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Thread: Wreckage Of Lancaster ED908 (60-Z)

  1. #1
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    Wreckage Of Lancaster ED908 (60-Z)

    This is my first post on this forum and so a brief introduction is necessary.

    My wife's uncle, Sqn Ldr James Foulsham, DFC, AFC, was a 109 Sqn Mosquito Pathfinder pilot. At the beginning of July 1944 the pioneer Oboe Lancaster started to fly with 582 Sqn. The Lancaster crews were unfamiliar with the Oboe navigation system and so two-man Pilot/Navigator teams from 109 Sqn took turns to join one of the more experienced Lancaster crews to control the bombing run.

    Having previously successfully completed 5 missions, bombing through cloud, 582 Sqn Lancaster ED908 (60-Z) took off in mid-afternoon from Little Staughton on 20 July 1944 with the crew of Sqn Ldr Ben Weightman DFC (less two of the regular navigators), and James Foulsham and his navigator, John Swarbrick, from 109 Sqn on board, to lead an attack on a V-1 site about ten miles south of Dieppe. On this fateful day, the weather was clear and the aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire. The crew were all killed and were originally buried at the nearby church in Freulleville. They are now at rest together in the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery. I am in touch with seven of the eight families of the crew - only that of John Swarbrick remains elusive.

    Earlier this year my wife and I visited the crash site and the remains of the V-1 site and met some of the local villagers, one of whom had witnessed the event. The wreckage of the aircraft was apparently found by advancing Canadian troops and the fuselage was removed from the crash site, but I have little information to confirm this. All that is left today is some fragments of wreckage scattered on impact, but they are still being located by one of the residents who lives next to the crash site at the edge of the forest.

    With the help of the Lancaster Manual, photographs available on the internet, and the helpful people at Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, using photographs of the pieces found (which remain in France) we have identified over 50 items. Which brings me to the purpose of this post.

    I hope that there may be help available from this forum to identify some of the pieces we are struggling with, and I attach five photographs to see if anyone recognises any of these.

    1. These may be brackets to secure some item of equipment - they are about the same size a the D-ring on the back of a parachute pack and seem to have a key-like attachment to the circular part.

    5G. One item has an aperture, but does not seem to be an instrument panel gauge: the other has a lever-like attachment, but its pivot is off-centre which is curious.

    9. The circular object shows a "Y" shaped protrusion on one side and could be a fuel cap, but it is not immediately recognisable.

    15. This flanged object might be the mounting base for a piece of equipment - the metal attachment is off-centre and appears to be shaped to fit around something.

    W5. These items have the Air Ministry number 10B/169, but all I can find out is that this is the category for Radio (Wireless and Radar) Aerial and Mast Equipment and Insulators.

    Does anybody recognise anything? I have more photographs which I can post if this would help to give a better impression of size.
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  2. #2
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    hope you find your answers

  3. #3
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    At first I thought the first picture was off the top of a walkaround oxygen bottle holder but it is not the same...
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

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    First, thanks Rob68 and Peter for your responses. It is very gratifying to see that less than 24 hours after my post, this thread has attracted nearly 400 views.

    I had thought that the brackets (if that is what they are) might have been attached to the fuselage by the flat edge, If so, perhaps a fire extinguisher holder could be a candidate? I haven't been able to find any photographs in sufficient detail to help.

    I attach the following:

    1A. a photograph of several objects including the "brackets" to give an indication of size. Across the top is a bomb carrier turnbuckle, a parachute pack D-ring, brake shoes, and, at the bottom right, the larger circular item is thought to be part of the P4 compass frame. The smaller object within it is unidentified.

    15B. shows what I thought could be a mounting bracket and gives an indication of its size when compared with the .303 ammunition rounds on the left.

    20. shows some identified items - part of the master compass casing with some of the typed handling instructions amazingly still attached, part of the bomb aimer's canopy, and a bomb hook. The little knob has the part number AT30454 + R3 138 - possibly a radio part, but not identified.

    M3. shows a segment of the engine anti-vibration mount and the whole of the circular piece at the end of the propeller as it fits to the hub - it no doubt has a technical name, but I don't know what! I've no idea what the fabric is - perhaps part of a parachute?

    Any more ideas on identification will be gratefully received.
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  5. #5
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    I can see harness buckles and the 'D' ring pull handle.


