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  1. #1
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    Lancaster, err Wellington wreck

    Good afternoon,

    My compliments, this website is incredibly rich, it takes hours to visit the main topics!

    I am a 26 years old researcher from Northern Italy. I am currently trying to discover and to show the history of a plane wreck I found this summer, at more than 2900 meters on the Western Alps.
    Here you may find the photos and datas I already posted,

    http://www.iphpbb.com/board/ftopic-8...9380-1556.html

    You have to know that this crash site is covered by snow for at least 11 months per year, so it is quite difficult to look for other parts; I will come up there next spring, I hope.
    According to archives, this should be the wreck of Lancaster LM339. It crashed up there after striking Milano, during August, 1943. I would like to identify it for sure.

    Here, in the end, the list of the five inscriptions I found on the parts:

    number 1 28527
    numero 2 nothing
    numero 3 nn.
    numero 4 nn.
    numero 5 nn.
    numero 6 nn.
    numero 7 08ISS B
    numero 8 nn.
    numero 9 nn.
    numero 10 nn.
    numero 11 0130
    numero 12 32311 (with a strange symbol, where I read 42 and S)
    number 13 nn.


    Thank you all for your kind help.
    With my kindest regards,

    Marco

  2. #2
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    The part in the hand is a joint from the geodetic construction of a Wellington bomber, so you have a Wellington crash site probably from 205 Group RAF.
    BOOMPS A DAISY, ITS ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU WEEP.

  3. #3
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    Thank you,


    do you refer to this picture?,



    But no Wellingtons were lost there.

  4. #4
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    It would appear that a Wellington DID crash there....or else someone decided to dump a whole load of Wellington wreckage on a mountain!

    Unless I am mistaken (and I am only a lightweight,here) that is one of the "fishplate" joints that secured the cross-over sections of the geodetic structure. There were hundreds of them on a Wellington.

    PS.....:

    Ooooops....just noticed the previous post from Hampden Project which I have just reiterated. Thats what becomes of being a lightweight, here.

    Junk Collector found some bits of Wellington recently and posted an image, I think, of a complete one of these fishplates?

    Actually.....now I look at it again I am not so sure about the Wellington theory. Strange that two of us thought the same, though. Its just that the bits attached to this fishplate don't look too much like any of the geodetic structure?
    Last edited by Tangmere1940; 28th September 2009 at 16:59. Reason: Update!
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  5. #5
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    Hi Tangmere, thank you,


    I am not an expert in British bombers.. But I would like to ask if there are many differences from a Lancaster joint and a Wellington one.
    Because, according to RAF and other historians, up there it crashed a Lancaster MK III..

  6. #6
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    Yes. Huge differences!

    What I thought this to be is one of the geodetic structure jointing plates. Not something one finds on a Lancaster.

    However, I could be wrong.

    Any part numbers visible on any of the items you have found?

    If I recall correctly, we should be looking for 26EA if Lancaster? I think.
    Editor: 'Britain at War' Magazine

    A 'Key Publishing' product - Britain's Best Selling Military History Monthly

  7. #7
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    Here are two pictures of what I believe must be the "fish plate" joints of the cross over sections. The picture is of the wreckage of Wellington R1646 at Glen Clunie, Scotland.
    Hope this may help.
    regards Kjell


  8. #8
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    Hi Kjell,

    thanks, great photos!, very interesting. But my part is much more smaller..!


    Tangmere, what do you mean with 26EA?

    About inscriptions, the only I found are the followings (other ones may be covered by rust, and I do not want to try to remove it, not to damage the parts of the wreck):

    number 1 28527
    numero 2 nothing
    numero 3 nn.
    numero 4 nn.
    numero 5 nn.
    numero 6 nn.
    numero 7 08ISS B
    numero 8 nn.
    numero 9 nn.
    numero 10 nn.
    numero 11 0130
    numero 12 32311 (with a strange symbol, where I read 42 and S)
    number 13 nn.

  9. #9
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    No sign of any geodetics, but as Cees says, Wimpy I think until proven otherwise!

