Can anyone help me with info into a Halifax crash that occurred on October 22nd or 23rd 1943.
This Halifax V DK-182 coded ZL-E came down nr Newton Kyme (N Yorks) on return from a bombing mission at kassel and all were killed. I believe that the six man RAF crew flying with W/OD Welch were in 427 Squadron based at Croft.
My interest in this crash is that one of the crew, Sgt J Procter was a family friend back then and as a child I remember seeing a photo of this very handsome young man. Alas we no longer have this photo but my mother still remembers him. I would love to learn why this aircraft crashed or to visit the crash site if I could get the exact location. There are photos of crash sites on the net but I cannot find this one. Any info would be appreciated.
The crash occurred at 21.15hrs on 22/10/43. The aircraft had taken off from Leeming at 17.25hrs on Ops to Kassel and was returning early when it crashed. This suggests, but not conclusively that it may have been a problem with some part of the aircraft system. The accidentreport (which I don't have) may give further clues
The site is visible on the road from Tadcaster to Boston Spa. Look to the left at the line of trees that go along the deserted railway line. Where the trees are shorter that is where the bomber went throught and were destroyed by fire.
Hi, I visited the site at Newton Kyme about 18 years ago. The aircraft came down beside a railway line embankment (now disused) and caught fire. The aircraft was totally destroyed in the fire which also burnt down the surrounding trees. At the time of my visit the trees had recovered but you could clearly see the new growth and damage to older trees. Despite exploring the ground nothing was found.
Thanks for the info Chris. Can you actually get to the site from the main Road? I will be down that area in a few weeks and wondered whether It would be worth me taking some photos. Regards.....Vanessa
As far as I remember site of the crash is on the left hand side of the A659 from Tadcaster. Just before the turning to Newton Kyme (on the right) if you look to your left you will see the disused railway embankment and the trees. The site of the impact is just before the dismantled railway bridge about 100 yards from the road. You should be able to cross the field to gain entry to the wooded area. Have a look on multimap as the OS map and aerial photo is useful. I dont know too much about what caused the aircraft to come down although I understood that severe icing caused the Halifax to crash. At the time of my visit I was in the area researching for my book on No.4 Group 'From Hull, Hell and Halifax'.
If you do visit you may find that, like all these former crash sites, you will be moved by the thought of the suffering and sacrifice of our gallant airman.
Further to my message re the site visit I came across an account of the crash in 'Aircraft Down air crashes around Wetherby 1939-45' by Brian Lunn and Gavin Harland published in 1985. According to the authors the pilot was W/O Welsh with an all RAF crew. Welsh was forced to return early because of overheating of the starboard inner engine. After dropping the bombs in the north sea Welsh headed back to Leeming. Unfortunately the oil pressure began to drop in the port outer engine which had to be shut down. Flying on two engines and now effected by icing the Halifax lost height rapidly, striking some tree tops in Newton Kyme before crashing near the railway.
Incidently at the time of writing (1985) the authors had an identity tag from one of the crew found at the site. This was maked 1393374 Dutton E.J RAF.
The crew were named as: Pilot W/O DH Welsh; F/Eng Sgt JH Proctor; Nav Sgt EJ Dutton; B/A Sgt KA Brown; W/O Sgt PJ Moore; M/U Sgt JI McCullagh; R/G Sgt DO Collen.
I was at this site today, and found a 1ft squarish piece of armour plating and various sother items including molten engine parts. The area is easy to see from the road due to the obvious younger trees in the plantation.