    IMAGE 20, I think the piece of plexi-glass with the ring in it is from the top of the dorsal turret

    M3 I think is Prop base pitch gear
    Last edited by Trolly Aux; 24th November 2012 at 11:27. Reason: added info

  6. #6
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    Many thanks Trolly Aux. Very helpful.

    Image 1 contains quite a few identified items not readily visible in the reduced size jpg photograph: the Gee Receiver, RF Unit and Servomotor serial number plates, as well as the harness buckles and D-ring you mention.

    Thanks for confirming the Prop base pitch gear in M3 - good to have the proper technical name!!

    Having looked through some of the other threads on the forum including 'Stirling Bits' and the 'Whitley Project', I wonder whether the items in 5G could be parts from the throttle box? I don't have a close-up view of the Lancaster box with which to confirm. Any thoughts?

  7. #7
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    I have several Lancaster throttle boxes and I cannot recognise any of the parts in photo 5G.

    MAGE 20, I think the piece of plexi-glass with the ring in it is from the top of the dorsal turret
    I think the original identification is correct. The ventilator on the FN turret cupola was attached by six screws (I'll check in a little while), whereas the mounting for the "Z" equipment lamps fitted to the Bomb-Aimer's blister had nine screws as per the one in the photo. If you look at photos of S-Sugar on Flickr, you'll see several close up photos of her blister and the rings are clearly visible.
    Last edited by Air Ministry; 24th November 2012 at 13:28. Reason: To add a bit more
    The garage that keeps on giving

  8. #8
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    Thanks Air Ministry. That seems to rule out that thought.

    Perhaps someone viewing this topic will be able to throw some light on the mysteries! I will keep hoping!

  9. #9
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    That definately looks like the vent for the top FN50 turret. That bomb turnbuckle you have is part of the bomb crutch mechanism, for the 4000lb cookie bomb.

    Just noticed this... hard to tell but the item below the D ring and to the right could possibly be one of the mass balance weights from the rudder but the pic is too small to be 100% sure..
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up Re-pics. of wreckage.

    Hi BobKat,
    Welcome to the Forum,I'm sure you'll get a lot of help in here.

    Re-pic.5G The big round grotty black plasticy thing looks to me like the aircraft connector side of a 24Volts DC Ground power Plug. The famous "Trolley-accs" would be plugged into this to help Aircraft Batteries on Engine starts. Just about most WW-2 Brit Aircraft used these.

    You can see the very heavy duty elect terminals on the back,indicating the heavy current used. The smaller black same version has to be to do with heavy current usage too, but that might be part of some sort of relay.

    Also, in the 2nd batch of pics. Pic.1 has that Large turnbuckle laid out at top left. I don't think it is from Aircraft control system though, although it does look very familiar. It might be to do with ground equipment used when Aircraft away from base, so would be carried on board.

    Regards,

    Bill T.
    Last edited by WV-903.; 24th November 2012 at 16:59.

  11. #11
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    Peter,

    Does the attached help?

    WV-903,

    Thanks for the welcome. Suddenly I have a flood of replies - marvellous!! Do you have a picture of what these things you describe looked like in situ? Or can you point me to where I might find a photo to compare?
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  12. #12
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    Pics.

    Not got any pics. to hand, but I'll have a search and post anything that I find,that shows. I don't know where the Ground power attach point was on Lancaster, there are guys in here who do, but probably a set of Pilots Notes or RAF Maintenance manual (Vol 1 )will. Pic W5 , those parts look like a broken rack off a "rack and pinion" set-up. They could be something that moves big radio/radar equipment in situ, (For Tuning or "aligning" components,etc ).

    Bill T.

  13. #13
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    Thanks WV-903. I'll see if I can find anything on power attachments on the internet, but my guess is that you will have better luck than me.

    The W5 items are each a little smaller than an instrument panel gauge, but the aircraft was carrying the Mk.II Oboe system ARI 5582. Perhaps they are connected with this? Maybe somebody recognises the AM number 10B/169?

    Also, Air Ministry, thanks for confirming in your edited post that the bomb aimer canopy identification in image 20 appears correct.

  14. #14
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    I think Bill has identified the connector.

    Here's a photo of one. By adjusting the brightness and contrast of your photo, a little bit more detail becomes visible and there seems to be a good match.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    The garage that keeps on giving

  15. #15
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    Spot on Air Ministry! Many thanks indeed.

    I have looked at my (enlarged) photos and one of the circular impressions on either side of the central screw in the left picture is clearly visible in G.