    As someone already pointed out, you have the back end of a .303 Browning there

    Edit - sorry prempted by Wellington285

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco S. View Post
    According to archives, this should be the wreck of Lancaster LM339. It crashed up there after striking Milano, during August, 1943. I would like to identify it for sure.
    I think you are doing well with your research; as you originally said ‘it should be Lancaster LM339’.

    The pieces of Wellington are much more compelling evidence.....indisputable in fact.

    Why did you think it should be LM339?
    WA$.

  11. #11
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    Good morning, Creaking Door,


    Thank you, in effect it was only a supposition..

    I supposed this, because a local historian contacted in 2001 the RAF archives. They answered him that the only plane lost up there, and in the date he indicated (7/8 August 1943) was the Lancaster LM339. Lost after striking Milano, and so on.
    Instead, I still don't know anything about this Wellington. Is it possible to understand more about the single plane from the list of inscription datas I wrote before?

    M.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco S. View Post
    ...a local historian contacted in 2001 the RAF archives.....the only plane lost up there, and in the date he indicated (7/8 August 1943) was the Lancaster LM339.
    Which begs the question how was the date of the crash (7/8 August 1943) known? Was there a local witness?

    If the date is certain and the type is certain that will reduce the possibilities greatly. And I am sure there are those here who can give you that information.

    What of the crew of the aircraft? A local burial or local record that will give you a name should lead to the aircraft identity.

    From your description (snow 11 months of the year) the sit of the crash sounds fairly inaccessible. Was most the wreckage removed at some time for scrap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco S. View Post
    Is it possible to understand more about the single plane from the list of inscription datas I wrote before?
    Unfortunately I am not the best person to ask but (other than to confirm aircraft type and possibly mark) I think it unlikely that an aircraft serial number will be marked on individual component parts.

    Possibly the engines are still at (or near) the site and the engine numbers could be linked through documents to confirm an aircraft serial number? The engines (or parts of them even) could possibly confirm aircraft mark.

    Good luck with your research; it is a big step to change your theory from Lancaster to Wellington but such changes of direction make for an interesting project.
    Last edited by Creaking Door; 30th September 2009 at 13:53.
    WA$.

  13. #13
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    Hi,


    you right!, I have to remain open-minded until the ending proofs, about Lancaster, Wellington or whatever else.

    First, the date of the crash (august 1943) was proved by many local inhabitants who heard the return of the bomber's formation from Milano - after some times, a single plane that crashed over Issime. Some months after, partisans came up there looking for weapons. They found some poor parts of the bodies, carried in the Issime cemetery.
    After the war, British operators translated these bodies in the British Cemetery, in Milano. It is not far from here.
    The problem is, no-one (RAF, historians..) know the real place of the crash site. So, even if it sounds incredible!, I cannot affirm that this is the Lancaster LM339 without more proofs. It surely was an Allied plane, because of the mg Browning .303 I found and you saw.

    After the war, the most pare of the plane was dismantled and carried away with cableways and mules.
    Actually, these parts and numbers are all the wreck proofs I have.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco S. View Post
    ...the date of the crash (august 1943) was proved by many local inhabitants who heard the return of the bomber's formation from Milano...
    The date is critical. So, are the witness reports completely factual? The date of the raid on Milano is well documented and probably well remembered by local people but hearing many bombers pass over and then later finding a crashed bomber does not mean that it must have crashed on the same night. I do not doubt you or the witnesses but it is important.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco S. View Post
    ...after some times, a single plane that crashed over Issime.
    So later, after the raid on Milano, a single aircraft was heard to fly over Issime and crash? The crash was actually heard?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco S. View Post
    Some months after, partisans came up there looking for weapons. They found some poor parts of the bodies, carried in the Issime cemetery. After the war, British operators translated these bodies in the British Cemetery, in Milano. It is not far from here.
    Are there church or town records of the burials in Issime? Maybe names or identification numbers were recorded at the time? How many bodies were there; the crews of Lancaster and Wellington are different (usually).

    If the bodies were moved to the British Cemetery in Milano there may have been an effort to identify the bodies then. Somebody on this forum will be able to advise how to research that.

