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Thread: Lancaster, err Wellington wreck

  1. #91
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    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.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVk1OP_LQH4

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

  2. #92
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    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!

    M.

  3. #93
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    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..

  4. #94
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    Good change... Fascinating thread.

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

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

  5. #95
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    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..

  6. #96
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    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?

    Regards,

    kev35
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  7. #97
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    What an amazing thread! You guys are awesome

  8. #98
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    Marco.

    Here is the link to the digitised record for Glenwright.

    http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/imag...68716&I=1&SE=1

    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.

    Regards,

    kev35
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  9. #99
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    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?

  10. #100
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    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.

  11. #101
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    Ok, now I understood,


    They simply did not notified yet. No problem.
    I am downloading all these files for the three crewmembers.. very good, my research will be scientifically perfect!

    Concerning the map of the probable course, may you send it to me by mail, please? Whoever is able to create such a map.. Or I'll ask to a friend of mine. She is a skipper.

  12. #102
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    Kev35,
    Kev, we (the Met Sect) need to confer. Emails have been sent. As you may be aware, we are not overly enamoured of "Historical Charts". But, as an initial response, it is possible that all 'was not well' with the weather. Lyffe may feel himself able to pronounce simply by looking at the "Historical Charts". On the other hand he might need to look at the real charts archived from the real time. This may take some time! But seeing as I had a reply to a post on a Family History site 8 years after posting!!!!!! - then don't hold your breath.
    Resmoroh
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 10th October 2009 at 16:24.

  13. #103
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    Resmoroh, Marco et al.

    Any help with met conditions might be helpful. We're going deep into uncharted territory for me.

    As for the route out, I'm not making much sense of it at all and at the moment google is most definitely NOT my friend. Base, obviously, is Oudna. St. Point? Is that short for starting point? Comino is Malta, Portofino is near Genoa. As for the other names mentioned, on the outward or return routes, I am at a loss. Are we looking at Comino on Malta as a friendly diversionary base followed by a run up the West coast of Italy?

    Any thoughts?

    Regards,

    kev35
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  14. #104
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    Mmmh... strange. Why should I touch Malta if, from Tunisia, I have to reach Northern Italy? Genova?

  15. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev35 View Post
    As for the route out, I'm not making much sense of it at all and at the moment google is most definitely NOT my friend. Base, obviously, is Oudna. St. Point? Is that short for starting point? Comino is Malta, Portofino is near Genoa. As for the other names mentioned, on the outward or return routes, I am at a loss. Are we looking at Comino on Malta as a friendly diversionary base followed by a run up the West coast of Italy?

    Any thoughts?

    Regards,

    kev35
    Same problems here Kev, so I just plotted the those I could find which fortunately are the most important ones.
    All images from Google Earth
    Oudna Airfield


    Approx location of crash site , 3 miles west of Issime


    Approx flight path


    Detail of flight path


    3D detail
    Wide open & turning left

  16. #106
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    I think I've worked it out. Hadn't Italy surrendered by the the operation on the 24th/25th November? Thereby giving crews safe haven anywhere south of the German lines should it be needed?

    Regards,

    kev35
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  17. #107
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    The flight plan given is Oudna (36.37.53.51 N; 10.06.17.24 E on Google Earth) then to St Point, Comino, Cape Coree (Corse?), near Portofino (approx 44.35 N; 09.03 E) then North West to Asti and NW again to Turin. Return leg is from Turin to the coast at Albenga (approx 44.03 N; 08.12 E) then back to Cape Crose (Corse?), Comino, St Point and back to Oudna.
    I can't find St Point, Cape Coree, Crose or Corse but the track must be approx due North, passing the East coasts of Sardinia and Corsica to the Italian coast near Portofino, thence NW to Asti and Turin.
    Now, Marco will have to help with more precise location, but Issime is at approx 45.40 N; 7.52 E. That is a good distance FURTHER North North East, in completely the wrong direction to return home or towards Turin.......
    I hope Marco can follow, this, it is very easy to forget that he isn't English, so good is his understanding, but I hope I haven't used words that are not readily understood.
    That explains why they are now buried in Milan War Cemetery, rather than Staglieno War Cemetery, which is adjacent to Portofino, where other crashed crews were buried.
    I noted from Kev35 extract from the files that 6 hours after they took off they radioed to say they were "Returning to base, bad weather". I'm not sure of the endurance of the Wellington but I guess it was about 8 hours before they would have run out of fuel, so looks as if the reason they hit the mountain was possibly that they were very low on fuel and expected to be over the sea, not in the mountains.
    Having set out the broad outlines, I'll leave it to the experts to mull over any points this may raise.
    Marco, as the wreckage you have doesn't react to the magnet, it shows it is a Wellington X with aluminium alloy structure, confirmed by the engine found in the wreckage as being LN466.

    Hope this helps!

  18. #108
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    I'm going to have to go away and try and get my head round this. I'm now sure we've got the right aircraft and right crew but the route is confusing me. Perhaps Comino was used before running up the Italian coast to avoid Sardinia, then across to Corsica (Cape Corse) just before they got to Rome thereby avoiding Luftwaffe fighter units?

