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Military aircraft crashes in the north west Midlands - 1943

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.

1 January 1943, Airspeed Oxford V3841 of 11 Pilots advanced flying unit crashed at Wheaton Aston after hitting trees in the circuit. Pilot Sgt James Murray Gilmour was killed.

11 January 1943, Vickers Wellington III HZ104 of 22 Operational Training Unit Hit a telegraph pole and crashed on approach to Cosford Aerodrome. The pilot, P/O E.E. Fisher RCAF died of his injuries.

15 January 1943, Airspeed Oxford N4832 of 11 Pilots Advanced Training Unit crashed on overshoot at Wheaton Aston. Crew names unknown.

15 January 1943, Vickers Wellington III BK512 of 23 Operational Training Unit suffered engine failure while engaged on night flying exercises and crashed near Orton on the Hill, 4 ˝ miles east of Tamworth, Staffordshire. The pilot, P/O A.M.H. Gain RCAF, was killed. Sgt E.A. Antrobus, Sgt V.M. White RCAF, Sgt V.M. Caplin and Sgt D.J. Burge parachuted safely.

21 January 1943, DeHaviland Tiger Moth BB816 of 28 Elementary Flying Training School collided in mid air with Tiger Moth T5101 near Stafford. Crew names and fates unknown.

7 February 1943, Vickers Wellington BK434 of 30 Operational Training Unit crashed at Ingestre. Sgt Robert Driscoll Lewis RAAF, Sgt K.H. Austin, Sgt J. McGinnes, Sgt J.J. Kenny and Sgt D.C. Rowse RNZAF were killed.

1 March 1943, Vickers Wellington III, Z1681 of 27 Operational Training Unit crashed on approach to Lichfield Aerodrome. P/O W.W. Alexander RAAF, Sgt J. Denyer, P/O A.R. Heins RAAF were killed. P/O G.A. McCreath RAAF, P/O W.J.R. Vincent and Sgt Woodhouse were injured.

11 March 1943, Vickers Wellington III, BJ835 of 27 Operational Training Unit Crashed in a forced landing at Gnosall. The crew were unhurt.

4 April 1943, Vickers Wellington III, BK508 of 27 Operational Training Unit, crashed near Church Broughton. Sgt P.A. White was killed but the pilot, Sgt Law survived.

5 April 1943, Bristol Beaufighter IIF, T3049 of 51 Maintenance Unit crashed at Yoxall. No details of the crew have been found.

6 April 1943, Vickers Wellington X, HE210 of 27 Operational Training Unit was destroyed in a take off accident at Lichfield. W/O A.G. Gross RAAF and his crew were unhurt.

10 April 1943, Vickers Wellington,BK179 of 30 Operational Training Unit crashed near Seighfrod Aerodrome. F/O R. Haynes, F/Sgt J.F. Jervis, Sgt L.K. Bray, Sgt R.F. Knight and Sgt F. Yates were all killed.

12 April 1943,DeHaviland Tiger Moth, N9214 of 7 Elementary Training Unit Crashed at Tamworth. The fate of the crew is unknown.

7 May 1943, Avro Anson EG185 and N4925 of 3 Observers Advanced Flying Unit were involved in a mid-air collision over Pattingham. Crew casualties are unknown.

15 May 1943, Vickers Wellington X, HE468 of 30 Operational Training Unit crashed at Salt Heath. All on board were killed: F/O J.H.G. Watson, Sgt G.A. Cure, Sgt T.J Campbell, F/Sgt D.P. Boyle RAAF, Sgt J. Hedge, Lt P.A. Roberts of 80 Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery.

27 June 1943, Vickers Wellington III BK453 of 27 Operational Training Unit crashed at Church Broughton Airfield. P/O D.W. Laufer RAAF and his crew were unhurt.

7 July 1943, Vickers Wellington X HE238 of 30 Operational Training Unit Crashed 1.5 miles from Hixon Aerodrome killing all on board. F/O A. Beare, Sgt J.I. Middleton, Sgt G.D Barker, Sgt J.E. Ratcliffe, Sgt V.C. Cummins RCAF and 2Lt T.E.  Fenwick RA.

21 July 1943, Airspeed Oxford P1889 of 11 Pilots Advanced Flying Unit collided in mid air with Oxford V4222 of the same unit. Casualties are unknown at present.

1 August 1943, Vickers Wellington X HE917 of 30 Operational Training Unit overshot the runway at Hixon Aerodrome. The crew were all injured: F/S P.J. Clifton, Sgt C. M. Carr RCAF, Sgt A.E. Dimock RCAF, Sgt A.L. Rookes, Sgt J.A. Johnstone.

