Aviation Research
Vickers Wellington
17 OTU Silverstone 1944

12 OTU 1944

Hint:  Use the 'Control + F' function on your PC to search the list
 
 
Date:  14 Jan 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No.:  LN246
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
F/S R E Pellew  RAAF
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden for flying practice.  Within half an hour of departing, the port engine was stopped and the propeller feathered.  Immediately, the Wellington began to loose height and despite increasing power to the starboard motor, it was impossible to arrest the rate of descent.  F/S Pellew RAAF then took steps to restart the port engine but when he feathered the propeller, a violent yaw developed and at around 1035 a force-landing was carried out, in a field.(+)
 
 
Date:  29 Jan 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  Z1697
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
F/O H A Baker  RCAF  Killed  Oxford (Botley) Cemetery
F/O D MacNeill  RCAF  Killed  Oxford (Botley) Cemetery
Sgt C J Pascoe  Killed  Northampton (Dallington) Cemetery
Sgt H D Westley  RCAF  Killed  Oxford (Botley) Cemetery
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden for solo circuits and landings.  Dived into the ground at 1252 and caught fire.(+)  F/O Baker RCAF was a veteran of the "Thousand Bomber" raids of  1942.
 
 
Date:  12 Feb 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BK248
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
F/S L M Sergeant  RAAF  Killed  Oxford (Botley) Cemetery
Sgt H L Williams  Killed  Tipton cemetery
F/O R A J Vagg  RCAF  Killed  Oxford (Botley) Cemetery
Sgt W L Pemberton  Killed  Banbury cemetery
Sgt J J Gillis  RCAF  Injured
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden for a night bombing practice sortie.  At 2122, flying control called the aircraft, instructing it to land.  This message, which may not have been acknowledged, was later repeated, but nothing was known until 2300 when a report came through to say that the burnt out remains of a bomber had been found.(+)  Subsequently, it was learnt that the crash had ocured at 2152 and that Sgt Gillis RCAF was in hospital with a fractured right leg.
 
 
Date:  16 Mar 1943
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BK494
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew
F/S H R Hodge  RCAF
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden for a night cross-country.  Crash-landed at around 2235 at East Moor airfield, Yorkshire, after losing oil from the starboard engine.
 
 
Date:  24-25 Apr 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BK542
Operation:  Sweepstake
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
F/S F C Coker  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Sgt C A Hargood  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Sgt F J Burton  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Sgt D A Barber  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Sgt A P Curran  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden as part of a force, drawn from the training units, to fly a diversionary sweep to within seventy-five miles of the enemy coast.  Last heard on wireless at 2337, "Port engine unserviceable, losing height, position 542N 063E".  

 
Date:  15-16 May 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No.:  LP155
Operation:  Nickel
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew
F/O G D Coldwell-Horsfall  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Sgt H Daly  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Sgt N C Rushton  RCAF  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Sgt K T James  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Sgt R H Moyle  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Sgt N Walters  Killed  Runnymede Memorial
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden and headed for Bittany.  Lost without trace.  All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.  Oddly, F/O Coldwell-Horsfall is also listed in the Allied Air Forces Prisoner of War file.  At forty-one, Sgt Rushton was well above the age normally associated with airmen training for operational service in Bomber Command.  Certainly, he was amongst the oldest Canadians to lose his life on active service.
 
 
Date:  28 May 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BK558
Operation:  Air Test
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
W/O T W Black
Description:  T/o 1210 Chipping Warden.  While flying at 3000 feet, a fire was discovered beneath the navigator's table but despite prompt use of a fire extinguisher the flames continued to take hold.  The wireless operator (not named) then tried to smother the fire, using the canvas engine covers but was unsuccessful.  While all this activity was going on, W/O Black was making all good speed towards base, where he landed safely, the entire crew vacating the Wellington without injury.  The cause of the blaze was traced to an insecure joint in the aircraft's heating system.
 
 
Date:  31 May 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BK157
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
F/O D A Driver DFM  Killed  Banbury cemetery
F/S E Cotterell  Killed 
F/S J H McGregor  Killed  Wick Cemetery
Sgt E W Blakeman  Killed  Banbury cemetery
Sgt J A Oliver  Killed 
Sgt F J Pack  Killed 
Sgt J H Nixon  Killed  Clough Presbyterian Churchyard
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden for a cine camera gun detail, the crew comprising of the screened pilot, two screened air gunners and four trainee air gunners.  After forty minutes of flying, F/O Driver made an evasive turn to port and before he could level out, the port wing folded.  Out of control, the bomber plunged to the ground and burst into flames.(+)
 
 
Date:  22-23 Jun 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No.:  HE989
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
F/S Cann
Description:  T/o 2253 Chipping Warden for a night navigation detail.  While cruising at 6000 feet, one of the engines began to misfire and F/S Cann decided to land as quickly as possible.  At 0028 he touched down on Silverstone airfield, Northamptonshire, but his aircraft bounced and upon its second arrival, the undercarriage, a fire breaking out soon after.  F/S Cann's service number indicates he joined the air force at Uxbridge within days of the outbreak of war. 
 
 
Date:  11-12 Jul 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BJ622
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
Sgt J C Ridley  RCAF
Description:  T/o 2305 Chipping Warden for night circuit training.  Landed 0030, wheels still retracted and destroyed in the fire that followed.  As a consequence of this accident, six of the unit's aircraft were engaged in night flying had to be diverted to other airfields.
 
