Aviation Research
Vickers Wellington
17 OTU Silverstone 1944

12 OTU 1943

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Date:  13 Jan 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  X3338  JP-P
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping warden
Crew:
S/L D M Foreman DFC   Killed 
Sgt G Campain   Killed 
P/O D W C Jepp   Killed 
Sgt B Sober   Killed 
Sgt W H J Nott   Killed 
Sgt J G Arnold   Injured
Description:  T/o 1735 Chipping Warden for high-level bombing practice.  At 1830, while flying at 900 feet, the port engine failed and five minutes later the starboard motor cut.  Immediately, the aircraft spun out of control and crashed.(+)  Those who died rest in various cemeteries.  P/O Jepp was the son of Major john William Jepp and Emily Mary Jepp of Farnham in Surrey.  Sgt Arnold was found, unconscious in the rear turret.  
 
 
Date:  18-19 Feb 1943
Unit:  12 OTU: 
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BK160
Operation:  Nickel
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
Sgt J E Parkes  RAAF  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
P/O A R Shepherd  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Sgt A R York  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Sgt K W Keen  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Sgt A H Martin  RAAF  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden, course being set for the Orleans area of France.  Lost without trace.  P/O Shepherd and nineteen year old Sgt York shared the same Christian names, Alfred Raymond.
 
 
Date:  1 Mar 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BK467  -C
Operation:  training
Take Off:  Turweston
Crew:
Sgt P A Thompson  RAAF  Injured 
Sgt A J Abrahams  Injured 
Sgt G O John  Killed  St Fagan Churchyard
Sgt R Crebbin  Killed  Liverpool (Allerton) Cemetery
Sgt Crompton  Injured 
Description:  T/o Turweston for bombing practice.  On return to the base, the Wellington came in off-line of the flare path and while going around again, and engine failed.  Unable to bring the bomber under control, Sgt Thompson RAAF crashed 2106 in the airfield circuit, a fierce blaze breaking out on impact.  Sgt John is buried in the SE corner of the Chancel at St. Fagan Churchyard, Aberdare, while Sgt Crebbin lies in Liverpool (Allerton) Cemetery.
 
 
Date:  5 Mar 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BK433
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
Sgt R V N Moss  Killed
Sgt A Witton  Killed
Sgt D W Alexander  Killed
Sgt G J Gates  Killed
Sgt Napier Injured 
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden tasked for a night sortie.  At around 0220, dived into the ground.(+)  Those who perished lie in various cemeteries.  Sgt Napier was rescued, relatively unscathed, but was classified as suffering from acute shock.
 
 
Date:  10 Mar 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Lysander
Serial No.:  P1668
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
F/S S R Grant  Injured
LAC Devine  Injured
Description:  T/o 0955 Chipping Warden for drogue towing and air firing.  The exercise was completed and at approximately 1140, F/S Grant overflew the airfield at 200 feet and released the drogue ahead of landing.  Moments later, the Lysander's engine spluttered.  The throttle was immediately advanced but the motor failed to pick up and with very little height to play with, a forced-landing was carried out.(+)  However, the ground was rather soft and the aircraft tipped onto its nose.  An examination of the engine revealed a defective port magneto and plug of No.5 cylinder.  A little over a month later, F/S Grant was involved in a similar accident, though on this occasion his aircraft was a Martinet. 
 
 
Date:  13 Apr 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Martinet I
Serial No.:  HP373
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
F/S S R Grant  Injured
Description: T/o Chipping Warden for cine camera gun.  Lost power and crashed 1520, flipping onto its back.(+)  This was the first Martinet to be written off at a Bomber Command Operational Training Unit;  it will be recalled that F/S Grant had been involved in a Lysander accident on 10 Mar 1943.  From this second serious incident, he was fortunate to escape with only minor injuries.                                                           
 
                             
Date:  16 Apr 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Martinet I
Serial No.:  HP372
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
W/O D Fairclough-Smith  Injured
Description:  T/o 1605 Chipping Warden for cine camera gun.  While changing fuel cocks the engine faltered and moments later the Martinet had stalled and crashed, 1740.(+)  W/O Fairclough-Smith was taken to the Radcliffe Infirmary at Oxford for attention to a fractured left Humerus.
 
