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Thread: Emsworth Crash?

  1. #1
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    Emsworth Crash?

    Does anyone out there know anything about the crash of an aircraft during the war into a pond in the village of Emsworth, Hampshire?

    Sorry I've got no other details but any help at all will, as always, be gratefully received.

    Regards,

    kev35

  2. #2
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    Used to have a great uncle who lived there during the war. He never mentioned any crashes in the mill ponds (there are two) that I recall, just the high street getting machine gunned by a 'Bosche' hit and run raider sometime in the midwar period. There is a plaque on a railway bridge to commemorate the crew who died in a collision on the Hampshire/Sussex border - but from memory that is/was a meadow (or housing estate now, probably). Recall seeing mention of several Wellington incidents - almost certainly out of Thorney Island - in the first 5-10 years of the post war, but again nothing mentioning the mill ponds.
    Wouldn't bother with the local newspaper if I were you - the (Portsmouth) Evening News then, The News now; I used to work there - and there is no indexing in any form (pictures or text) for the war years and no staff to do the searching for you (last I heard she was still on maternaty leave...). The Central Library, Portsmouth, might have the war years indexed and micro-filmed - but then you are reliant on the event not being judged as likely to affect the morale of the local population...
    Let us know if you get any more information though - you never know!

    Flood.

  3. #3
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    If you have no date or record of loss, then it may seem initially to be tricky. However, if you were to look at when the squadron was stationed in the area you may have a rough idea of when to look. The local library would have a fiche of the local papers most probably - most do.

    Perhaps an appeal for reccollections via a newspaper letter or a contact with a local historian? Is there a nursing / old peoples home there? They might be willing to help.
    Some of my best friends are imaginary

  4. #4
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    Been trying all sorts of lateral Googling.
    So far, I've found a Hurricane on 16/08/40 and a Typhoon 3 miles NW on 07/05/44. There's a serial and squadron for that one but it doesn't look like the right one.

  5. #5
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    175 Sqdn, JR257 HH-W - F/O G.J. Clermont, killed.

    Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) CWGC do not record him.

    Thats from Typhhon and Tempest story by Chris Thomas and Christopher Shores.
    Some of my best friends are imaginary

  6. #6
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    There was a Battle of Britain Hurricane dug up on the site of some new waterfront homes, within ¼ mile of either mill pond, about 4-6 years ago and, if my memory serves me right, there was some worry that the pilot might still be aboard. When the wreckage either didn’t amount to a great deal or it became obvious that the pilot wasn’t there the paper lost interest. I have a feeling that the pilot was supposed to have been foreign (Polish?). I would guess, at a push, that this would be the 16/8/40 incident.
    On reflection: of the two ponds the eastern-most one (known locally as the Slipper Mill Pond) is in fact straddling the Hampshire/Sussex border, and so might count – on lists of aircraft crash sites – as being in Sussex if the wreckage was retrieved from that side, even if the pilot swam out in Hampshire.

    As for nursing homes… The place is a veritable Eastbourne equivalent in old peoples retirement plans – but like many towns and villages most local OAPs moved away when they could sell their homes to the young and affluent – or when the local council put them in a home elsewhere.

    Flood.

  7. #7
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    Air Crash

    Kevin

    I know of a file with numerous air crashes listed for Hants, compiled by and Copyright of Dave Fagan. I will have to go off this site to access details. Will email you as soon as I can find the Air Crash list.

    They may or may not help, but its worth a try.

    Regards
    Mark
    Last edited by Observer; 20th December 2003 at 14:23.

  8. #8
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    Hmm... That wouldn't be Hampshire Aircraft Crashes and Accidents would it? It is the one that comes up with the others mentioned above. It also list some accidents for Thorney Island - in West Sussex - but not a Battle of Britain Ju88A shot-down that apparently came down just across the border in Southbourne.

    Flood.

  9. #9
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    Yes Flood

    The one I gave Kevin would be the very same Hants Air Crashes.

    Thorney Island was under 16 Group Coastal Command, (C.C. H.Q. were at Chatham). A previous Forum Member mentioned 16th August 1940.

