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  • planetrace
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Mar 2005
    • 10

    P-47 Thunderbolt

    I am trying to trace any information on a Republic P-47 Thunderbolt which crashed near to Blackbrook Reservoir, near Shepshed, England in August 1944. Possibly 24 or 28th August. Only other information I have is that it belonged to the USAAF and the pilot was killed. Any help would be appreciated.
  • skyshadow
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Dec 2003
    • 43

    #2
    Could this be the "P47-D thought to be 42-8001 that crashed at Fenney Spring, Shepshed, Leicestershire, UK, on 24 Oct 1944? The aircraft was possibly from the 551st FTS operating with 495th FTG based at Atcham in Shropshire."

    Fenney Spring is on Charley Road Shepshed which is close to the reservoir.

    Information is also being sought on:

    http://www.p47pilots.com/forums/view...f45305a920cf00

    Cheers.

    Comment

    • skyshadow
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Dec 2003
      • 43

      #3
      Although http://www.accident-report.com/ lists 42-8001 as crashing on 24/10/1943, piloted by Charles W Dinse.

      Comment

      • Alan Clark
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Jan 2005
        • 817

        #4
        After that first accident 42-8001 was repaired (only being Cat. 3 damage) and allocate a W after its serial and was later involved in a mid-air collision near Ludlow 28/07/1944 where again the result was Cat. 3 damage.
        Peak District Air Accident Research

        www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk

        Aircraft Wrecks: The Walker's Guide

        Comment

        • critter592
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Sep 2006
          • 670

          #5
          I myself have been trying to identify this aircraft for well over 5 years now!

          I had already dismissed 42-8001 as the likely candidate (see Alan Clark's post). One of the other likely 'suspects' was 41-6262, however, the pilot of this aircraft survived.

          Research ongoing...
          Midlands Air Crash Research

          "Lest We Forget"

          Comment

          • planetrace
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Mar 2005
            • 10

            #6
            Thunderbolt

            Many thanks for the replies. I have considered the aircraft mentioned and dismissed them due to various factors. Still searching and hopefully will come up with something.

            Comment

            • Neil
              Rank 4 Registered User
              • Jan 2007
              • 3

              #7
              42-8001 P-47 CRASH SHEPSHED

              Dear All

              I have been working on the Shepshed P-47 Thunderbolt crash for the last 8 years and the best lead I have is that the aircraft was a P-47-D1, Serial No. 42-8001, shipped from the US (Republic Aircraft Corporation, Farmingdale, Long Island, New York) between 15 & 30 Jun 1943 on Order No. W 535-ac-21080 at a cost of $76,562.

              It was belly landed on 24 Oct 1943 by Charles W Dinse 350th FS, at AAF Station F-366, Metfield, Suffolk, in a wheels-up landing accident. The next recorded incident was a mid-air collision with a tree, 3 miles east of Ludlow, on 28 Jul 1944, piloted by Richard D Stark, 551st FTS, 495th FTG based at Atcham in Shropshire. The aircraft was again repaired but by now was deemed only fit for training exercises.

              According to an eyewitness the aircraft 42-8001 crashed in the field near Blackbrook Reservoir Shepshed on 24 Oct 1944 and was thought to be from Atcham. According to several visitors to the crash-site at the time, the aircraft and the pilots body were recovered by an American Unit who spent a couple of days clearing up. On 25 Oct 1944 there is an entry in a loss list for a war weary 42-8001 being written off and recovered by 4MRRS (Mobile Reclamation & Repair Squadron). The aircraft was still thought to be with 551st FTS at this time. According to the individual aircraft record card, 42-8001 was condemned and salvaged at Foreign destination code SOXO (Eighth Air Force, England), but this is recorded as either 8th or 25th Dec 1944.

              I firmly believe that the Shepshed Thunderbolt is 42-8001 but despite years of research in the UK and the US I have found no actual crash record for this incident. I have even followed up the possibility that this was an RAF Thunderbolt, but Hendon have no record of this incident and no records that would fit these circumstances. I recently was given access to records that the monks kept during the war at nearby Mount St Bernards Abbey in the hope that they may have recorded the incident. Although they described the Wellington Bomber crash on Gun Hill on 15 Feb 1943 there is unfortunately no other air crashes recorded in their journals.

              I would be very interested in any comments or suggestions.


              Regards

              Neil

              Comment

              • Alan Clark
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Jan 2005
                • 817

                #8
                Neil

                Thanks for putting that info into the loop.

                In the early autumn i was at the National Archives and was had a look at all the ORBs for that area of the country and found mention of the crash in the 108 OTU ORB.

                Below is the entry from the 24th October 1944.

                October 24th 1944, A Thunderbolt from Atcham crashed near Shepshed, the pilot being killed. Later an identity disc was found which led to the identity of the pilot and aircraft as belonging to a USAAF unit.

                As you will see from my earlier posts I had thought this could be another aircraft but the entry in the ORB confirmed that there were two thunderbolts in the area. I also haven't been able to trace an accident report for the arcraft, there were plenty which got lost before microfilming or were filmed in the wrong place and are effectively lost.
                Peak District Air Accident Research

                www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk

                Aircraft Wrecks: The Walker's Guide

                Comment

                • Neil
                  Rank 4 Registered User
                  • Jan 2007
                  • 3

                  #9
                  42-8001 P-47 CRASH SHEPSHED

                  Hi Alan

                  Many thanks for your response. Given the Kew information I think that there is little doubt that a P47 Thunderbolt crashed near Shepshed on 24 Oct 1944. I am 100% certain that the aircraft that came down near Blackbrook reservoir was an early P47-D constructed at the Long Island New York factory, based on the clearly marked part numbers and stamps on several recovered fragments. Also, based on the 50 calibre shell case headstamps (LC 43 & DM 43) representing the two types of ammunition recovered from this aircraft the crash couldn't have been earlier than 1943.

                  In correspondence with Bolling Air Force Base, Washington DC, last year they informed me that the Aircraft Accident database shows 8 x P-47D overseas crashes on 24 Oct 1944, but none of these were from Atcham. Other information from Bolling shows that during October 1944 (a particularly bad month with plenty of fog) the 495th FTG had a total of 17 accidents with 6 fatalities of which 12 accidents and 4 fatalaties were within the 551st FTS. In direct agreement with this total figure is the USAAF/USAF AIRCRAFT ACCIDENTS IN UK & IRELAND database which has 17 accidents recorded for October 1944. Unfortunately as we know, none of these fit the Shepshed crash.

                  The American Battle Monuments Commission also has no entries that would fit the dates etc, of the Shepshed crash. All in all, several pieces of information that make a reasonably convincing case, but lacking the heavy weight confirmation from an accident report, MACR, or other database entry.

                  I am not completely out of ideas but the lines of enquiry are certainly thinning out after this period of time. I'll let you know if anything else turns up.


                  Regards

                  Neil

                  Comment

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