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Beaufighter NE773

Old 30th Jun 2020, 19:10
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Beaufighter NE773

Good evening Gentlefolks,

I am trying to research two Australian Airmen from 455 Sqn that are buried in Cambridge City Cemetery. F/Os Billing and Edwards went down on a training sortie in Beaufighter Mk X NE773. The ORB says that the aircraft was part of a 3 ship and went down some 5 miles from RAF Langham in Norfolk. F/O Billing's death was registered in North Walsham.
I am trying to pin down where the aircraft came down. I have seen other sources that say the aircraft crashed in Somerset but given what the ORB says, this is unlikely.

As always, your help is appreciated.

Stay safe,

Scotty
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 21:41
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Cley-next-the-Sea. 1st July 1944.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 05:30
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Cley-next-the-Sea. 1st July 1944.
Thank you Dave.

Is there any evidence supporting this Dave?
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 06:28
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Served with 455 Sqn under RAF control, coded UB-C. 01/06/1944 Crashed and burned during formation Practice from Langham. Crew; F/O's J.U.Billing and T.O.Edwards killed. During their time at Langham they also had detachments at Thorney Island and Manston

ADF Serials - Beaufighter
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 07:42
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
Served with 455 Sqn under RAF control, coded UB-C. 01/06/1944 Crashed and burned during formation Practice from Langham. Crew; F/O's J.U.Billing and T.O.Edwards killed. During their time at Langham they also had detachments at Thorney Island and Manston

ADF Serials - Beaufighter
The CWGC site gives 1st July as the dates of both Billing's and Edwards' deaths, as per my earlier post

The location comes from Air-Britain's "RAF Aircraft NA100-NZ999" by the late Jim Halley. Cley is about 3-4 miles ENE of Langham.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 11:09
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
The CWGC site gives 1st July as the dates of both Billing's and Edwards' deaths, as per my earlier post

The location comes from Air-Britain's "RAF Aircraft NA100-NZ999" by the late Jim Halley. Cley is about 3-4 miles ENE of Langham.
Thanks Dave. I got the information on unit and aircraft from the ORB. It was this last piece of the jigsaw I needed.

If you are interested and frequent Facebook, I post my research on “The Glorious Dead in the UK”. I say my research but it’s usually based on content from more eminent researchers than I.

Last edited by madcat11; 1st Jul 2020 at 11:27.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 17:30
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A friend of mine who is an Air Britain member supplied the following details which may be of use ? ;

1.7.44: 455Sqn (Langham) Beaufighter NE773, which took off at 1600hrs, lost starboard engine and aircraft spun into the ground, Cley-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, 5 miles from base, during formation practice and local flying.

2114 Flg Off (Plt) John Urban Billing, RAAF, 28. Son of Urban Stanley Billing and Louisa Ann Billing, of Mildura, Victoria. Grave 13506.

426574 Flg Off (Nav/W.Op) Terence Oliver Edwards, RAAF, 20. Son of Ernest Edward Edwards and Julia Edwards, of Auchenflower, Queensland. Grave 13706.

(Had these Australians been killed in Somerset I would have expected them to be buried at the RAF Regional Cemetery at Bath.)
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 17:45
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Thanks David.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 19:21
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489 Squadron's activities at Langham were very much tied in with 455 Squadron. David I expect you are already familiar with this video but others may not be and might find it interesting.


https://langhamdome.org/about-raf-la...tive-airfield/
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 19:33
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Fabulous! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 19:46
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From Civil Defence War Diary;
1st July, 1944.
1717 (6) From NORTHERN. (1704) 1608 Plane crashed at Wiveton.
1815 (8) From NORTHERN. (1812) Ref (6). Locality Bridgeford Lane, Wiveton. G505609.
Crew of 2 killed. Plane burnt out.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 19:51
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Thanks Goofer. You chaps are brilliant!

Bridgefoot Lane is the place.
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 00:28
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Thanks for the correction re date Dave, will advise site so they can correct.
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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 01:22
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A message courtesy of the ADF Serials site researcher Gordon Birkett
BILLING John Urban - (Flying Officer); Service Number - 2114; File type - Casualty - Repatriation; Place - Ewgate Wordolk, England; Date - 1 July 1944

EDWARDS, Terence Oliver - (Flying Officer); Service Number - 426574; File type - Casualty - Repatriation; Aircraft - Beaufighter NE 773; Place - Ewgate, Wordolk, United Kingdom; Date - 1 July 1944

Edward’s service was on the 5th July 1944....at RAF Cemetery Cambridge

To drill down more as we do in ADF-Serials,....,..in the afternoon at 1700hrs during training,..not operational, and crashed 25 miles north west of Norwich, near Ewgate Wordolk
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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 06:55
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
A message courtesy of the ADF Serials site researcher Gordon Birkett

"and crashed 25 miles north west of Norwich, near Ewgate Wordolk"
That looks very much like OCR gone wrong. I'd suggest it's "Newgate, Norfolk" - about a km east of the aforementioned Wiveton, and a few hundred metres north of Bridgefoot Lane.

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Old 5th Jul 2020, 05:33
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Agree Dave, have plotted the grid given by goofer, will provide details to ADF Serial.



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Old 7th Jul 2020, 00:48
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Not OCR fault Dave, as it turns out, Gordon says, "Perhaps original Celtic/Saxon name spelling and pronunciation? who knows. But I agree with prior examples experienced over the years that it may have been a code/cypher translation error...."




He further informs that Edwards only just arrived at 455 Sqn on 28/06/44 after training with 132 OTU (arrived 16.05.44)


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