11 August 1943, Miles Master II W9073 of 5 Flying Training School collided in mid air with Wellington HE390 near Seighford Aerodrome killing F/Sgt Simmons and Sgt Mudie RAAF.  The crew of the Wellington were all killed as well: Sgt S.G. Cochrane, Sgt F. Powis, Sgt C. Yates, Sgt E.W.C. Bryant, F/Lt L.W. Metcalf DFC.

16 August 1943, Vickers Wellington X HE178 of 27 Operational Training Unit crashed whilst making a forced landing 3 miles N.E. of Tamworth. The pilot, Sgt R.W. Jarvis survived but Sgt R. Taltersall was killed.

16 August 1943, Vickers Wellington X MS475 of 27 Operational Training Unit overshot Lichfield Aerodrome following an engine failure. Sgt D.O. Clindening was injured, the rest of the crew escaped unhurt.

18 August 1943, Vickers Wellington X LN432 of 27 Operational Training Unit crashed during take off from Lichfield Aerodrome. S/Ldr C.E. Payne and three other crew members suffered minor injuries.

21 August 1943, Miles Master  I N7943 of 5 Pilots Advanced Flying Unit crashed during a forced landing at Lichfield Aerodrome. Despite being dragged clear of the burning wreck by Aircraftsman Bigg, both Sgt Fentiman and his pupil, P/O Falkner died of their injuries.

26 August 1943, Vickers Wellington III BK359 of 30 Operational Training Unit swung on take off and collided with a contractor’s lorry. P/O Vernon and his crew were unhurt, the lorry driver suffered minor injuries.

31 August 1943, Avro Anson, K8731 of 3 Observers Advanced Flying Unit, crashed on overshooting Halfpenny Green Aerodrome. Casualties unknown.

10 September 1943, Vickers Wellington III BK152 of 27 Operational Training Unit crashed during an overshoot procedure at Hixon Aerodrome. The crew were all killed: F/O G.N. Stewart DFM RAAF, F/S D.J. Fernance RAAF, Sgt E.N. Death RAAF, F/S F.C. Stringer RAAF, P/O T.F. Swinney, F/S A.J. Vickerman RAAF.

23 September 1943, Miles Master II W9057, of 5 Pilots Advanced Flying Unit, crashed at Hoar Cross. P/O B.R.N.A. Jeanmart was killed.

25 September 1943, Miles Master II, W9031 of 5 Pilots Advanced Flying Unit, crashed near Hoar Cross. P/O N.C.A. Simms was killed.

2 October 1943, Spitfire II P7356 of 61 Operational Training Unit was abandoned following an engine failure, crashing at Weston. The pilot was unhurt.

12 October 1943, Spitfire Vc MJ109 was on a test flight from the manufacturers, Vickers Armstrong at Castle Bromwich, when it suffered an engine failure. The test pilot, Alex Henshaw, was unhurt.

12 October 1943, Vickers Wellington III BJ986 of 30 Operational Training Unit crashed on overshooting Hixon Aerodrome following an engine failure. Sgt R.F. Mackrill and 4 others were injured.

12 November 1943, Handley Page Halifax BB326 of 1659 Heavy Conversion Unit crashed in Bobbington Village after take off from Halfpenny Green Aerodrome. The following were killed: P/O G.R. Patman RCAF, Sgt D. Sharp’ F/S F.N.S. Fearnley RCAF, F/O D.M. Blair, Sgt G.P. Fuller, Sgt R.T. Gibbon, F/S K.D. Ross RCAF. P/O T.M. Murdock RCAF was thrown out on impact and survived.

24 November 1943, Vickers Wellington III X3813 of 30 Operational Training Unit hit a hut whilst on take off from Seighford Aerodrome. F/S J. Parkinson and his crew were unhurt.

22 December 1943, Vickers Wellington X HE653 of 27 Operational Training Unit made a wheels up landing at Lichfield Aerodrome after flying into a flock of birds on take off. P/O W.J.B. Murphy and his crew were unhurt.

23 December 1943, Curtiss Tomahawk IIB AK128 of 1686 Flight taxied into a fuel bowser at RAF Hixon. F/L L.M. Ralph RNZAF was unhurt.

29 December 1943, Vickers Wellington III X3883 of 30 Operational Training Unit crashed at Hoar Cross following an engine failure. Sgt F. Collet survived, but his five crewmates were killed. Sgt. T. B. Joyce, Sgt J. Whitehead, P/O J.W. Lorrimore, Sgt H.W. Miller and Sgt E. Dean.



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