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Sunday, 29 March 2020

Avro Anson EG170 from 3 A.F.U , R.A.F Halfpenny Green,Sgt [KPL] Paluch Włodzimierz Marian , Brandnwood Cemetary


One from before the current problems .
The 3rd of August 1943 was over cast with low bases to the clouds, a lone Avro Anson EG170 from 3 A.F.U , R.A.F Halfpenny Green,Staffordshire took off into the weather for a local training flight .
The pilot Sgt [KPL] Paluch Włodzimierz Marian trying to stay below the clouds and maintain contact with the ground flew low over high ground near the village of Kinver but sadly the clouds dropped very low over Castle Hill, Kingsford it was here that Anson EG170 impacted sloping ground and slid into woodlands mortally injuring the young pilot who passed away on the 4th.


 At the site nothing can be seen from the footpath and it isn't possible to get too close as it is on private ground after talking to a Friendly estate worker I did manage to get a couple of pictures near where the plane crashed but the worker knew nothing more a local told me some years back that parts were still around on the hill but where I have no idea ,In Brandwood End Cemetery Birmingham Sgt Paluchs now lies in a small collection of Polish graves



Sunday, 22 March 2020

Thunderbolt P-47c 41-6246 ' Sweet Pea ' 495 FTG RAF Atcham Shropshire Aran Fawddwy , Bala


A very early morning trip to Wales to visit the crash site of Thunderbolt P-47c 41-6246 ' Sweet Pea' from the 495 FTG RAF Atcham Shropshire .
41-6246 took off on a training flight over Wales on the 16th of September 1944 and headed into the cloudy and cold mountains piloted by F/o Peter Quinci , 41-6246 never returned home its remains and those of the pilot were not to be discovered for 6 days .


High on Aran Fawddwy by Bala, North Wales on the 22nd of September a local Trapper found the remains just below the ridge line the plane had impacted a cliff face and was totally destroyed with wreckage falling down 2 gullies to the valley floor ,RAF mountain rescue attended the scene but were driven off by very bad weather returning next day they found a P-47 checklist at the foot of one of the gullies confirming the planes identity after recovery of the pilots remains the site was left to recovery crews to deal with.





At the site today little remains near the impact point that could be seen under the ice covering the mountain moving lower bits started to show in the scree until at the bottom of the slope I found many parts scattered about over a wide area the biggest remains were of the tail and the supercharger nearby other bits were showing through the bog, the most interesting part I found which was one of the fighters wheel rims was quite a distance away and this was by pure luck as it wasn't in the wreckage field




Crew =
F/o Peter Quinci USAA,F

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Halifax LW395 III, K-WO, 425sqn RCAF took from RAF.Tholthorpe, North Yorkshire 11th February 1944 Hanbury, Bromsgrove


In the lovely church of St Marys just out side Hanbury is a memorial to a local crash and the sad loss of 8 young lives .
Halifax LW395 III, K-WO, 425sqn RCAF took from RAF.Tholthorpe, North Yorkshire on the evening of the 11th February 1944 to conduct a 'Bullseye' flight over the midlands, just before 9pm the bomber was near Hanbury when the port outer suffered a failure the pilot who would have been under a heavy work load struggled to trim and bring LW395 back under control but the aircraft sadly broke up during recovery .


The planes break up scattered remains over a wide area a large part fell onto Carters Hill, Hanbury the crew of 7 were lost and one passenger Joseph Dubroy the brother of the W/o William Dubroy also sadly died in the crash .
At the site today nothing shows to mark this tragic loss but at the nearby Church the memorial serves to remind the passersby of this sad night .

Crew of LW395=
Sgt J.G.D.Aubin. RCAF. 
Sgt J.J.Shanahan.RAFVR 
F/S H.B.Mitton.RAFVR 
Sgt J.H.Y.Albert RCAF. 
Sgt J.O.R.Fieury. RACF. 
Sgt J.F.Mayville.RACF. 
P/ W.E.Dubroy.RACF. 
Passenger= 
Sgt J.L.Dubroy.RCCS

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Wellington III BK562,30 OTU RAF Sleighford in Staffordshire. Wilford Nottingham ,11th / 12th August 1944


On the night of 11th / 12th August 1944 Wellington III BK562,30 OTU took off with a crew of 4 on a night navigation exercise from RAF Sleighford in Staffordshire.
The plane flying east eventually arrived near Nottingham over the small village of Wilford but the flight had gone wrong the artificial horizon had failed in cloud soon after other vital instruments went AWOL loosing control the pilot managed to bail tragically the 3 other crew did not have the chance before the bomber impacted the Tennis courts /allotments on the corner of Vernon avenue and Coronation Avenue, Wilford.


The road was blocked near the Ferry Inn for sometime by recovery operations later the site was covered by the building of St Patricks RC Church.
At the site today nothing remains but the names of the streets and the Inn but as its a nice pub and a lovely walk by the Trent so still a site worth a look .