 
Date:  16 Jun 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  Z1721  -W
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping warden
Crew:
F/S H P Griffith  RAAF  Killed  Banbury Cemetery
P/O T W Adam  RCAF  Killed  Banbury Cemetery
F/O G B Booth   RCAF  Killed  Banbury Cemetery
Sgt F J Welsby  Killed  Marton Church Burial Ground
Sgt K E Troake  Killed  Banbury Cemetery 
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden only to explode 15 minutes later near Edgehill airfield.(+)  Four lie in Banbury Cemetery, while Sgt Welsby rests in Marton (St Paul) Church Burial Ground, Blackpool.  F/O Booth RCAF was an American from Van Buren, Ohio.
 
 
Date:  25 Jun 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No.:  HE372
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
F/S T H German
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden and crashed a couple of minutes later in a field.(+)  Dirty breaker points were discovered in the engine that failed.  Initially assessed as repairable, the bomber was written off charge five das later.
 
 
Date:  26-27 Jun 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BJ965  -J
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Turweston
Crew:
F/O F S Taylor  RCAF  Killed  Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery
P/O G M Roberts   Injured
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden for a night cross-country.  Crashed 0115, after the port engine failed, at Deer Gallow Rocks near Embsay.(+)
 
 
Date:  13-14 Jul 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BJ702
Operation:  Nickel
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
W/C N A Bray DFC  Injured
P/O G Wilde
F/O G Parkinson  Injured
P/O R Stokes
Sgt Perkins
F/S Fitchett
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden and set course for the Rennes area.  Outbound, a pinpoint was obtained on the south coast over Portland and the French coast was crossed a mile or so off track.  Coarse was then altered for the target area.  When SW of the Orne and in the Mortain-Domfront region, flying straight and level at 16500 feet, hit below the port engine by predicted flak (0120).  The engine and port mainplane being badly damaged.  At no time did anyone see searchlights.  W/C Bray tried to continue but was forced to turn back as he was unable to maintain altitude.  While recrossing the coast at 0135, there was much searchlight activity and light flak and though no hits were scored, the bomber lost 2000 feet in taking evasive action.  Over the sea, Nickels were jettisoned and these carried away the trailing arial.  An SOS was transmitted by wireless and the IFF equipment was switched on.  By this time, the Wellington was almost impossible to control and at 0210 a ditching was made.  After thirty-four hours in their dinghy, an Air-sea rescue launch located the crew.  No one was too badly hurt, though the skipper had sustained a broken nose.
 
 
Date:  27-28 Jul 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BK342
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
Sgt W D Brickwood
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden for a night cross-country.  Lost power and at 0210 was extensively damaged having failed to reach the airfield at Shobdon in Herefordshire.  After a close technical inspection, the Wellington was struck off charge on 4 August 1943.  Accepted by the unit, direct from 48 Maintenance Unit at Hawarden, on 29 December 1942, the Wellington had accumulated 455.50 flying hours.
 
 
Date:  3 Aug 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  X3876
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
Sgt M G Scollick Injured
Sgt I A Macphee  RCAF  Injured
Sgt W P Crosby  Injured
Sgt S D Oakes  RCAF  Injured
Sgt W N Gould  RCAF  Injured
Sgt Burtonshaw  Injured
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden for a night exercise but some twenty minutes later, the port engine failed and the bomber was abandoned.  Reported crashed near Henley-in-Arden.(+)  Sadly, Sgt Gould RCAF lost his life, while still being trained, in a flying accident on 21-22 Sept 1943.
 