    Regards,

    kev35
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  19. #109
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    Hi Icare,

    great reconstruction, thank you. Does anybody know if it is possible to publish on an eventual essay these images, taken from Google Earth? I should look and see for its editorial policy.

    So "Port" was the worldwide famous Portofino??

    I suppose these maps to be correct. Maybe they simply found opposite winds, flying lower, crashing against the first Valle d'Aosta mountains while believing to remain on the sea or on the Piemonte plan. Very sad.

    It would be really important to find the meteo maps of that week.. is it possible?

    M.

  20. #110
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    Had they been badly hit by flak over the target and were trying to make neutral Switzerland to lob-in?
    Resmoroh
    Meteorology is a science: good meteorology is an art.

  21. #111
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    No aircraft reached the target the weather was that bad.

    Let's just assume for a minute the route is as I suggested, Comino, to Corsica, to Portifino then roaming around Northern Italy to find the target (and failing). At an average speed of say 175 miles per hour, how far would the six hours take them along the route. Maximum range for a Wellington was just over 2,000 miles.

    Regards,

    kev35
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  22. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev35 View Post
    No aircraft reached the target the weather was that bad.

    Let's just assume for a minute the route is as I suggested, Comino, to Corsica, to Portifino then roaming around Northern Italy to find the target (and failing). At an average speed of say 175 miles per hour, how far would the six hours take them along the route. Maximum range for a Wellington was just over 2,000 miles.

    Regards,

    kev35
    Using the route I plotted its 660 miles to the crash site which is 43 miles north of the target.

    Edit to add, going via Comino Malta is an extra 330 miles, so probably not the Comino we are after.
    Last edited by Flat 12x2; 10th October 2009 at 19:25.
    Wide open & turning left

  23. #113
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    Flat 12.

    Interesting. If we take the average speed on your route as 175 miles per hour that comes to just short of four hours but the message received was after six hours.

    I don't have the computer skills to do what you have done but could you plot a course to Comino, then the northern tip of Corsica then on to Portofino and Asti yo yje crash site and see how far that is please? It would be most appreciated if you could.

    Regards,

    kev35
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  24. #114
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    Flat 12.

    Just seen your edit. If you think about it Comino, Malta now makes perfect sense as the extra 330 miles would add another two hours making it approximately six hours flying. The time that the last message was heard from the crew. I really think you might have cracked it with that edit.

    Regards,

    kev35
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  25. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev35 View Post
    Flat 12.

    Interesting. If we take the average speed on your route as 175 miles per hour that comes to just short of four hours but the message received was after six hours.

    I don't have the computer skills to do what you have done but could you plot a course to Comino, then the northern tip of Corsica then on to Portofino and Asti yo yje crash site and see how far that is please? It would be most appreciated if you could.

    Regards,

    kev35
    Hi Kev via you route its 1000 miles or 872 Nautical miles if that makes a difference.
    I have now found a Comino on Sardinia, its Cape Comino , its the most easterly point on Sardinia, 3/4 of the way up the island, and a likely navigation point.
    http://www.italyaround.com/eng/sardi...omino_map.html
    Wide open & turning left

  26. #116
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    Brilliant.

    So we can rule out Malta and the remaining or missing two hours could be taken up in searching for the target or perhaps the speed was lower due to wind etc.?

    Regards,

    kev35
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  27. #117
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    Agree, the Capo Comino is on a probable track almost due North from Oudna. There is also a Cap Corse (on, what for it.... Corsica) which again is on a similar due North track from Oudna. There is a Comino in Italy, but like Comino in Malta it's making a great circular diversion, instead of a fairly direct route up to the Italian coast turn half left and you'll hit Turin......
    If they didn't find Turin, did they bomb any target or simply jettison the load? Unless they thought to bring them back? Surely they would just drop the bombs over what they may have thought was the sea. On the other hand, perhaps a full load exploding may account for the avalanche and extreme fragmentary wreckage.

  28. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icare9 View Post
    ...as the wreckage you have doesn't react to the magnet, it shows it is a Wellington X with aluminium alloy structure...
    I have to admit that I didn’t know there had been a change from steel to aluminium alloy for the airframe of the mark X Wellington and when I read it on certain websites I dismissed it as an error.

    I’d assumed that the geodetics had always been alloy; so what parts of the airframe were changed from steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Icare9 View Post
    ...confirmed by the engine found in the wreckage as being LN466...
    I wonder if that engine is still up there?
    WA$.

  29. #119
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    Creaking Door,

    Re your post No 80, at 1645 on 2 Oct . Does this debrief refer to the raid launched on the 23rd, or is it another raid the following day (it refers to a raid on Turin on 24th)? Not trying to be clever, but there's a couple of things that don't hang together meteorologically.

    Brian

  30. #120
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    Hi Marco

    The geodetic from the prototype to the last built was alloy no steel was ever used in the forming of the geodetic. Just think of the extra weight it would add.
    Regards
    G.

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