    Good luck.
    WA$.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco S. View Post
    Hi,
    After the war, the most pare of the plane was dismantled and carried away with cableways and mules.
    Actually, these parts and numbers are all the wreck proofs I have.
    Just a thought, but if the area is very inaccessable, and most of the parts have been recovered, is it possible that parts from a number of sites were moved together? Therefore the site could be where the Lancaster crashed, but other parts have been moved to that location from other aircraft?

  16. #16
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    Buon giorno, Marco
    There are no losses from Nos 37, 40, 70 or 104 Squadrons that were flying Wellingtons lost between 6th and 9th August 1943 where aircrew are buried in Milan. So August 1943 seems to be the wrong date.
    To move this forward, what CWGC cemeteries are near the crash site? If it's only Milan, then a quick check shows that 37 Sqdn lost a Wellington 14/07/44; 142 Sqdn Wellington 13/07/44 and 70 Sqdn a Wellington 02/05/44. There was a Whitley lost from 10 Sqdn on 27/08/40, a Stirling from 149 Sqdn on 30/11/42 and 207 Sqdn on 08/12/42 and 61 Sqdn on 08/08/43 lost Lancasters.
    Now, which one crashed into your mountain, I have no idea.
    You might want to contact either the Brooklands Museum, RAF Museum at Hendon or a group working on Wellington wreckage such as the Midlands Aircraft Recovery Group (http://www.couplandbell.com/marg/index.htm) who might be able to tell if it is a Wellington or not. Obviously it was armed with at least one Browning machine gun, so not a transport aircraft. As you don't seem to have any metal panels, it is likely to be a fabric covered aircraft, putting it more likely as a Wellington or Whitley.
    Can't be any more help, you have some dates and some bombers, good luck!!

  17. #17
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    Bill Turner was there that night flying over Turin in his Wellington bomber

    Hello Marco and others,

    My Dad, Bill Turner, is 86 years old and doesn't use computers, but on November 24th, 1943 he was sent on a mission to bomb a factory in Turin. He is Canadian, but was flying with the RAF Squadron 104. There were several Wellington bombers sent on that raid....7 or 8 squadrons with 7 or 8 bombers each. The weather was terrible. Eight of the planes on the mission didn’t make it back to base. None of the crews found their targets. One plane was seen smacking into a mountain, its explosion lighting up the terrain for other luckier crews who relied on this morbid illumination to avoid the same fate. Dad ended up dropping his bombs to reduce the weight of the plane, in order to get over the mountain and avoid a similar crash. For the past 60 years whenever he mentions that raid over Turin, it brings him to tears. It was a stormy night and he couldn't see anything and he has always worried that he may have dropped his bombs on innocent people below. Because this bothered him so much, my son, Shawn Doyle has spent the last two years researching this episode, trying to find out if any bombs were reported falling and killing anybody that night anywhere around Turin. Shawn lives in Milan, Italy. If you want to learn more, Shawn's email is sdoyle@post.harvard.edu. (He speaks Italian). You can also phone Bill Turner in Canada at 1-250-655-0685. He has a fabulous memory of everything!

    Bill Turner's daughter, Susan Doyle

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillTurner View Post
    One plane was seen smacking into a mountain, its explosion lighting up the terrain for other luckier crews who relied on this morbid illumination to avoid the same fate.
    I wonder if this aircraft could have been LN466?
    WA$.

  19. #19
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    Creaking Door.

    It makes you wonder doesn't it? And whoever it was, it's astonishing to think that their deaths as the aircraft exploded might just have meant the difference between life and death for at least one other crew.

    Marco.

    Have emailed CWGC and expect a reply in six to eight weeks.

    Regards,

    kev35
    The Forums only '"blithering anorak" as endorsed by ZRX61

  20. #20
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    Hi Kev, thank you,


    Very sorry, I am really busy and until this moment I could not read the forum..

    Very very interesting. If it was my plane, the one whose flames saved the lives of other crews, it would be incredible.
    I will contact Shawn Doyle, thank you.

  21. #21
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    Hi all,

    I am back after the Eni Award conclusion..

    I have already started to write my tale. Regards!

    Marco

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