Crew =
F/o P.W.Clifton ,RAFVR [survived ]
Lost =
W/o J.W.J.Butler RAFVR
Sgt W.S.Owens RAFVR
Sgt D.E.Townsend RAFVR

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Fairey Battle K9480 on the 23rd of September 1940 in Hucknall, Nottingham LAC. E.V.Rozmiarak of 18 OTU


From my trip to Nottingham with the long suffering Tricia Quinlan but 2 sites visited .
The first is the site of the loss of Fairey Battle K9480 on the 23rd of September 1940 in Hucknall, Nottingham ,


 Pilot LAC. E.V.Rozmiarak of 18 OTU from nearby RAF Hucknall had taken off to practice circuits and landings the young pilot had executed 3 good circuits and bumps but on the 4th while climbing in a left hand turn the Battle stalled falling into a spin the plane impacted A house on the corner of Ruffs Drive and Laughton Crescent, Hucknall the crash took the life of the young pilot. Tragically it also took the lives of all 5 members of the Evans Family who were in the house the Smith family next door suffered injury's but thankfully survived 2 others a fireman and airman were injured in rescue efforts


At the crash site today nothing really remains to show the terrible history of this quiet corner quite a distance away a sandstone block in a wall on West street carries a small memorial to the accident .
Visiting Hucknall cemetery I found E.V.Rozmiarak's grave with its original grave stone laid below ,not far away is the new grave marker to the Evans family.
Rozmiarak was buried with full honors he was the first Bomber Command OTU Polish casualty of WW2 sadly the Evans were its first civilian losses .
In the hectic days of 1940 the family the only civilians lost in Hucknall during WW2 were buried in an unmarked paupers grave later in 2016 a relative Dorothy Bevins raised funds to finally place a stone over the family's last resting place .

K9480 =
LAC E.V.Rozmiarak's ,18 OTU
Civilians =
Albert EVANS ( 28 yrs)
Alice Evans (30 yrs)
Alice Evans ( 6 yrs)
John Evans ( 2yrs)
Ronald Evans ( 8 yrs)

Sunday, 23 February 2020

F/O Franek.Surma from 308 ‘City of Krakow’ Sqn RAF Baginton, Coventry . Spitfire R6644 Malvern


On a rare sunny Trip out to Malvern Worcestershire I headed to the small hamlet of Madresfield where on Jennet Tree Lane is a memorial to F/O Franek.Surma from 308 ‘City of Krakow’ Sqn RAF Baginton, Coventry .
F/o Surma in Spitfire R6644 scrambled on the afternoon of the 11th May 1941 with another Spitfire flown by Sgt Widlarz and headed to intercept a radar contact over Kidderminster finding nothing the pair patrolled south until they were near Malvern Link ,flying over the town Spitfire R6644 without warning caught fire trying to get the plane down F/o Surma began preparing to force land but oil spraying from the failing engine blocked the pilots vision with no options the pilot turned the plane away from Malverns houses, rolled the plane on its back and bailed .



R6644 dived into an open field near the Memorial ,F/o Surma landed safely and was taken to Bosworth Farm where he was well looked after until taken back to base .
F/o Franek Surma an Ace with 5 confirmed kills and 5 damaged or probables was lost during combat with 109's in Spitfire AB930 on the 8 November 1941 over Dunkirk , sadly his remains were never recovered

The small memorial built by the Malvern Spitfire team was unveiled in September 1987 along with a excavation of the crash site for much more on the history on this crash and F/o Surma it is well worth finding a copy of 'The invisible thread ' or 'Spitfire voices ' by Dilip Sarkar MBE

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Junkers Ju-88 Werk No 7188 FL+BT 12/3/1941 Wychbold Sgt Jankowiak , 307 Squadron


During the night of 12/3/1941 over Birkenhead,Liverpool Junkers Ju-88 Werk No 7188 FL+BT from KG76, Chateaudun , France had just released its bombs the bomber which had also been damaged by an encounter with a Defiant flown by Sgt Jankowiak , 307 Squadron when it was stuck by flak  setting the starboard engine on fire the pilot Feldwebel G.Unger knowing his plane was lost ordered his crew to bail out , after the crew left Unger directed the bomber towards the sea and parachuted himself .



7188 without a crew decided to head south east instead flying for an amazing 100 miles until finally it could fly no more, skimming low over Droitwich and past the Large Transmission towers just south of the town the bomber clipped the garage at a large house near Wychbold [much to the distress of the Home guard sheltering there] the plane broke up and burned in the field behind the house one bullet cooked off and hit a window in the house but luckily no one on the ground was hurt although the 80 year old owner and family was given a mild start and all went back to bed after a look at the wreck.

Finding the house today nothing shows the events of the night so long ago the house has not changed , though no one was at home I did get a good view of the site from the lane The second from last picture is is taken from the long out of print but well worth a hunt for book [took me 10 years to find a copy ] 'Forgotten Heroes' By Glyn Warren  the last is of Sgt Jankowiak with his 307 Squadron Defiant after his kill of an He-111 .
Crew =
Fw G Unger,
Uffz F Bergmann,
Fw A.Meier
Oberfw W Dirk
all POW.