View Full Version : World War II Aircraft Crash info

18th Dec 2004, 18:12
Hello, I was wondering if anybody would know of a good search database for WWII Aircraft crashes. I am researching a family member with 75 RNZAF Squadron, who's Halifax was shot down over Europe on 03/03/1943. I have his service number, and his home field, but I have turned up little information on the crash location. I have found alot of info on his squadron and of his homefield, but nothing more. If anybody has any UK government agencies I can check out, or if there are any websites that might contain this data, it would be gretly appreciated. Thank-you.

18th Dec 2004, 18:25
I seem to recall seeing a book in the Staff College library at Shrivenham that had details on all Bomber Command aircraft lost both in training and on ops during the war. It included crew members' names etc.

I can't remember the title of the book, but I'm sure if you contact JSCSC at Shrivenham, they will be able to help.

18th Dec 2004, 18:50
Are you sure it was a Halifax, as the only details I can find for 75 Sqn RNZAF states that they flew Wellingtons, Stirlings then Lancasters.

Formed in April 1940 form the New Zealand Wellington Flight and served in 3 Group until the end of the war.

Squadron Identity Code Letter(s): AA, JN

Stations: Feltwell, Mildenhall, Newmarket and Mepal

Operational Performance:

Raids Flown

3 Group Wellingtons 291 bombing, 24 mine laying, 4 leaflet, 1 photoreconnaissance.
3 Group Stirlings 103 bombing, 107 mine laying
3 Group Lancaster's 190 bombing, 18 mine laying, 1 leaflet

Totals: 584 bombing, 149 mine laying, 5 leaflet, 1 photo reconnaissance.

Sorties and Losses

3 Group Wellingtons 2540 sorties, 74 aircraft lost (2.9 percent)
3 Group Stirlings 1736 sorties, 72 aircraft lost (4.1 percent)
3 Group Lancaster's - 3741 sorties, 47 aircraft lost (1.3 percent)

Totals : 8017 sorties, 193 aircraft lost (2.4 percent)

An additional 8 Lancaster's were destroyed in crashes.

Points Of Interest:

The first and only New Zealand squadron in Bomber Command.
Victoria Cross: Sergeant J.A. Ward, Munster, 7/8 July 1941. Sgt. Ward was killed in action on a raid to Hamburg on
15/16 September 1941.
Carried out the fourth highest bombing raids of all heavy Bomber Command squadrons.
Suffered second highest casualties in Bomber Command.
Believed to have dropped the third greatest tonnage of bombs (21600 tons) in Bomber Command.
Dropped 2344 mines, most likely representing the second highest in Bomber Command.

Atcham Tower
18th Dec 2004, 19:15
The book you need is RAF Bomber Command Losses 1943 by WR Chorley. I don't have this volume, unfortunately. It is part of a magnificent series published in the UK by Midland Counties Publications. They have a website for more details.

18th Dec 2004, 19:59
I hope no-one will mind my intrusion into the forum, but I have the 1943 edition of Bomber Command Losses.

There is one loss by 75 Sqn recorded for the night of 3rd/4th March. The aircraft was Stirling I, N6123, coded AA-Q.

Take-off was at 2003 from Newmarket to lay mines off The Frisian Islands.

The crew were all lost without trace and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial:

Sgt. R.C. Going, R.N.Z.A.F.
Sgt E.H. Weaver,
P/O A.M. Bridgman, R.N.Z.A.F.
F/S FAW Willis,
Sgt KC Eyre,
Sgt FB Stewart,
Sgt CS Burton, R.N.Z.A.F.

Hope this helps?

May I also recommend this site:


The message board is frequented by extremely friendly and helpful researchers with far greater info available to them than I have.

tony draper
18th Dec 2004, 20:33
Heres a website I came arcoss a while back, was looking for details of the Wellington my father flew in,(he was a navigator)
I didn't follow it through,got sidetracked at the time, it might be usefull to you.


18th Dec 2004, 20:45
I would like to thank you all for your contributions. I am glad to see many of us still remember, and take such an active interest in this subject.

682al, I am truely thankful for this info. I have only been researching for a few weeks, and I am in complete awe of the information you have just provided me. I would never have thought this information would come this fast.

FB Stewart was my grandfathers brother. I have his picture at home, in uniform, with my grandfather at his side. Both are of a young age, Frank was only 23 when he died. My grandfather is still with us although his recolaection of events at that time are very fuzzy. His memory is not what it used to be.

If anybody has any further information, I will bre ever so greatful

19th Dec 2004, 07:44

Sorry to hijack your thread, but I was amazed too, at how quickly you were served with the answers.

Does anyone know of similar records of Luftwaffe losses.

I'm trying to find out more about a Ju88 LI+SC which came down at West Tisted Hampshire on 15 Aug 1940.

My dad, gave it a squirt from his Lewis gun as it passed overhead, and subsequently dished out ciggies to the survivors.

It's mangled nose gun was my plaything as a child (!) until my mum gave it to the rag and bone man.

I've found out so far that it was credited to hurricanes of 601 sqn Tangmere, but would like to rrace the crew.

