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Searching for information on Halifax W1039 ZA-O 10 Sqn

June 19 2017 at 8:20 PM
Jim Rice  (Login 45jim)
from IP address

I am searching for information on this particular aircraft which crashed 10 March 1943 near Seaton Ross, Pocklington.

My father-in-laws' father (Sgt. Alfred Norman Boreham 1366071) was the wireless/air gunner on this aircraft and the entire crew was killed in the incident.

"On 10th March 1943 this aircraft had just taken off from Melbourne airfield so it could be ferried to another airfield. Soon after leaving the ground the port outer engine was either deliberately shut down or had failed and the propeller was feathered. The aircraft was seen to begin flying a left hand (anti-clockwise) circuit of the Pocklington area presumably to go in to make a landing at Melbourne but in making a left hand (port) turn to get into the circuit the aircraft's port wing dropped, the aircraft then stalled from 300 feet and dived into the ground around a mile west of Seaton Ross at 19.10hrs. This cause of a crash was a common problem when pilots turned the aircraft into the side with a failed engine, the aircraft did not have enough power on the side with a dead engine to keep it flying and when the wing then dropped the aircraft was pulled towards the ground."

I would like to find a photo and/or an accurate description of the final configuration of this aircraft. I understand it was manufactured by the English Electric Company as a Halifax B. Mk11 Series 1, (Jan-Jul 1942) which would include the Boulton Paul "C" upper turret. I have not been able to locate a photo of the A/C but have seen one of W1057 ZA-X modified to a Series 1 (Special) and wonder if this A/C was also modified to a series 1 (Special) as well. We have no flight logs or history to see which A/C he flew most often or to understand his wartime service, but in the absence of that I would like to build an accurate model of his last A/C for my father-in-law.

Casualties that day were:

Pilot - Sgt Geoffrey Francis Peck RAFVR (1332790), aged 21, of Isleworth. Buried Twickenham Cemetery, Middlesex.

Flight Engineer - Sgt Archie Allen Muirhead RCAF (R/89110), aged 24, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Buried Reay New Cemetery, Caithness.

Navigator / Bomber - Sgt William Browning RAF (657584), aged 31, of? Buried Barmby on the Moor Churchyard, Yorkshire.

Navigator / Bomber - Sgt Basil Graham Hart RAFVR (1335639), aged 21, of Oxshott, Surrey. Buried Barmby on the Moor Churchyard, Yorkshire.

Wireless Operator / Air Gunner - Sgt Alfred Norman Boreham RAFVR (1366071), aged 32, of Portobello, Edinburgh. Cremated warriston, Edinburgh.

Air Gunner - Sgt Denis Cyril Retter RAFVR (1339894), aged 20, of Whimple. Buried Whimple New Churchyard, Devon

Any assistance greatly appreciated.

Jim Rice
Woodstock, Ontario, Canada

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(Login gunner0771)

finding aircraft your relative flew in

June 26 2017, 4:37 PM 

Hi Jim,
If you look up the ORB operational Record Book for No.10 squadron on the UK national Archives web site you should find there lists of aircraft on each operation which includes the crews names. You should then be able to find out which aircraft Alfred flew in on Ops. These records are now on line and are downloadable for a small fee. The books will be divided into smaller files by date. The ORB's are listed under WO95/ If you cannot find the correct reference drop them a message and they will send you a link.
I have a few books on the Halifax and will look up if I have anything else that might be of use to you.

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Jim Rice
(Login 45jim)


July 27 2017, 9:49 PM 

Thanks for the support. I have gone to the ORB and failed to find his name on operations with 10 sqn. I will have to apply for his service records to track his movement from unit to unit to try and find the related squadron and missions. Hopefully his records are digitized and will not take years to uncover.

Thanks again


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