 
Date:  7-8 Sept 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BJ621
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
Sgt W Shepherd  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Sgt F G Wells  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Sgt G D H Morrow  RCAF  Killed  Chester (Blacon) Cemetery
Sgt W H Lawrence  Killed  Chester (Blacon) Cemetery
Sgt N L Wachter  Killed  Chester (Blacon) Cemetery
Description:  T/o 2153 Chipping Warden for a night navigation detail.  Crashed 0030, with considerable force, at Eudon Mill near Bridgnorth, Shropshire.
 
 
Date:  13 Sept 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BJ664
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
F/L J E Fairchild  Killed 
Sgt C S Walters  Killed 
F/L R T Bowen  Killed 
Sgt E Gates  Killed 
Sgt E A Opie  RCAF  Killed  Chester (Blacon) Cemetery
F/S B Green  Killed 
Sgt E Davis  Killed 
Sgt T Johnson  Killed 
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden for a night navigation exercise.  At approximately 1545, the wellington flew into the vicinity of a violent thunderstorm.  In the turbulent air, control was lost and the bomber hurtled to the ground.(+)
 
 
Date:  21-22 Sept 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  X3747
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
Sgt R P Giles  RAAF
Description:  T/o 1950 Chipping Warden for a night navigation exercise.  Returned to base at 0005, but overshot the runway and soon after crash-landed.(+)  For most of the sortie the crew had experienced intermittent engine problems.
 
 
Date:  21-22 Sept 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BK200
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
F/S K L Hart  RAAF  Killed  Banbury Cemetery
F/S W N Gould  RCAF  Killed  Banbury cemetery
F/S L Sillito  RCAF  Killed  Banbury Cemetery
Sgt W G Denyer  Killed  Battersea (Morden) Cemetery
Sgt K Mackenzie  Killed  Sandwick Cemetery
Sgt R Cave  Killed  Banbury Cemetery
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden similarly tasked as above.  On return to base at 0030, overshot the flare path and crashed.(+)
 
 
Date:  20 Oct 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  Z1717
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
Sgt Z W C Dekkers  Killed  Banbury cemetery
Sgt D A R Colegate  Killed  Banbury cemetery
F/O W D Newel  RCAF  Killed  Oxford (Botley) Cemetery
Sgt K J Gehrmann  RAAF  Killed  Oxford (Botley) Cemetery
Sgt Young  Killed  Binstead (Holy Cross) Churchyard
Description:  T/o 2225 Chipping Warden for a night training flight.  Overshot the airfield, climbed to around a thousand feet, rolled over, and crashed 2254.(+)  On hitting the ground, the bomber was engulfed in flames.
 
 
Date:  27 Oct 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  DF613
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Edgehill
Crew:
Sgt O W Ray
Description:  T/o Edgehill for an evening exercise.  At 2243 the bomber was sighted in the funnels but was not fully aligned with the flare path and while turning to make an adjustment it struck the ground before Sgt Ray could level his wings.  No one was hurt and at first sight it was thought the damage was repairable.  However, upon closer inspection it was decided not to proceed and the airframe was struck off charge having amassed 462.40 flying hours.
 
 
Date:  27 Oct 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No.:HE860
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
F/S T Black
Sgt H Moncrieff  RCAF
Description:  T/o 1620 Chipping Warden but the port engine failed and having left the runway, the bomber ran through a hedge and was wrecked.
 
 
Date:  29 Oct 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  X3868
Operation:  Ground
Take Off:
Crew:
Description:  Burnt out 1750 at Edgehill, while parked at its dispersal.  The cause of the fire could not be ascertained but the most likely explanation put forward suggests a short in the electrical system.
 
 
Date:  12 Dec 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No.:  LN187
Operation:  Training
Take Off:@Chipping Warden
Crew:
Sgt Coyle
Sgt J Whitehouse  Injured
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden for an evening flying detail which ended at 2245 with most of the crew taking to their parachutes after the Wellington ran out of petrol.  Sgt Coyle, along with his wireless operator (not named), remained in the aircraft and force-landed.(+)  Meanwhile, Sgt Whitehouse (an air gunner) was taken to the Royal Leamington Spa Hospital after sustaining serious leg injuries.