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Thread: Stirling Crash, Norfolk, July 1941

  1. #1
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    Stirling Crash, Norfolk, July 1941

    I took a trip to St Neots last Saturday to visit the intrepid group who are building a Stirling forward fuselage & cockpit there, and mightily impressed was I as to the dedication and quality of the workmanship. This was all thanks to 12jaguar (John) on here.
    Whilst there I picked up a copy of 'The Stirling Story' by Michael J. Bowyer for a small donation.
    The book mentions a crash of a Stirling Mk.I of 7 Sqn. at the Norfolk village of Newton Flotman on the morning of 15th July 1941, following a raid on Hannover. My other stuff relating to No.3 Group is currently elsewhere but I'm just wondering if anyone present can give me aircraft serial, list of crew (There was a Keith Deyell on board) and any other information on where the crash site was, and if it has subsequently been investigated, dug, explored etc?
    Last edited by Andy in Beds; 18th January 2013 at 12:08.
    It is better to be born a beggar than a fool.

  2. #2
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    `Information is the currency of democracy`. Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
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    Andy

    N6022, Stirling 1, 7 Squadron from Oakington.

    MG-D

    All crew survived

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  4. #4
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    Thanks boys.
    We're off to a good start.
    A.
    It is better to be born a beggar than a fool.

  5. #5
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    I have some small bits of this aircraft..the type retrieved from the surface rather than dug..ask the Stirling Project..
    `Information is the currency of democracy`. Thomas Jefferson

  6. #6
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    Thanks.
    Have you visited the site..?
    That part of sunny old Norfolk isn't a million miles from where I spent my formative years.

    While I'm on the subject of that neck of the woods.
    Does anyone have details of the aircraft which crashed into one of the Chain Home towers at Stoke Holy Cross, I think early in the war.
    It might have been a Beaufighter.

    A.
    It is better to be born a beggar than a fool.

  7. #7
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    No,never visited,picked them up a Shoreham years ago..I`m sure The Stirling Project would be able to tell you if it`s been dug or not.
    `Information is the currency of democracy`. Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8
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    The location is given as Shotesham Park, Newton Flotman.

    A quick googlemap search shows an odd tree-filled crater in the middle of a cultivated field beside the house.

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  9. #9
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    Yes, thanks Moggy, I see that too.
    Interesting stuff.
    A.
    It is better to be born a beggar than a fool.

  10. #10
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    The only thing giving me pause for thought is that T/O was given as 2300 and impact at 0340.

    The target was Hanover, so are we to assume the aircraft was on its return?

    That crater looks far more like the explosion of a bomb load, rather than an empty aircraft

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  11. #11
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    Moggy.
    It was certainly on the return.
    It had bombed at Hannover and the account I have to hand mentions no hung up bombs.

    A.
    It is better to be born a beggar than a fool.

  12. #12
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    Hi Andy

    It was great to meet up. As you would have seen the workshop is in a bit of a state of chaos with the building work going on. Now that I know the tail number I'll have a dig through the boxes and take a picture of what if anything we have and post it next week

    cheers

    John

  13. #13
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    Thanks John.
    Looking forward to it.
    A.
    It is better to be born a beggar than a fool.

  14. #14
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    Edit from Operations Record Book [F540/541]
    N6022
    Up 2300 14th Jul
    Down 0330 15th Jul
    Crew of 7
    Bomb Load 5 x 1,000; 7 x 500; 420 x 4 Incendiaries; Stick seen to burst across large sheds producing very large fires and explosions. Ran out of petrol and crashed at Newton Slotman (Flotman?). Crew baled out, 2 slightly injured. F540 states ‘finding that his petrol consumption had assumed alarming proportions, made hurried turnaround and ordered his crew to prepare for landing at sea. They reached the coast however, and baled out.

    Bob
    Ex 7Sqn History Custodian

  15. #15
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    Bob.
    The book says 'Slotman' too, but I just thought this was a mis-print.
    It's certainly Newton Flotman.
    Thanks for the further info though.
    Keith Deyell apparently landed by a railway line.
    The main Norwich-Ipswich-London mainline is close by, so I kind of guessed it would that railway line--of course it could be one of many others.

    Andy.
    It is better to be born a beggar than a fool.

  16. #16
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    Glad to be of assistance. Have full list of crew, but unable to tell if any are still with us. Can PM them if you wish
    Bob

  17. #17
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    Bob.
    Yes please.

    Drop me a PM.
    A.
    It is better to be born a beggar than a fool.

  18. #18
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    Andy
    Tis on its way
    Bob

  19. #19
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    Andy

    The aircraft that collided with the radar pylon at Stoke Holy Cross, just after 3 pm on 18 June 1942, was Blenheim Z7304.

    The aircraft was on the strength of 18 Squadron based at Wattisham and had been on an air test. The test should have taken place in the vicinity of the airfield, but the pilot elected to fly to the coast, where he ran into low cloud and poor visibility. Flying west to find clearer conditions, the aircraft hit the Stoke Holy Cross pylon just 10 ft from its top.

    The crew were:
    P/O P H Lowther (pilot)
    Sgt G B Crawford (WOp/AG)
    Sgt K C Ellis (navigator)

    There was also an unofficial passenger, Ken Tagg, an 18 years-old meteorological assistant who had only been at Wattisham a few days.