Atcham Tower
19th Dec 2004, 08:10
The Blitz Then and Now Vol 1 has details, along with a photo of what is believed to be this particular aircraft, surrounded by local soldiery and civilians. Maybe one is your dad? Crew names are listed.

19th Dec 2004, 08:24
Not too sure from the thread whether you are looking for an associated war grave. If you are, then recommend the following link for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission:


19th Dec 2004, 08:42
As suggested above try posting these questions on theRAF Commands board (http://www.rafcommands.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=list&forum=DCForumID6)

I have always found them very knowledgeable and very helpful, normally geting a reply within a couple of hours.

And for Luftwaffe losses try the Luftwaffe Experten Message Board (http://pub157.ezboard.com/bluftwaffeexperten71774)

JT Eagle
19th Dec 2004, 13:32
I can add just a little bit to the info provided by 682AL. It comes from the marvellous 'For Your Tomorrow' (Vol 2) by Errol W Martyn, which catalogues the fates of all New Zealanders killed while flying with the RNZAF or Allied Air Services 1915-1998.

NZ crew of Stirling N6123/Q:
Captain: NZ414278 Sgt Raymond Cyril GOING Age 21. 422 hours
Navigator: NZ41866 Plt Off Arthur Mervyn BRIDGMAN Age 26. 335 hours
Rear Gunner: NZ414493 Sgt Clarence Sydney BURTON Age 22. 182 hours

There is no info on the non RNZAF crew.
The full names might be a lead to further info elsewhere, so I hope it's of some use to you.


19th Dec 2004, 16:20
The following website may be useful to people tracing friends/relatives lost in the wars:


It's the commonwaelth War Graves Commission search and I've just used it to confirm details for my Great Uncle who was killed on D-Day. All details spot on.

19th Dec 2004, 17:52

How's that Halifax restoration coming on at Trenton?

The website hasn't been updated for a while.

I'm wondering if they used the engine cowlings me and a couple of mates dragged out of a Chippenham scrapyard, and brought them out when we came over for Bullseye '97.

I won't be offended if they didn't use them, they were in right state. (but so was the Halifax)

21st Dec 2004, 07:19

Thanks for that and the PM. Sorry again, Ontariotech for invading your thread.

22nd Dec 2004, 14:55
Arkroyal, No Worries, any contribution to this thread is more than allowed. No intrusion by any means. BTW, my Grandfather served on the Arkroyal, he was an Aircraft fitter working on the Tiger Moth.

As far as I am aware, the Halifax restoration is coming along slowly but surely. They have just completed the Museum expansion, that is to be the Halifax's new home. I have a fellow Air Cadet Officer whom I meet with every wednesday in Trenton, He is doing some of the restoration work, so I will ask him when Cadet's meet back up in the New year.

Also, if anybody is looking for a good site on the Short's Stiriling bomber, I have found a great link, it has a fantastic message board and contains specs on the AIrcraft.


21st Dec 2005, 10:28

Got hold of the book some time ago, and can now positively identify my dad amonngst the squaddies.

He, sadly is blind, but I scanned and emailed the detail to sisters and friends who all say it's him without a doubt.

Thanks for the tip!

21st Dec 2005, 23:14
I appologize for bending the thread but I would like to answer the question regarding the Halifax recovered from a Norwegian lake and taken to Trenton, Ont. for restoration.

The Halifax, NA337, was unveiled at Trenton, RCAF Memorial Museum, Ontario on November 5th. They have done a wonderful job and you can get more details by going to your friendly High Street, W.H.Smiths and get a copy of the December issue of "Aeroplane Monthly".

The final result is outstanding and nothing short of a miracle. A fine tribute to all the airmen, Canadian or otherwise that lost their lives or fought the night skies in WW2.

God Bless Them All.

RubiC Cube
22nd Dec 2005, 08:02
In addition to the book RAF Bomber Command Losses by W Chorley, for those who may be researching losses in other commands, there are 2 books: RAF Fighter Comand Losses by N Franks and RAF Coastal Command Losses by R McNeil. You should be able to borrow copies through major libraries and I believe that they are available to buy at www.ianallanpublishing.com. All the books are invaluable as they list losses and circumstances.

23rd Dec 2005, 09:30
Have you managed to find a copy of the Operational Record Book of 75 Squadron? There's usually (depending on the officer who compiled it) some interesting stuff to find in those...

Other contacts might include the Air Historical Branch, at http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/ahb.html or by mail (Ministry of Defence/Room G1/Building 266/RAF Bentley Priory/Stanmore/Middlesex/HA7 3HH/United Kingdom)

or RAF Museum
www.raafmuseum.org.uk, or by mail Grahame Park Way/London NW9 5LL/United Kingdom.

Both have been invaluable to me in doing similar research... my grandfather's uncle (412686 W/O R.W. 'Jack' Purcell) was a Lancaster navigator with 467 Sq, shot down and killed over Lille in France in May 1944. Among other things, researching his story led to us meeting and becoming quite good friends (up until his death a few years back) with Jack's pilot who was the only survivor of the crew.

Lest we forget!!