Military aircraft crashes in the
north west Midlands - 1945 to 1953
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.
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.
4 January 1945 (04/01/1945) Wellington X LP729 of 10 OTU
was attempting to reach Wheaton Aston following an engine
failure, but dived into the ground at Church Eaton. The
rear gunner, F/Sgt J R Gammon was injured, the rest of the
crew were killed: F/Sgt F C Haglund RNZAF, W/O N W
Harnett, Sgt A W George, F/Sgt M H Walton RNZAF, F/O B A
Hogg RNZAF, Sgt C D Wong (Jamaican).
7 January 1945 (07/01/1945) Spitfire P8091 “Miners of
Durham II”, of 7 SFTS/ 7PAFU suffered an accident on this
date at Castle Bromwich. “Owing to a fault, the
undercarriage did not lower and lock properly”. In
“Spitfire, The History” by Morgan and Shacklady the damage
it suffered was Category AC, but on 11/01/45 this was
elevated to Category E. Then, on 18/01/45 the aircraft was
re-classified as a ground instructional air frame: 4936M.
Colin Cummings in “Clipped Wings Vol 3” simply has it
listed as written off on 07/01/45; Bruce Robertson in
“Spitfire, the Story of a Famous Fighter” does not include
this as an instructional airframe, whilst the Air Britain
Serials register has it becoming 4936M in January 1944!
20 January 1945 (20/01/1945) Tiger Moth N6920 of 14 EFTS
crashed at Tamworth whilst attempting a forced landing
during a snow storm. Pilot F/O George Murray MacLean
RCAF and navigator P/O Richard Henry William Stoneman were
both killed. MacLean’s brother Sgt A K MacLean was killed
on 10/09/1941 whilst on convoy escort duty with 236
Squadron, his body being washed up on the north Devon
coast. Both brothers are now buried at Heanton Punchardon,
near Chivenor, Devon.
4 February 1945 (04/02/1945) Anson N9618 of 3 OAFU was hit
by another aircraft whilst parked at Halfpenny Green.
18 February 1945 (18/02/1945) Blenheim AZ984 of 12 PAFU
suffered an engine failure during take-off from Hixon and
the aircraft sustained damage that was not repaired.
22 February 1945 (22/02/1945) Tiger Moth NL912 of 9 MU
crashed at the Britool factory in Bushbury, Wolverhampton.
F/Sgt A Barton and F/Sgt E E Evershed were both
24 February 1945 (24/02/1945) Oxford V4148 of 21 PAFU was
being taxyied at the Perton airfield, that was in use as a
R.L.G. for Seighford. In attempting to go round two other
aircraft, V4148 left firm ground and bogged down,
suffering damage that was not repaired.
9 March 1945 (09/03/1945) Tiger Moth II DE473 of 16 EFTS
was struck by Halifax NA317 while on approach to land at
Abbots Bromley airfield. The pilot, F/Sgt Alan Reginald
Edwards and his pupil, AC2 Alan John Mclaren Keay were
both killed. The Halifax, of 1665 HCU, crashed half
a mile to the north. The crew were all killed: F/O J W
Cairns, W/O A G Hemmings, W/O K Millard, Sgt P Richman,
Sgt J Forbes, Sgt G Dinsdale.
12 March 1945 (12/03/1945) Blenheim BA238 of 12 PAFU
struck trees and crashed near Chartley whilst on a night
flying exercise. F/O R Martin was killed.
12 March 1945 (12/03/1945) Liberator III BZ784 of 51 MU
suffered a collapsed nose wheel while landing at
Lichfield. The aircraft probably arrived for scrapping in
15 March 1945 (15/03/1945) Oxford P9023 of 21 PAFU crashed
on take-off from Seighford.
9 April 1945 (09/04/1945) Wellington X ME881 of 27 OTU was
wrecked in a forced landing at base following engine
failure. Pilot F/O S.E.Bourke RAAF and seven other crew
members were unhurt.
14 April 1945 (14/04/1945) Lancaster X KB816 of 428
Squadron overshot a forced landing at Church Broughton on
return from Kiel. No casualties.
