Register Free


No announcement yet.

Lancaster, err Wellington wreck

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Thank you again!,

    This topic is becoming more and more interesting.
    So, these planes fell trying to find Turin? Probably they believed to be still somewhere on the sea, or at least on the Pianura Padana, and they crashed on the mountains?

    Very interesting the testimonies I read here, especially the one from Ballykellybrat. It should be terrible to fly over there, when storm comes from the Alps. I am not a pilot but I know well these places.
    So, the Father of Ballykellybrat took part at this same raid!, that night, only starting from Djedeida instead of Oudna? This sounds very precious for me!

    And, where could I find more about 142 Squadron? Why three of the crew came from Australia and two from Britain?

    PS: I found an other Wellington lost over the Alps. Interesting comparison..
    Last edited by Marco S.; 8th October 2009, 19:39.


      Concur with the Cold Front theory. It looks as if they flew up it to the target and then back down it to base. One side of the front (east) the winds would likely have been SW'ly 30-40 knots (guess). The other side (west) the winds might well have been 40-50 kts NW'ly (guess).
      Not a good night to have been flying twin-engined bombers (or even taking the dog for a walk!!). The Freezing Level would have been quite low over the northern part of the route. Therefore - icing (both airframe and engine) is likely to have been a problem. There was a tight pressure gradient. Therefore - the altimeter settings could well have been in error (thus Creaking Door's account of the WoP being able to see the Italian villa complete with marble statue!!). Add to that maps with inaccurate locations/heights and it is not surprising that a number of Wimpeys came up against the Chocolate Box Problem - i.e. the cloud with the hard centre!!
      These guys have my utmost admiration.
      Meteorology is a science: good meteorology is an art.


        You right.. I agree,

        Today it seems incredible to afford enemy skies, with bad weather, on similar planes.. They had to be brave men.

        Now I have a new list "thingstodo":

        1) On the Italian side, to find newspapers in Piemonte or Liguria concerning Allied bombings and, above all, crashes in November 1943.
        2) To find, hear and interview more inhabitants. I need witnesses.
        3) Almost impossible.. To find the meteo conditions of the whole month of November, 1943.
        4) To find, in Issime, news from the Church, the Cemetery or whatever else concerning the burying of the corps.

        On the "foreign" or web side..

        1) To find, if possible, photos of this precise Wellington;
        2) To find photos, datas, archives concerning its Sqn;
        3) To find details concerning Oudna and the route to Torino;
        4) To wait for NAA casualty reports I paid today and, if possible, to find something similar for the two British men of the crew;
        5) Generally, to understand better the Wellington aspect and roles, buying some monographies, books, albums.

        Do you have any other suggestions?


          Hi Marco
          This isn't much help but may add to your Wellington file. It's a photo I took last year from an Airbus climbing out of Liverpool Airport for Lisbon. The quality is not good because it was taken into the sun. The Vickers-Armstrong Chester factory where LN466 and many thousands of other Wellingtons were built is in the middle of the photo, just above the runway. The factory now builds wings for the Airbus.
          Attached Files


            If this is LN466, I think we agree it's a Mk X.
            This site
            has a photo of a Mk IV which shows the structure quite well (and it got back to base!!)
            Last edited by Peter; 2nd October 2009, 21:09. Reason: link fixed


              Incredible picture...! And it came back home?
              This was a fortress, not a common plane..

              Well, how to understand its version?



                What you could do with now is the extracts from the 142 Squadron Operational Record Book or ORB. This is in effect, a diary of the Squadron's activities. Written at the time, it would not necessarily help with locating the aircrew at Issime as it would not be known at the time where the aircraft was lost. However, it would give a definitive list of all crews and aircraft flying on that operation and the crew positions within each aircraft. It may even record whether or not the aircraft was heard from after take off. I suspect it wasn't. It would give the time of take off though and also the time of take off and landing for the aircraft which returned. This might help pinpoint a timeframe in which the aircraft was lost.

                The reference for this information at the National Archives is AIR 27/974 and I would request the specific dates of say 20th to 30th November 1943.,,,,


                This link might help with the different Marks or 'versions.'



                Last edited by kev35; 2nd October 2009, 22:11.
                The Forums only '"blithering anorak" as endorsed by ZRX61


                  The Service Aviation page in Flight International reports the crew as missing.



                  The Forums only '"blithering anorak" as endorsed by ZRX61


                    Originally posted by Marco S. View Post
                    Well, how to understand its version?
                    The basic difference between the various marks of Wellington was which engine was fitted.

                    Wellington mark X and mark III (3804 and 1519 built respectively) had Bristol Hercules which were air-cooled sleeve-valve radial engines. The other mark of Wellington that could have been on front-line bombing squadrons in 1943, the mark II (only 400 built), would have been fitted with water-cooled V-12 Merlin engines. They are very different and highly distinctive engines; even the smallest fragment could be identified.

                    From the look of the piece you have recovered, and the description of the witnesses, the crash was very violent so the engines would probably have detached themselves and tumbled onwards in the direction the aircraft was flying (is this known?) scattering small pieces as they went. Few of these pieces would have been worth recovering for scrap.

                    What is the ground like at the crash site; is it rocky? I suppose there is a chance that the engines may still be on the mountain buried in soil or lying hidden some distance away. I think you said that the scrapped aircraft was recovered using mules; you would struggle to carry even a half-complete Hercules engine on a mule.