    The Squadrons operating from Thorney at around that time (permanently and tempory) were;
    No 22
    No 42
    No 59 Blenheims
    No 235 ) See also St Eval and Bircham Newton Station
    No 236 ) books for these Squadrons

    16 Group HQ Communications Flight Chatham
    August 1940 References to Thorney Island. Aircraft down in the sea. (Unfortunately I did not record all the incidents).

    On the 15th August 1940,
    S/Ldr H.W. Hickey D.S.O. was the Officer Commanding HQ No.16 Group RAF
    The Duty Staff Officer was F/O S.E. Swaine

    15th August 1940 16 Group.
    1 Blenheim was detailed to carry out recco Moon 2.

    15th August 1940 Thorney Island ORB 1938-40
    59 Squadron "Moon Recco 2 Aircraft"

    15th August 1940 Thorney Island
    59 Squadron 0310 Op 54 Appx 'E' P.13 T.I./05/16/8
    (this was probably an instruction for the 16th as it is referenced 16/8

    15th August 1940
    06.00 hrs Heinkel 115 in position YZMF 4500

    16th August 1940
    09.40 hours Ref C4/G1/16/8 Instruction to 16 Group and Detling. Our A/C to search for dinghy with crew of Whitley.
    Sighted at approx 0720 hrs.
    MTB from Dover Co-operating.

    16th August 1940
    A No.59 Squadron Blenheim was hit at Thorney Island whilst on the ground during the German raid at teatime, 18.00 hrs.

    17th August 1940
    In the evening a No.235 Squadron Blenheim, went off the runway at Thorney Island after landing, causing undercarriage damage

    A No.235 Squadron Blenheim came down in the sea near Thorney Island, whilst attempting a night landing.

    AIR 25/301 16 Group ORB 1936-1941 HQ Communications Flight Chatham (References to Thorney Island and aircraft crashes, incl those down in the sea)
    AIR 25/316 16 Group Appendices August 1940
    AIR 28/838 ORB Thorney Island 1938-1940
    AIR 28/844 ORB Thorney Island June 1940 - Dec 1941 Appendices is a typed Narrative.

    AIR 16/341 Channel Operations E Boats and Shipping
    14th August 1940 Coastal Command Op Instruction No.55.
    The Battle Squadrons will remain under the Control of No.1 Group, but administered by Coastal Command.

    AIR 25/376 17 Group ORB. No.17 Group was Based at Gosport (& also the Area Distress HQ), Has references to 42 Squadron at Thorney Island. (September 1940 pages are missing).
    AIR 25/377 17 Group Appendices 1938-42
    Appendices pages for 1940 missing.

    Hope the above helps in Kevins research.

    Mark
    Last edited by Observer; 26th December 2003 at 12:21.

  10. #10
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    Unfortunately Thorney Island is in West Sussex, and Emsworth is in Hampshire.
    The 16/8/40 incident mentions a Hurricane, and although the air would have been full of them at that time, they were not based at Thorney but at places like Westhampnett (now better known as Goodwood) and Tangmere in the locality, or further afield like Middle Wallop.
    Also Kev has not, at this point, got a date nor a type for the aircraft in the pond so there is still plenty of scope for other years to throw up this incident.
    Still, it is all a learning experience!

    Flood.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the responses, it's very much appreciated. Now, a little more information came to light today in that it was believed to be a Hurricane during the Battle of Britain period which puts 16/8/40 right in the frame. P3616 seems the logical candidate for this. I'll check in 'Then and Now' for the pilot's identity.

    Thanks again for all the help.

    Regards,

    kev35

  12. #12
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    RAF Aircraft P1000-R9999 (Air Britain) and the Hampshire Aircraft Crashes and Accidents website both list P3616 as shot down by fighters over Southampton, 16/8/40, while with 249Sqn and based at Boscombe Down.
    On the assumption that this is correct... That is one hell of a glide!

    Flood.

  13. #13
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    There is a good website listing all known aircraft incidents in Sussex during the war, unfortunately i don't have the URL to hand.

    I do have this one for Snapper regarding a typhoon that crashed in Pagham Harbour.

    http://www.findonvillage.com/0355_wh...he_typhoon.htm
    It's the one you don't see that gets you (usually)...