16 April 1945 (16/04/1945) Vultee Vengeance TTIV HB456
crashed during unauthorized aerobatics over
Burton-upon-Trent. F/Sgt W Saul was killed. Also killed on
the ground were: Ivy Goy (29), Elizabeth Banton (60),
Edith Baker (25), Brian Baker (20 months), Agnes Jones
(59). Four others were injured.
22 April 1945 (22/04/1945) Beaufort ML687 of 12 PAFU flew
into the ground whilst making a single engine approach to
Hixon Aerodrome. F/S T W Johnson was killed.
25 April 1945 (25/04/1945) Beaufort ML714 of 12 PAFU was
written off in forced landing four miles south of Desford.
The pilot was practicing asymmetric flying and, after
un-feathering the starboard engine, it refused to deliver
power so he force landed in a field. (Note Colin Cummings
book gives the location as Defford, Worcs.)
30 April 1945 (30/04/1945) Lancaster X KB879 of 428
Squadron disintegrated during a dive, possibly caused by
the explosion of an oxygen cylinder, wreckage landing near
Sandon. The crew, as follows, were all killed. F/L W G
Campbell RCAF, Sgt J H Kay RCAF, WO2 T D Lawley RCAF, F/S
S Berryman, F/S E J Wright RCAF, F/S J L Tweedy RCAF, F/S
W G Ward RAFVR. (F/S Wright was only 16 years old.)
11 May 1945 (11/05/1945) Beaufort ML628 of 12 PAFU had its
port undercarriage torn off when the aircraft
developed a swing on take-off from Hixon Aerodrome. No one
15 May 1945 (15/05/1945) Beaufort ML652 of 12 PAFU was
wrecked when it was landed at Hixon with its undercarriage
retracted. F/O D J Followes was injured.
15 May 1945 (15/05/1945) Beaufort ML709 of 12 PAFU
overshot landing into No.2 site at Hixon Aerodrome where
it caught fire and also set fire to a living hut. F/O
Fisher was treated for shock.
23 May 1945 (23/05/1945) Beaufort ML632 of 12 PAFU was on
approach to Hixon Aerodrome when a red flare was fired to
warn the pilot to go round again. A lag in response
from the port engine caused the aircraft to stall into the
ground. F/O G D Neame was seriously injured.
30 May 1945 (30/05/1945) Oxford NM482 of 1545 BAT Flight
was engaged in beam flying training at Halfpenny Green
when it collided with Anson DG799 which was landing. F/O J
W Gooch (pilot), F/Sgt S R Hawkins (pupil) were both
killed. The Anson also crashed, killing Sgt Oswald
Teague and P/O Goronwy Wyn Roberts.
13 June 1945 (13/06/1945) Whitley BD418 of 9 MU was
damaged beyond repair in a taxying accident at Cosford.
6 July 1945 (06/07/1945) Tiger Moth R4773 of 16 EFTS
crashed on landing at Church Greasley, near Burton upon
Trent. Both crew members survived, but one was injured.
10 November 1945 (10/11/1945) Mosquito RG204 of RCASU
broke up in the air following the failure of its starboard
engine and crashed near Wheaton Aston Airfield. The pilot,
P/O J P M van der Heijden was killed, the navigator bailed
13 November 1945 (13/11/1945) Spitfire IX TD328 of 17 SFTS
crash landed on Hixon Aerodrome following engine
28 November 1945 (28/11/1945) Tiger Moth R4849 of 28 EFTS
stalled at low altitude and crashed at Chetwynd in
Shropshire. Fate of pilot unknown.
11 February 1946 (11/02/1946) Mosquito RG313 of 51 MU
crashed near Lichfield aerodrome following loss of control
during a slow roll at 3,000 feet. The pilot, F/Lt Mark
Laicyo George Dickens, and passenger LAC Richard George
Dickens were killed.
1 August 1946 (01/08/1946) Oxford LW788 of 21 PAFU was on
a night cross country exercise from Wheaton Aston when it
suffered a failure of the port propeller and crashed out
of control at Huddlesford, near Lichfield. Pilot W/O
Matthew Hamilton Orr was killed as were 7 sheep in the
field where the aircraft crashed.
26 November 1946 (26/11/1946) Oxford T1246 of 21 PAFU
crashed half mile south of Seighford in an attempted
forced landing following an engine failure.