    Being an electrical novice, can somebody tell me what the attached lever was for - is this simply on on-off switch or something more complicated?

  16. #16
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    The ground power plugs were located in the landing gear wheel wells mounted onto a wooden board along with priming switches etc etc.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

  17. #17
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    Peter,

    A great picture - many thanks. Sorry to be a pain, but is what I am looking for to the right of centre under what appears to be a half-open flap?

  18. #18
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    Bobkat, I tried to get a picture for you but this is the only one i have on a canadian lancaster. Canadian lancs had the north american 3 pin style ground poer receptacle in the stbd wheel well and port side was the RAF two pin type. I have seen pics online that show the one you have found would be mounted exactlywhere the three pin one is in the centre of the panel.

    Two more pictures, one of the port side showing the British standard GPU plug socket. and the other picture is off the mass balance weight on the rudder.
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    Last edited by Peter; 25th November 2012 at 19:04.
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

  19. #19
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    Many thanks again, Peter.

    What an introduction to the Forum! A real flurry of activity and some positive results. And quite remarkably, over 1,000 views in 3 days.

    With regard to the first additional photo on your last post, I can now see what I originally thought was a lever of some sort appearing as a metal strip heading downwards to the left of centre of the socket. Extremely helpful! I will have a closer look at what might be the mass balance weight in my photo 1.

    As this topic seems to have appealed to so many, I would like to give a little thought as to how to proceed from here. Perhaps, if I can draw on the goodwill of all those who have responded to my initial request, I could post a few more photos with two objectives: firstly to share on the Forum some of the more unusual finds which we have identified; and, secondly, with the help of others, to seek to identify a few more items which are still unrecognised.

    I will see what I can do tomorrow.
    Last edited by BobKat; 25th November 2012 at 22:48. Reason: Additional comment

  20. #20
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    More pics would be great Bobkat!
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

  21. #21
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    Peter,

    Thanks for the encouragement. I attach another picture of the ground socket with an electrical diagram which someone may be able to understand better than me! Which piece is the shorting strip I do not know. But your picture yesterday was the icing on the cake!

    It seems a bit defeatist to assume that there is now unlikely to be further response to my initial enquiry, but after so much expertise has already been brought to bear, perhaps that will be so. Anyway the pictures remain for any further comment.

    I should now give a little more background information. We first made contact with the local villagers in 2011 and a series of photographs followed showing wreckage which had already been discovered. Then, in March 2012, it was decided to take a new series of photographs (those with the blue background), numbering them for items found in the same area and plotting these on a map.

    There was then further activity in the area where the fuselage was known to have come down and we were met with a trestle table full of pieces on our visit in May. More items were found later and separately numbered. I will post more photographs separately later today.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  22. #22
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    Round 2

    To try to keep this thread in manageable chunks, I will refer to my first enquiry and photographs as "Round 1". Here is "Round 2".

    W3.
    A: the F24 camera magazine serial number plate;
    B: a fragment from an economiser unit;
    C: a piece of flying control chain;
    D: a perspex fragment with two small notches (location unknown);
    E: a segment of the internal pressure setting dial for the altimeter;
    F: a cockpit lamp dimmer switch;
    G: the marker plate for the formation light terminal;
    H: the Air Ministry numbered part already referred to in Round 1;
    I: a broken glass fuse
    and other unreferenced items.

    W6.
    A: CO2 inflation cylinder for Mae West life jacket (we also have the lever);
    B: Unknown - possibly the jettison clip from the bomb aimer's control panel?;
    C: Unknown - possibly part of the magneto?;
    D: Uncertain - could be part of the internal workings of the altimeter gauge;
    E: Unknown: looks similar to the autopilot testcock;
    F: Flare strap buckle;
    G: Uncertain - could be part of bomb carrier (but not Universal 500lb);
    H: Unknown - has bent pin clips in central protrusion;
    I: Unknown - strut has a bent pin clip through one end;
    and other unidentified items.

    All comments welcome.
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    Last edited by BobKat; 26th November 2012 at 14:27. Reason: Spelling

  23. #23
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    Thumbs up Ground Power Connector.

    Hi BobKat,
    Great, as i thought !! Thanx for pic. post Air Ministry. BobKat, I think the "Lever" you mean on back of the power Connector,is actually a heavy duty Current"strap", Same as you get on this era of Aircraft batteries. Nice to see all these bits getting ID'd,please keep the pics. and info flowing, Guys in here enjoy identifying stuff and slowly, the picture builds.