                    Do you have an opportunity to return to the crash site to recover more pieces?


                      Hi Creaking Door,

                      Sure, I will come up there again.. next summer, I suppose. Today I went on mountains and the weather started becoming worst.. The days shortes, less light, and so on. It is difficult to come up there, it takes about 5 hours having a jeep for the first part of the trip, and I have not it. Without a jeep, more than 9 hours from both the valleys.

                      Yes, the soil is very rocky. Unstable. Giant rocks in a vertical sea of smaller stones. These stones are the problem. They fall.. and every winter, avalanches could bring down stones and whatever else.


                        Marco and anyone else who hasn't seen it.
                        Have a look at this fascinating short film on YouTube. Building a Wellington in less than 30 hours at Vickers' Chester factory, where LN466 was built. This particular aircraft went to a training unit. I think it was a JA-serial but the bit where the serial is visible has dropped out on the YouTube film.


                        If this link doesn't work try "workers weekend" in the search box.


                          Dear Atcham Tower,

                          really interesting historical source, as I already wrote in the Comment space.. Very good work from the Crown Film Unit.

                          Thank you very much!



                            Hi all,

                            Is it possible to change this topic' title in "Wellington", please? Just in order to underline the results of the search we're doing..


                              Good change... Fascinating thread.

                              Marco - you have a PM and e-mail (I hope)!
                              James K

                              Looking and thinking...
                              Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details


                                Hi JDK,

                                Thank you for your gentle proposal, I already wrote you back.

                                Currently I am waiting for NAA records I paid before, and for some other minor informations concerning my wreck parts identification: I would like to understand which parts I found, for instance, from the wings, fuselage, cockpit.. and so on.
                                I am also trying to find more infos concerning Oudna and their probable course to Northern Italy. Obviously, this topic is still open!, so if you all have some more information..


                                  Marco et al.

                                  Now that the record for Sergeant Glenwright has been digitised and therefore available for all to see, I've taken the liberty of having a look through the file and have come up with the following. The first extract is a letter from the Squadron dated November 27th 1943. The following two paragraphs are of interest....

                                  2. The machine was detailed to attack TURIN. The aircraft took off at 16.41 hours. Message received 22.45 hours, "Returning to base, bad weather." No further news was received.

                                  4. The route recommended was: Out - Base - St. Point - Comino - Cape Coree - Portofino - DR 44.35N 09.03E - Asti - Target.

                                  Route back: DR 44.03N 08.12E - Cape Crose - Comino - St. Point - Base.

                                  DR I presume means dead reckoning, therefore a map reference with no specific point to identify it?

                                  Perhaps someone can plot the intended route and then maybe Resmoroh might be able to offer some input regarding meteorological implications?

                                  The MRES reports include the following details, paraphrased from the original documents:

                                  14th April 1947.

                                  A searcher party learned that a 2 or 4 engined bomber had crashed near Issime at Map Reference 185965 on 1/100,000 Italy map, sheet 29. Site not visited at the time but a small piece of wreckage bearing an AM stamp was handed to the Officer. The crash was thought to have occurred between 25th October and 17th November 1943. The dates were proved wrong when a local villager handed an Identity Disc to F/Sgt Wade to the Search party Officer.

                                  Neither MRES or the Graves Registration and Exhumation Unit knew of any other unknown crash sites or remains in the area. Locals indicated that the remains of four or five bodied were removed from the crash site and buried in Issime in August 1945. When the grave was exhumed by GR & E they believed there to be one body but could not be certain due to the extent of decomposition.

                                  At this time a local Doctor came forward who said that in fact he had moved the bones from the crash site to the mortuary at Issime for burial and had found one complete skeleton, another almost complete and parts of a third.

                                  A report from the same unit dated 17th October 1947 shows a search party had now visited the site and found no further human remains. Of the aircraft, it records the following:

                                  "The aircraft crashed against the mountain side where there is now an avalanche of about 100 yards wide, descending 300 - 400 yards down the slope. Most of the aircraft was smashed into very small pieces with the exception of one or two sections. However, one complete engine was found with the number 90653 upon it. This is the first part of the number of the port engine of Wellington LN.466, and proved the means of positively identifying the wreckage.

                                  The area was thoroughly searched but no human remains were found. Pat of an Australian Battle Dress blouse was recovered but with no badges of rank or Aircrew Brevet."

                                  Knapp's record states that the wreckage was found on a mountain side three miles West of Issime.

                                  What we need to know now is does that all fit in with the wreckage Marco has found?


                                  The Forums only '"blithering anorak" as endorsed by ZRX61


                                    What an amazing thread! You guys are awesome



                                      Here is the link to the digitised record for Glenwright.


                                      It seems that your 9 Euro's has paid for the record to be made available to all. The whole file is worth reading but I think, for the moment, pages 8 and 11 will interest you most.

                                      Hope this helps.


                                      The Forums only '"blithering anorak" as endorsed by ZRX61


                                        Incredible.. I suppose them to write me, at least, before to make these records visible to all!

                                        So even the other two crewmembers record are now available?


                                          The NAA digitise the record, put it online and then tell the person who paid them to do it, there are a few occasions where I have checked for a record I knew someone else had requested and found it had been digitised and they had not been notified for another day or two.
                                          Peak District Air Accident Research


                                          Aircraft Wrecks: The Walker's Guide