9 September 1948 (09/09/1948) Mosquito RK945 of 51 MU was
on a delivery flight from Lichfield to Shawbury when an
engine cut out. An attempt at a forced landing was made at
Brindley Heath, but the aircraft broke up and the pilot,
F/Lt Henry Warwick of No. 4 Ferry Pool was killed.
19 September 1948 (19/09/1948) Mosquito TA507 of 51 MU
crashed during a low level turn at the Battle of Britain
display at Lichfield Aerodrome. F/Lt Hedley, pilot and S/L
F G Shaw, the unit’s Senior Equipment Officer were killed.
6 December 1948 (06/12/1948) Mosquito RG295 of 9 MU was
wrecked when an engine cut on take-off from Cosford. Pilot
F/Lt Hank Costain and fitter Sgt Thomas Hargreaves were
13 February 1949 (13/02/1949) Balliol T2, VW897 was on a
test flight from Boulton and Paul in Wolverhampton when
serious control problems with elevator reversal were found
at 320 knots. Speed was increased to 420 knots in a dive
to determine the effect that this would have, but the port
windscreen side panel disintegrated and the cockpit hood
burst open. Both pilots were incapacitated and the
aircraft dived into the ground out of control at Coven. Mr
Robin Lindsey Neal, 37 and Mr Peter Tisshaw, 25 were both
killed. Neal had been the company's test pilot during the
war and was involved with the development of the Boulton
14 April 1949 (14/04/1949) Wyvern TS384 crashed in forced
landing at Lichfield Aerodrome whilst undergoing tests
with Rolls Royce. The engine broke up and caught fire in
flight and the pilot, Mr H C Rogers DFC, made a successful
wheels-down landing at Lichfield, but missed the runway
and landed on the station football pitch where a match was
in progress. Fortunately, there were no casualties!
27 July 1950 (27/07/1950) Tiger Moth N6624 of 5 RFS based
at Castle Bromwich broke away from a formation and began a
loop from the top of which it span in, possibly because
the pilot blacked out from pulling too hard. Student
pilot, F/O J A Deighton survived, but the instructor, F/Lt
Arthur Benjamin Mobley was killed.
13 October 1952 (13/10/1952) Wellington X RP387 of 6
School of Air Navigation crash landed and hit tree near
Lichfield Aerodrome. Sgt L Bahal and P/O C Cooke were
injured, P/O Francis Patrick Purcell was killed.
30 November 1952 (30/11/1952) Tiger Moth R5123 of 25 RFS
hit a tree while engaged in unauthorised low flying near
Stafford, injuring the pilot.
26 February 1953 (26/02/53) Miles Hawk G-AKMN belonging to
the Wolverhampton Aero Club took off from Wolverhampton
for a solo training flight to Wheaton Aston, but crashed
into a ploughed field on the outskirts of Wheaton Aston
aerodrome. The pilot, Geoffrey Harold Lloyd, was a
17 year old sergeant in the Air Training Corp and he died
from his injures. The aircraft was formerly Miles Magister
L5992 which had served with 12 OTU and the Air Transport
Auxilliary before being sold on 26/02/1948.
19 August 1953 (19/08/1953) Chipmunk WK523 of 5 RFS based
at Castle Bromwich had its controls jam when the pilot,
Flight Cadet J K Jennings, was performing aerobatics and
had just completed a Derry Turn. Unable to free them, he
baled out at 2,000 feet. The aircraft descended in a
flattish turn to the right, struck a tree, a telegraph
pole and two bungalows which were severely damaged (by
fire?); the aircraft coming down in Walmley Ash Road,
Sutton Coldfield. The station fire officer at Sutton
Coldfield, Donald Whitton, when dispatched to the site was
dismayed to discover that the aircraft had crashed into
27 May 1954 (27/05/1954) Chipmunk WP779 of 5 RFS based at
Castle Bromwich made a slow roll over the airfield, but
too low and too slow, and hit the ground. The pilot, F/Lt
Jack Netherwood DFC (31) and his passenger Mr Douglas
Jones, a mechanic, were killed. F/Lt Netherwood won
his DFC on bomber ops with 106 Sqn and was Chief Flying
Instructor to the University of Birmingham Air Squadron.