    Bill T.

  24. #24
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    Bobkat
    I believe the referred to shorting strip would be inside the socket itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by BobKat View Post
    Peter,

    Which piece is the shorting strip I do not know. But your picture yesterday was the icing on the cake!
    Also you are correct about item G it is indeed a bomb crutch(sp?)
    Last edited by Peter; 26th November 2012 at 15:36.
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

  25. #25
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    Thanks Peter and WV-903.

    Peter, do you know what bomb carrier the crutch in G comes from? I know the turnbuckle previously referred to is from a 4,000lb cookie carrier, and that the bomb load on the day was all 500lb bombs, but the piece in G does not seem to fit the Universal 500lb pattern. Could it be from a 1,000lb carrier - I seem to remember having seen a drawing somewhere where there were some similarities? Again a pointer in the direction of any pictures would be most helpful.

    Does this mean that the different carrier fittings were all kept on board permanently?

    If you have any thoughts on my other suggestions, I will look forward to hearing.

  26. #26
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    I dont think I have a picture but will check. These items were installed at all 16 bomb positions in the bombay and were not fitted onto racks I will double check though as the ones on the bombracks are a different shape
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

  27. #27
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    Peter,

    Great description - got it! Enlarged photo of NX611 bomb bay attached.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Perfect!
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

  29. #29
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    Bomb Crutches

    I assume that the lull in activity yesterday means that the second batch of photos have run their course. Before, as requested, I post a third batch, I have a few questions on bomb crutches.

    Peter kindly identified one of the items in “Round 2” as a bomb crutch. I have had a look in The Lancaster Manual and can see that non-standard fittings were carried on the aircraft next to the carrier housing (as shown in the picture posted on 26 November). This is, therefore, why we have found a 4,000lb cookie turnbuckle and the newly identified crutch despite the fact that the bomb load on the day was 14 x GP (General Purpose) bombs plus 2 x GF. What are GF bombs - I can’t find a reference to these? The Manual states that a ‘normal’ load was for 14 bombs, so presumably some adaptation was made as the war progressed to increase this to 16.

    Does anyone have any diagrams or photos which show the newly identified crutch in situ? And/or does anyone know what load it was designed to support? It doesn’t appear, as far as I can see, on the crutching diagram for a 4,000lb bomb load in the Manual, or anywhere else, so perhaps this was for a 1,000lb bomb?

    If anyone can add a few comments, this would be much appreciated.

  30. #30
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    Round 3

    Herewith a third batch of photos. Following the same theme as before – a few known items and a few unidentified pieces where any information is welcome please.

    W7.
    This is an unusual piece. First thoughts were that it was some form of radio antenna, but it turned out to be the internal framework for a parachute pack! The only picture I have been able to find was a similar reproduction version on sale on e-bay.

    W10.
    This is the most recent ‘find’, but actually is probably the oldest! A resident of the village found these objects in his grandfather’s house, and sent me photographs only two days ago. The pieces were probably salvaged from the crash site during the war. On the left is the dial from one of the oil pressure gauges. But what is the item on the right, pictured from above and the side? It looks as if the long piece revolves around a central spindle, and it is therefore presumably a moving part. Unfortunately I do not have an impression of its size relative to the fuel gauge also pictured. Does anyone have any thoughts?

    16.
    At the top right is the lever for the CO2 inflation cylinder for a Mae West life jacket (previously referred to). Underneath it is an unidentified piece of fuselage, and at the bottom a piece of bluish coloured pipework with two retaining fittings. It is this last item which someone might recognise.

    24.
    At the top is a piece of silvery coloured piping – possibly oil or hydraulics? Below is a green coloured strut. It may be part of an engine sub-frame but, if it is, I cannot immediately identify which piece. Was anything else like this on the aircraft painted in this shade of green? It should be noted that both these pieces were found in the same location some distance from where the fuselage came to rest, so both could be from one of the engines as the aircraft broke up – it lost its port wing following an explosion in the air.

    26.
    At the bottom is a piece of ammunition ducting which fed the rear gun turret. It is interesting to note the different levels of corrosion on different metals after nearly 70 years under the ground – the top piece looks very different. One end is flattened and the other is knob-like. My best guess so far is that it could be part of the flying controls locking gear which would have been stowed on the aircraft not far from the ammunition ducting. Any other suggestions?

    U.
    This provides close-up views of the items in 24 and 26.
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