View Full Version : Investigation "Wellington Bomber Crash"

17th Feb 2008, 20:02

(I really couldn't think which section of the forums to post this, but please forgive me if there is an section I should of used)

I was reading a website dedicated to old boys (former pupils) from my school and one student in the 1940s recalls a Wellington bomber crashing in flames in a field near the local farm (he later found it was on a test flight when it crashed.).


"On a foggy morning a Wellington bomber on a test flight crashed and burst into flames in a field near Daylesford Hill Farm. Our first thoughts were that it had come from Moreton in Marsh but in recent years I have ascertained that this was not so."

Also I am unable to get this guy's contacts...

Now will there be any record kept of none combat losses, so is there any way I can find out were this Wellington was based and were it exactly crashed?

Thank you,

17th Feb 2008, 20:06
I'd try either the Military or Nostalgia forums.


17th Feb 2008, 20:13
I'd try either the Military or Nostalgia forums.

I agree, I would try both, however, the real experts would probably be in the Nostalgia forum. Good luck.

17th Feb 2008, 20:24
Thanks Ill try there...

Brian Dixon
17th Feb 2008, 20:30
Don't know if either of these will help:


Good luck,

tony draper
17th Feb 2008, 20:37
Do you know the date of this crash Mr Masmith?

17th Feb 2008, 20:47
The only other bit of imformation I know is that it happend in 1941

Don't know if either of these will help:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/s...a4436570.shtml (http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/70/a4436570.shtml)


Good luck,

Now thats given be an idea, ive been to that Wellington muesum a few times next time I go I will ask the man there if he has any information about crashes in the local aera...

tony draper
17th Feb 2008, 20:57
Ok it's not the one I was thinking of then,awful lot of aircrew died in training flights.

Brian Dixon
17th Feb 2008, 20:59
Here's another useful website:


18th Feb 2008, 01:07

On May 10th 1942, a Wellignton (H/F 829) "C" for Connie crashed and was destroyed on an attempted trip to the M.E. - location Portreath Cornwall.

It just managed to miss (or hit) a rock wall, I cant quite remember the full story. I have a peice of Connie's doped fabric with the brief details written on it. My father was a crew member.

I have no idea if this is in the same area (or even the same country) but would also like to know if there are any more details out there..

Effluent Man
18th Feb 2008, 09:41
It is just possible that you may be able to get some information from those living nearby.Quite a good proportion of people in country areas never move far from where they grew up.I used this method to track down several aircraft.Older people often seem to enjoy telling the story and you get some interesting snippets.

tony draper
18th Feb 2008, 10:04
Had a strange series of events last year,I knew my father had been killed when the Wellington he was flying crashed on take off in 1944,the family knew almost nothing about the crash,why where when ect
My sister in Gloucester got a email from a cousin in Hayling Island who in turn had got a email from a cousin in Australia who in turn had received a email from a chap in Gloucester enquiering about a Sgt Arthur Draper who was killed when his Wellington Bomber crashed in 1944.
Anyway I eventually got the chaps email and contacted him,turns out he was researching Wellington crashes in Shropshire area and this one in particular,so after 63 years we finally got information on my fathers last flight.

He was undergoing training at 83 Operational Training Unit based at Childs Ercall (Peplow) airfield. On the 3rd March 1944 the crew took off for a night exercise at 12.27 am in Wellington LN164. While climbing away he port engine failed. Being unable to maintain height, the aircraft began to lose height. The aircraft struck some trees before clipping the top of a row of dutch barns finally coming to rest in the attic space of a barn at Cherrington Manor, Cherrington in Shropshire at 12.35 am. The flight lasted just 8 minutes.
Sadly, your father was killed in the crash. The rest of the crew were injured. One of the crew was awarded the BEM for his efforts in rescuing the pilot who was badly injured.
Sadly the all the surviving crew died when the Wellington they were flying disappeared on a flight to the middle east
I understand the Wellington was notoriously underpowered and a engine loss on take off generaly resulted in a crash.

4th Mar 2012, 15:51
Writing on behalf of my Father - John Addison.

My father and I came across your post this weekend whilst carrying out a search regarding a Wellington bomber crash that he witnessed during his time at Kingham Hill School.
My Father along with his friend Harry Bristow (I may have to check that name) were the first to be on the scene of this accident. His description and memories are still sharp to this day, such was the scene that he witnessed.

You are welcome to contact me via telephone.
44 (UK) 0 -1494 837167
Perhaps we could set up a Skype Call and you can meet John face to face as it were.

Kind regards
Mike Addison

17th Jun 2020, 09:29
My Dad was part of this crew, below a copy from his diary.May 10th 1942

To Malta, Gibraltar

This morning our Crew set off for our trip overseas. We had barely travelled one hundred miles, when our boost on the port motor went ropey; our intercom was pretty poor, being full of noise and squeals. This was on account of the wet weather we had been through. It was raining heavily when we commenced the trip, and the cloud was very low. This weather gave way to fog and for the first fifty miles or so, we flew along at between fifty and a hundred feet above the water. We could only glimpse the water now and again, when the fog thinned out in patches. It was to me in the front turret, like standing on the bow of a ship, and watching the water race by.

Our height was demonstrated to me rather startlingly when through a break in the fog, I saw a lighthouse fly by, about 100yards to the port and I did not have to look down on it. It was not until later, when we had left the soupy weather behind us, and were flying at above fifteen hundred feet in the sparkling sunshine, that our motor became ropy and when our Captain decided to turn back it was heart breaking, but necessary.

