann was killed. 

01/09/1945 Harvard KF599 of 21 SFTS stalled while low flying at Hunningham. Pilot instructor F/O P L A Clarke and pupil Ac2 J F Mabbs were both killed.

24/09/1945 Master DM431 of 5 GTS force landed at Leigh. Pilots W/O G L Wilson and F/Sgt E R Jones were both OK.

27/09/1945 Tiger Moth DE887 of 3 GTS stalled when landing at Gaydon. Lt Smolders and Cpl Fitzgerald were both killed.

19/10/1945 Wellington PF882 of the Signals Flying Unit overshot landing at Atherstone and ran into the railway embankment. F/O A V Rippengal and his crew were unhurt.

24/10/1945 Hotspur HH544 of 3 GTS was blown away by a gust of wind at Gaydon.

31/10/1945 Hotspur HH417 of 3 GTS was damaged beyond repair in a heavy landing at Wellesbourne Mountford.

13/11/1945 Mosquito HK352 of Telecommunications Flying Unit taxied into a coach at Defford.

13/11/1945 Mosquito RR294 of 16 OTU hit a farmhouse on overshoot from Barford St John. Pilot instructor F/Lt Rowe and pupil pilot F/Lt Gilder were both killed. Seven week old Richard Quartermain was killed in the house.

16/11/1945 Hotspur BT487 of 3 GTS on landing, collided with stationary Hotspur HH225 at Gaydon. Pilot OK.

16/11/1945 Wellington LR118 of RAF St Mawgan overshot a landing at Honeybourne in bad visibility.

17/11/1945 Wellington HE986 of 2 FP had a collapsed undercarriage on landing at Honeybourne.

26/11/1945 Tiger Moth N9345 of 7 EFTS crashed when taking off from a forced landing at Baginton. Names of crew not traced.

26/11/1945 Wellington NB965 of 107 Sub Storage Unit caught fire after landing at Honeybourne.

06/12/1945 Tiger Moth N6862 of 14 EFTS crashed in forced landing at Churton Heath. F/O D A Osborne was unhurt.

28/12/1945 Hotspur BT539 of 3 GTS was hit by Master EM292 while on the ground at Wellesbourne Mountford.

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