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Military aircraft crashes in the north west Midlands - 1938 to 1941

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.

12 November 1938 (12/11/1938) Blenheim I L1208 of 139 Squadron crashed at Rugeley following a fire in the air. The pilot, F/O R D Tate, Cpl H G Kennett and AC1 R C Salter were all killed.

28 April 1939 (28/04/1939) Harvard N7019 of 10 Flying Training School crashed at Gailey near Penkridge after stalling during a forced landing. P/O Harvey was injured.

20 November 1939 (20/11/1939) Blenheim L4887 of 101 Squadron crashed whilst making a forced landing 2.5 miles south west of RAF Lichfield. The crew of three, P/O C P N Newman, LAC Johnson and LAC F J Mantle were unhurt.

3 December 1939 (03/12/39) Harvard I N7092 of 2 Flying Training School overturned at Cosford when making a forced landing down wind.

1 January 1940 (01/01/1940) Tiger Moth N6447 of 14 Elementary Training School, Elmdon, struck electricity cables near Tamworth. Fate of crew unknown.

1 March 1940 (01/03/1940) Tutor K3249 of 219 Squadron crashed after running out of fuel at Rugeley. Fate of crew unknown.

8 June 1940 (08/06/1940) Oxford R6246 of 11 Flying Training School, Wheaton Aston crashed on landing at Lichfield. Sgt Wood was dangerously injured, but survived.

26 October 1940 (26/10/1940) Tiger Moth L6920 of 2 Elementary Training School crashed at Kinver. The pilot, LAC J S Bunbury was injured.

12 January 1941 (12/01/1941) Beaufighter R2089 of 51 Maintenance Unit, Lichfield, hit a hut on the airfield. Ground crew AC2 G H Rumbold and AC2 J P Rout were killed and 8 others were injured.  The pilot, P/O C B O'Brien, survived.

7 February 1941 (07/02/1941) Tiger Moth T7216 of 14 Elementary Flying Training School, Elmdon, hit a tree while making a forced landing at Aldridge. Fate of crew unknown.

13 February 1941 (13/02/1941) Defiant N3518 of 2 Ferry Pilots Pool, Whitchurch stalled on approach to Cosford. The pilot was injured.

27 February 1941 (27/02/1941) Hampden X3124 of 83 Squadron, Scampton, flew into the ground at Derrington Cross whilst on a bombing mission to Koln. The crew: W/C W W Stainthorp AFC, P/O A McD Melville, Sgt L Emmerson and Sgt D V Weaving were killed.

11 April 1941 (11/04/1941) Defiant N3460 of 256 Squadron, Squires Gate, was on a defensive patrol over Birmingham when an alternator failure caused loss of the flying instruments. As they were unable to radio for assistance, the aircraft was abandoned by its crew and crashed near Cheslyn Hay. The pilot, Sgt R Dean broke his ankle on landing, but his gunner, Sgt Robinson was uninjured. Sergeant Dean was killed 19 July 1943 when the aircraft he was flying, Oxford HN772 broke up in the air over West Bromwich.

24 April 1941 (24/04/1941) Magister N3789 of 16 Elementary Flying Training School stalled on approach to Burton-Upon-Trent Relief Landing Ground. Fate of crew unknown.

26 April 1941 (26/04/1941) Master I T8757 of 5 Flying Training School, Tern Hill stalled whilst taking off from Cosford. F/O C G W Moore was killed.

8 May 1941 (08/05/1941) Junkers Ju88 F1+AD Wk Nr 6213 of III/KG 76 was shot down on its way home from bombing Liverpool and crashed at Gradbach. Maj D H Von Ziehlberg, Oblt W Lemke, Obfw R Schwalbe and Fw G Mahl were all killed.

15 May 1941 (15/05/1941) Tiger Moth T5846 of 14 EFTS hit HT cables when low flying 2 miles west of Kingsbury.  F/Lt L H C S Vetch was killed.

25 June 1941 (25/06/1941) Heinkel He111 WNr3839 of 3/KG4  was on a bombing mission to Liverpool when it was shot down by a Beaufighter of 25 Squadron, crewed by P/O L D Britain and P/O D W Thompson. The aircraft was abandoned and crashed at Lullington. Obl J. Schwartz was killed when his parachute failed to open, St Fw H. Glowski, Obergefr F. Ertzinger and Fw W. Koller were injured.

1 July 1941 (01/07/1941) Tiger Moth T8264 of 14 EFTS hit HT cables recovering from a dive at Kinsbury. Fate of crew unknown.

6 July 1941 (06/07/1941) Magister N3812 of 5 Elementary Training School, dived into the ground at Wombourne. F/Sgt H D B Jones and LAC F C Golder were killed. Page devoted to F/Sgt Herbert Jones.