    The crew and passenger are remembered by a memorial plaque that was placed on the old base of the pylon on 18 July 1992. (Actually I think it might have been moved in recent years.)

    Brian

  20. #20
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    SHX Plaque is still there.

    http://www.urbexforums.com/showthrea...e-Station-2012

    Re crater This is a good map to search area, includes 1946 air survey.
    http://historic-maps.norfolk.gov.uk/mapexplorer/

  21. #21
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    Thanks chaps.
    As a kid I remember seeing I think three of those tall steel masts--I don't remember the wooden CH towers as they went before I arrived.
    One of those steel towers was shorter than the others and my Dad always told me that it was the one hit.

    It was only a couple of miles away from there at Colney, that on a foggy morning in I would think 1940, my Dad was out shooting and a Heinkel 111 flew over him so low that he reckons it went under a line of power cables that ran across the fields there in the direction of the old A11 road.
    He said he could see the face of a crew member in the under fuselage gondola windows.
    It is better to be born a beggar than a fool.

  22. #22
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    No relics from that aircraft unfortunately, although we have got a photo of the crew which I'll post on here when it's been sent to me

    John

  23. #23
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    Thanks John.
    Looking forward to it.
    A.
    It is better to be born a beggar than a fool.

  24. #24
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    stirling crash site norfolk 1941

    Hello all,

    My grandfather Leslie E J Davenport was on the stricken bomber that they had to bail out over Newton flotman. Raid was hannover but due to high fuel consumption they had to turn round after dropping there bombs. They were heading back to oakington with dangerously low fuel load. They breathed a sigh of relief when they made it over the channel and Witt gave the order to bail out, Prentice broke his back in the jump, my grandfather and 2nd pilot Leslie Bolton spent a night in a local farm house.
    They were all picked up the next day and taken back to base.

    I am aware and in possession of information on the crash and police reports from the night it did not nose dive and crash I believe it to have skidded accross the road and blew up in the wood there.

    The RAF must have came and picked up the main body of the aircraft but my research led me to the spot but the land owner never got back to me regarding metal detecting on the land. Now I know bits of the aircraft went to a local aviation museum and I am sorry to say I went there and they never had any bits there. They seem to be lost in time.

    I would very much like to chat to a few of you about it in finer detail as someone on this forum has answered my preyors as they are in possession of bits of my grandfathers plane. Out of respect and homage to my grandfather I would love to be in possession of a few bits that would finally make me so happy, its like my grandfather wanted me to find this post god rest his soul.

    Please please please get back to me about investigations in this site and any preeminent of the aircraft! I am aware of one of the crew still alive and speak to him regularily. Also are there any photos?


    Please post on here or call me . 07818568249

    Ian Davenport

    Crew was Dennis Witt DFM DFC (died in the 70s ended up a Wing commander have been in contact with his family members), Keith Deyell (no trace), Bolton (spoken to him lives in Scotland he was in POW camp with my grandfather), John Prentice (lives in New Zealand spoken to him), Burrows (Died on Manchesters), J L AMills (Died on Manchesters), L E J Davenport (died in 1988, was A POW grandad joined another crew 7th September 1941 and they were shot down all to become POWs / raid on Berlin)
    Last edited by Davenport82; 22nd January 2013 at 08:46. Reason: Addition to post

  25. #25
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    stirling crash site norfolk 1941

    I am aware of an aircraft inthusiast who went to the site I'm the 70s and found bits of the Elson toilet 303 cartridges and instruments lying on the surface, but gave them to the aviation museum. I have been to the site but would love to be in possession of some bits.

    I does sadden me to hear people can buy bits of crash site's on eBay and such places I feel it would be such a massive success for me and my family to obtain such pieces.

    Please contact me maybe a dig can be arranged maybe people might have photographs, I would not know where to start. Please help.

    Ian davenport 07818568249

  26. #26
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    Hi Ian and welcome to the Forum.

    As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I believe that we may have a crew photo so once we've dug it out I'm sure we can let you have a copy.

    You can contact me on email or PM via this forum

    regards

    John

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davenport82 View Post
    Hello all,

    My grandfather leslie e j davenport was on the stricken bomber ... due to high fuel consumption they had to turn round and never bombed the target.
    Which is at odds with the ORB as seen in post #14

    (For Mr Davenport - it is not unusual to find such discrepancies)

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  28. #28
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    Stirling Crash 1941

    Hello There,

    Yes your right so many discrepancies with books I didnt ever get to talk to my grandfather regarding it as he died in the 80s when I was only 4 yrs old.

    So they did bomb the target oh ok.....

    Yes any other information, but really interested in a previous post of someone claiming to have 'bits' of my grandads plane!!!

    Ian

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davenport82 View Post

    So they did bomb the target oh ok.....
    Well they were credited with it, which might not be the same thing

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  30. #30
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    Ian.
    Well it never ceases to amaze me where stuff leads.
    The visit I had to St Neots to see the Stirling cockpit project led to a book, and then a crash near to where I grew up many years ago and now to this.
    I can't help you with parts for the aeroplane, or pictures, but the other guys here are real experts on the Stirling and it's history.
    Good luck in your search and welcome to the forum.
    Andy
    It is better to be born a beggar than a fool.

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