On arriving back at the aerodrome, the weather was even worse than when we started out. Visibility was extremely poor. Our intercom by this time was useless, and when I saw the drome come into view, I clambered from the front turret, and stood behind the second pilot, and leaned against the framework.

We made a circuit. It had to be low. We had to make a run in from the seaward side, and the cliffs looked dangerously close. We were heavily loaded, but we had faith in our Captain who was an excellent pilot.

Lower and lower we came, and it seemed as though we were sinking too fast to make the edge of the runway. The throttles were opened wide, and the engines roared convincingly. But that sinking feeling was still amazingly noticeable. I could see the Captain fighting with the controls. The second pilot who was standing beside him seemed anxious to try and do something to help .The cliffs; about two hundred feet high were sickeningly close, and with our nose slightly up in the air, the engines racing, we were still sinking. A down-draught!

And the engines were not giving their full power. I stood there wondering.

We just crept over the cliffs and a stone wall loomed up. I thought we would just make it, when I heard a loud crack, the plane shuddered and the second pilot like a stone from a catapult, shot feet first into the bomb aimers compartment, and came to a stop under the first turret.

The nose tilted slightly more downward, and the crash came. I was flung to the floor and heard the grinding and smashing of the structure beneath me. Then just as suddenly we were stopped with a jerk

I was in no way hurt, and looked around puzzled.

I saw the second pilot rise and knew he was ok. I turned towards the rear of the Kite to make my way out of the astro-dome. The navigator was already fighting with the quick release of the dome, and the wireless operator was frantically trying to release the fire extinguisher.

The smoke and fumes of the now burning engines were filling the fuselage and we knew too well that the overload tank right beneath us held about three hundred gallons of high grade gas.

The wireless operator could not free the extinguisher, and knowing I was behind him, he moved on to the astro, so that I could get out more quickly. My parachute harness became entangled in the navigator’s chair, and as I used the inevitable exclamation, I used the quick release button and stepped smartly from the entangled harness. It did not take me long to get out. As a matter of fact I was the last out, and it could not have taken me more than a minute and a half; if that

There were people running from all directions. On my way round the back of the Kite I noticed that the rear gunner was out, and I trotted as best my flying gear would allow; away from the wreak.,

The Navigator, a young Canadian was looking back at the plane. There was a tragic expression on his face and a hint of tears, as he moaned “What about all our gear! Couldn’t you get the fire extinguisher?” Well the small extinguisher would not have been much use, as both engines were burning, and any minute the whole damn thing might explode. Usually the buggars go “poof” the instant they crack up. But his mournful words made me remember that all our equipment was packed in that Kite. All our most treasured personal gear, photographs, letters, souvenirs and clothing. It was a shock! The fire engine arrived and was useless. The ambulance arrived soon afterwards. Then I saw a great tongue of flame leap from the port wing. It caught the fabric on the fuselage and then things began to happen. The ammunition began to explode and a general evacuation from the near vicinity began. Looking back, it has its funny side. There was a general scramble through fences, among the gorse and over the hill.

Then we were taken into a dispersal hut where the two pilots were given first aid. From there, I heard the tanks explode It must have been barely three or four minutes before the Kite was completely “Komati”.

The two pilots were admitted to hospital, and the rest of us were given a couple of days off.

Wellington HF 829 'C' Connie….…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The six members of the crew were;

Sgt. S.E. Alcock (English) Pilot

Sgt. W. Robinson (NZ) second pilot

Sgt. C. Hill (Canada) navigator

Sgt. S.Pratt (NZ) bomb-aimer/rear gunner

Sgt. J.A, Peacock (English) Front gunner

Sgt. A.J. Fyfe (NZ) wireless operator


17th Jun 2020, 10:04
I know it isn't that relevant to this thread, but in the accident that Tony Draper describes near Peplow (Cherrington manor) the aircraft actually ended up on the original 'House that Jack Built'. There was a plaque on the side of the building with the full nursery rhyme on it some years ago, but it has since been 'refurbished/converted', so the history may not be known any more.

17th Jun 2020, 10:23
My Dad was part of this crew, below a copy from his diary.May 10th 1942
Then we were taken into a dispersal hut where the two pilots were given first aid. From there, I heard the tanks explode It must have been barely three or four minutes before the Kite was completely “Komati”.

The six members of the crew were;

Sgt. S.E. Alcock (English) Pilot

Sgt. W. Robinson (NZ) second pilot

Sgt. C. Hill (Canada) navigator

Sgt. S.Pratt (NZ) bomb-aimer/rear gunner

Sgt. J.A, Peacock (English) Front gunner

Sgt. A.J. Fyfe (NZ) wireless operator

"Komati" is a word I've never met before. I assume it represents "Ka mate," which means in the Maori language "It is death"; these are the first words of the most famous of all haka, since it performed by the All Blacks. I guess the writer of the account was Sgt Peacock, who was rather in the minority in the crew as an Englishman. If I've got that wrong, and "Komati" is a bit of RAF slang, I'd love to know.

17th Jun 2020, 20:56
The writer of this account was Sgt S. Pratt (NZ) from his war diary so I guess "ko mate" was from the Maori language.
I always thought was was Japanese but in hind-site I think you are correct.