  14. #14
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    'Sussex at war' can be found at www.hurricane.fsbusiness.co.uk

    Geoff.

  15. #15
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    Thanks George. I shall be back in Chichester over Xmas & may nip into the Tangmere museum & have a look at the Pagham Typhoon bits if they still have them.
    It's the one you don't see that gets you (usually)...

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    Cheers Shgorty. Strangely the Typhoon had my initials.
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  17. #17
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    Wow-interesting link about the Typhoon in Pagham Harbour.We used to go to Pagham for seaside day trips when I was a child and we still go there quite often in the summer months.I first became aware of the Typhoon incident when I saw the engine and intact (!) upper canopy section on display at Tangmere a few years ago.Pagham Harbour is now an RSPB nature reserve,and it's a very tranquil place on a summer evening.I've often stood there watching the sun go down and thinking about that Typhoon and it's pilot-it's good to now know a greater amount of the story,and also a surprise to learn that there was an ALG at Church Norton and that there's now a visitor centre-I'll go and have a hunt for them next time I'm in that neck of the woods.
    The Harbour has been disused since the 19th Century and it was used as an aerial firing range during the war years-you can still see the wrought iron targets with enormous holes punched into them by 3-inch rockets.

  18. #18
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    Kevin

    I expect you have noted that Hurricane P3616 is Pilot Officer Martyn Aurel King, .

    His aircraft crashed Nr Southampton and whilst descending in his parachute, the LDV nearby apparently opened fire (according to a book, by S.P Mackenzie, Ass. Prof. of History, University of South Carolina, Columbia) damaging his parachute and sadly he fell into a garden of a Southampton house.

    The A.A. records at the P.R.O./N.A., Kew for the 16th August 1940 for the 251st Hy A.A. Bty R.A., state: "At 13.40 hours 1 parachutist seen dropping at bearing 290. His parachute was torn and he fell amongst houses near The Avenue, Southampton - 3000 yards from Site 25. Another came down on bearing 215"

    The 251st Hy A.A. Battery R.A. HQ was at Bassett.
    The 1" O.S. War Series Military Map Co-ords are 848365 for Site 25.

    Apparently, the Hurricanes came down near the outskirts of Southampton, in fields.

    James Brindley Nicholson also parachuting down from his Hurricane was wounded by the friendly fire and survived.

    P/O King was buried at Fawley on the 21st August 1940 with 5 crew of a Whitley which collided with the balloon barrage and crashed north of West End, S.E of Eastleigh (my grandfather Sgt C.L.G. Hood the Whitley Observer was one of those buried at the same funeral) along with 7 occupants of a Hudson from RAF Silloth which also collided with a barrage balloon in a separate incident shortly after taking off from Eastleigh Aerodrome during a yellow warning (one record say's a red warning).

    Regards

    Mark
    Last edited by Observer; 22nd December 2003 at 18:38.

  19. #19
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    R.N.L.I. Response for 16th August 1940 Isle of Wight Area

    Thank you for your email. The only lifeboat stations which existed at that time in the area were Yarmouth and Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. There were no mainland lifeboat stations in existence at the time west of Selsey or east of Poole. According to our records, Bembridge lifeboat launched at 1345 on 16 August following reports of an air battle and aircraft in the sea.
    Nothing was found and it was classed as a "no service".

  20. #20
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    Emsworth crash

    Is this the incident to which you refer?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/s...a1138222.shtml
    Adrian.
    Skype name: foxprowl

  21. #21
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    The crash will have been late 1941 or early 1942 as I was an infant having my nappy changed at the time in a wooden house called the Rookery just north of the slipper Mill pond. When the plane was heard coming down I ended up under the kitchen table with my mother. It was the escort that crashed the other side of the stream (Ems) after covering our house with fuel. Fortunately there was no fire. Apparently there had been a collision as the planes were leaving Thorney for that night's raid. The bomber came down in Southbourne a mile to the east in a field just North of Haslemere Rd. The Rookery was at the centre of an army encampment and has since been demolished and is part of a housing estate. They've called the estate The Rookery. Apparently when I was put outside for some air in my pram I collect regular bars of chocolate from Brigadier General Brian Horricks which may account for me having an appendectomy before the war finished.

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