10 July 1941 (10/07/1941) Wellington Ic T2467 of 27 Operational Training Unit, Lichfield suffered a burst tyre on take off, overshot and hit an obstruction. The crew were unhurt.

19 July 1941 (19/07/1941) Wellington Ic R1366 of 27 Operational Training Unit, Lichfield suffered an engine failure and hit a hangar. The crew: Sgt R LCox and his two companions were injured.

30 July 1941 (30/07/1941) Spitfire II P7825 of 403 Squadron dived into the ground near Cosford following loss of control in cloud. Sgt Lesa Girman RCAF was killed.

30 July 1941 (30/07/1941) Tiger Moth T7225 of 25 (P)EFTS crashed while attempting a forced landing, 8 miles north of Nuneaton. Fate of crew unknown.

10 August 1941 (10/08/1941) Wellington Ic R1086 of 27 Operational Training Unit was reported destroyed in an accident at Lichfield Aerodrome. There is no indication of casualties.

17 August 1941 (17/08/1941) Leopard Moth DB169 crashed on landing at Halfpenny Green aerodrome. Fate of crew unknown.

25 August 1941 (25/08/1941) Wellington Ic X9600 of 27 Operational Training Unit hit an armoured car after overshooting on landing. The pilot, Sgt J A Lancaster and his crew were unhurt.

28 August 1941 (28/08/1941) Master I N7935 of 5 Flying Training School, Tern Hill flew into the ground near Gnossall. LAC P H A Pickering was killed.

7 September 1941 (07/09/1941) Anson I K6190 of 27 Operational Training Unit, hit trees and farm buildings near Lichfield Aerodrome while overshooting. The crew were unhurt.

7 September 1941 (07/09/1941) Oxford AB667 of 12 FTS flew into HT cables at night and in bad weather at Whittaker Hill near Polesworthy. Fate of crew unknown.

11 September 1941 (11/09/1941) Wellington Ic R1460 of 27 Operational Training Unit suffered a burst tyre on landing at Lichfield. Sergeant H F H Taylor and his crew were unhurt.

27 September 1941 (27/09/1941) Wellington Ia P9216 of 27 Operational Training Unit caught fire after crash landing on Lichfield Aerodrome.The pupil pilot, Sgt Ashwood, was killed but the instructor, F/Lt L B Slade and the rest of the crew were unhurt.

30 September 1941 (30/09/1941) Anson N5133 of 3 Air Observers Navigation School was destroyed by fire in ground accident at Halfpenny Green Aerodrome. There were no casualties reported.

2 October 1941 (2/10/1941) Hurricane Z5078 of 121 Squadron was abandoned out of fuel near Burton-on-Trent. P/O R F Tilley RCAF (USA) was injured.

12 October 1941 (12/10/1941) Master N7582 of 5 Flying Training School was abandoned 3 miles south of Eccleshall.  Crew details not traced.

18 October 1941 (18/10/1941) Wellington Ic X9821 of 27 Operational Training Unit crashed whilst turning to the north of the aerodrome. The crew: Sgt L A Hill, Sgt J A Gilleapie, Sgt C U Irish and Sgt P Walker were killed.

22 October 1941 (22/10/1941) Master N7485 of 5 Flying Training School, Tern Hill, dived into the ground at Gnossall. The pilot, Sgt Maurice Délécray of the Free French Airforce, was killed.  (Délécray was his nom de guerre; his French name was Armand Paul Bayard.)

28 October 1941 (28/10/1941) Blenheim IV, V6013 of 17 Operational Training Unit, Upwood crashed in a forced landing near Gayton. The crew: Sgt H W Taylor, Sgt F R Bayliss and Sgt J A Hedley were killed.

8 November 1941 (08/11/1941) Hampden AE238 of 144 Squadron, North Luffenham crash landed on Lichfield aerodrome after being damaged by flak. The crew: Sgt Woodhall, Sgt Pomroy, Sgt Tod and Sgt Lynch were unhurt.

8 December 1941 (08/12/1941) Magister L5964 of 16 Elementary Flying Training School shed a wing over Burton-on-Trent and dived into the river at Walton-on-Trent.  P/O Prior was killed and LAC Morris was thrown out, his parachute opened and saved him just before he struck the water.

15 December 1941 (15/12/1941) Wellington Ic R1283 of 27 Operational Training Unit crashed at Chetwynd, near Lichfield aerodrome after hitting trees whilst attempting a forced landing. Sgt B Poupard was killed, Sgt T Riordan, Sgt Kitson and Ggt Gaffney were injured. Riordan was killed on 7 January 1944 while flying with 98 Squadron. 

29 December 1941 (29/12/1941) Wellington Ic T2899 of 27 Operational Training Unit was destroyed by fire at its dispersal on Lichfield aerodrome. There were no casualties.

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