can any one help please,
in dec 1941 a halifax crashed into a brickyard chimney at arlesey in bedfordshire,it was trying to make a emergency landing at nearby raf henlow.
it was i think a s o e 138 sq plane,all crew were killed,any information would be gratefully appreciated
jim.ps the above information might well be wrong as it was given by a very old ex rfc member
Any further info on this?
I live in arlesey and looking into the 2 RAF flying crew on the war memorial, co-incidentally they both died in Halifaxe's 1 in Holland also 138Sqd and the other in germany? 77Sqd.
From your discription I believe this was the crash of Halifax BB364 (Mk II) of 138 Sqn (Tempsford), which crashed on Sunday 19th December 1943.
The operations record book for the unit has just the following brief entry:
19/12/43 Killed as the result of a flying accident.
1394323 Sgt H D Williams Pilot
1543667 Sgt H M Houghton Nav
1485923 Sgt J N Polland B/A
1395215 Sgt F H Adams W/Op
1523110 Sgt S Higham F/Eng
2210121 Sgt C A Kidd A/G
873863 Sgt A J MacIntyre A/G
155858 P/O C A Woolldridge W/Op
1032093 Sgt J E Mooney A/G
The accident summary card has the following notes / comments:
Cat E (engines & airframe)(ie write off), fire. 9K. Brickworks, Arlesey, 1m S RAF Henlow. 19.25hrs. Night. Dark. 1hr 5min flt. Practice Flight.
1st Pilot - WILLIAMS H G Sgt 1394323 (K) 252hrs tot. solo, 25 on type. 62hrs tot. night, 8 on type.
A/c struck chimney of 280’ ht. and crashed in flames.
CO. A/c detailed for exercise involving circuits at 400’ round Henlow airfield and though pilot was aware of chimney he flew at insufficient ht. to clear them.
The book 'RAF Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War - 1943’ by Chorley notes that "The accident happened during container dropping practice over Henlow airfield".
The crew members are buried at the following loactions:
873863 Sgt (Air Gnr) Alexander John Macintyre, RAF (AuxAF), 138Sqn, 36, of Glasgow. Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey.
155858 Plt Off (Nav) Cyril Arthur Woolldridge, RAFVR, 138Sqn, 32. Wife lived at Bromley, Kent. Also buried at Brookwood.
1394323 Sgt (Plt) Hubert Gwyn Williams, RAFVR, 138Sqn, 21, of Manordilo. Holy Trinity Churchyard, Taliaris, Carmarthenshire.
1543667 Sgt (Nav) Harold Maitland Houghton, RAFVR, 138Sqn, 22, of Horwich. Horwich (Ridgmont) Cemetery, Lancashire.
1485923 Sgt (Nav/Bomber) Joseph Norman Polland, RAFVR, 138Sqn, 31, of Belfast. Belfast (Dundonald) Cemetery, County Down.
1395215 Sgt (W.Op/Air Gnr) Frank Henry Adams, RAFVR, 138Sqn, 22. Wife lived at Islington. Islington Cemetery (which is at Finchley), Middlesex.
1523110 Sgt (Flt Engr) Stanley Higham, RAFVR, 138Sqn, 23, of Mawdesley. St Peter Churchyard, Mawdesley, Lancashire.
1032093 Sgt (Air Gnr) John Edward Mooney, RAFVR, 138Sqn, 28. Parents lived at Liverpool; wife at Kensington, London. Liverpool (Ford) Roman Catholic Cemetery.
2210121 Sgt (Air Gnr) Cyril Addison Kidd, RAFVR, 138Sqn, 37. Wife lived at Liverpool. Liverpool (Kirkdale) Cemetery.
I understand the brickworks and chimneys referred to / involved are long gone.
[web site for Bedfordshire & NE Scotland Aviation Research at www.mackz.net]
From, AGENTS BY MOONLIGHT by FREDDIE CLARK.( EX WW11 138 VETERAN)
"No. 138 squadron still had to fly eight operational sorties to finish their year. In the meantime another disaester struck the squadron, a new crew, captained by SGT H G WILLIAMS flew his Halifax, BB368 (wrong serial in text), into a brickworks chimney a mile S E Henlow where he was practicing container dropping on the airfield. All nine crew members died. It was suprising this hadn't happened before, there were numerous brick chimneys in the vicinity of both airfields scattered about the countryside like underfed skittles."