 
Date:  30-31 Jul 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No.:  NC452
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
F/L W J Timperley  Injured
F/S A C Lockyer  RNAF Injured
Sgt C S A Johnston  Injured
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden for a dual night cross-country with a screened pilot.  Force-landed at 0047, with the wheels retracted, in the airfield circuit after the navigator inadvertantly switched off the fuel supply while changing tanks.  F/S Lockyer RNZAF went on to fly Lancasters with 550 Squadron and was killed when his aircraft was shot down by an enemy intruder on 17 March 1945.
 
 
Date:  12 Aug 1944
Unit: 12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No.:  LN446
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
F/S J D Forbes  RNZAF  Injured
P/O L S R Smith  RCAF  Injured
Sgt W R Malvern  Injured
Sgt R Fuller  Injured
Sgt R Johnson  Injured
Sgt A A Jolly  Killed  Dowsby (St Andrew) Churchyard
Description:  T/o 2134 Chipping Warden for a Bullseye detail.  About an hour into the flight, the starboard engine and while trying to reach Worksop airfield the Wellington crashed 2249.(+)
 
 
Date:  25-26 Aug 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No.:  LN293
Operation:  Diversion
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
W/O J R Harvey  RNZAF  Killed  Carlisle (Dalston Raod) Cemetery
Sgt D M Paterson  RCAF  Killed  Kingston-upon-Thames Cemetery
Sgt F S Martin Killed 
Sgt W E Hankin  Killed 
Sgt D D Evans  Killed 
Sgt A Blewett  Killed 
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden for operations over Normandy.  Strayed from track while returning to base and at 0146 dived into the ground.(+)
 
 
Date:  29 Aug 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BJ917
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Edgehill
Crew:
F/L L I Falber  Injured
F/L H R Jansen   
Description:  T/o 1414 Edgehill for a dual circuit training, the crew comprising of a screened pilot and two pupil pilots.  Landed 1434 but caught fire as it reached the end of the runway.  The blaze, which took hold quickly, was centred near the main spar and, wisely, the crew decided to make good their exit.  No one was badly hurt, though F/L Falber, the screened pilot, injured an ankle as he left the aircraft.  It is noted that F/L Jansen, a Dutchman, had accumulated 1120 hours of flying experience, though only five of these had been at the controls of Wellingtons. 
 
 
Date:  18 Sept 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No.:  LP625
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
F/S Crabtree  RAAF   
Sgt L H Kilby  Killed  Cardiff (Cathays) Cemetery
F/S R D Jones  RAAF  Killed  Bath (Haycombe) Cemetery
Description:  T/o 2024 Chipping Warden for a night cross-country.  While in flight, an engine caught fire and a distress call was broadcast.  At 2139 the Wellington crash-landed on Colerne airfield in Wiltshire, but careered off the runway and collided with a 409 Squadron Beaufighter VIF MM882 and a Mosquito NF.30 MT456 belonging to 488 Squadron, wrecking both.  By now totally out of control, the Wellington finished up amongst some huts near one of the dispersal areas.
 
 
Date: 16 Oct 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No:  .LN536
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
S/L A L Vipan  Killed  Cambridge City Cemetery
F/L D J Falconer  Killed 
Sgt W H Chappell  Killed 
Sgt V S Wright  Killed 
Sgt P N Hewitt  Killed 
Sgt H D Hudson  Killed 
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden for a night cross-country detail.  Caught fire in the air and crashed.(+)  S/L Vipan, an experienced pilot with 1140 solo hours to his credit (but slightly less than fifty of these on type) is buried in Cambridge City Cemetery.  A pre-war regular officer, he is believed to have left the service for a short while before being recalled from the reserve.
 
 
Date:  28 Oct 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No.:  HF465
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
F/S L J Timperly  Killed  Chester (Blacon) cemetery
Sgt D S H Wilson  Injured
P/O C F Holmes  Killed 
Sgt L E Harrison  Killed 
Sgt J D Milne  Killed 
Sgt R Whitely  Killed 
Sgt A F Baker  Killed  Tisbury (St John the Baptist) Churchyard
Description:  T/o 0913 Chipping Warden for a cross-country.  Lost control while descending through cloud and at 1223 the Wellington disintegrated, throwing clear the navigator.  Most of the debris fell close to the Cheshire-Shropshire border.(+)
 
 
Date:  4 Nov 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No.:  HE806
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew
F/L T Dudding RNZAF  Injured
F/O D F Law
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden for a dual night navigation exercise.  Crash-landed 1954, after the starboard engine failed on the approach to base.  As the crew made their exit, F/L Dudding RNZAF nursing a fractured wrist, a fire broke out.  F/O Law was killed on 3 May 1945; he is buried in Aberdeen (Springbank) Cemetery, Peterculter.  Two days previous to the accident, here summarised, the Wellington, with F/S Wales at the controls, had force-landed at Chipping warden with an unserviceable starboard engine.   
 
 
Date:  6 Nov 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No.:  LP460
Operation:
Training:
Take Off:  Edgehill
Crew:
Sgt R G Hann
Description:  T/o Edgehill for a high-level bombing exercise.  Burnt out 2034, after crashing short of the base runway, the crew of five escaping unscathed.
 
 
Date:  7 Nov 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  BJ584
Operation:  Ground
Take Off:
Crew:
Description:  At 1140, while being worked on at Edgehill, a spark from one of the propeller pitch control leads ignited petrol vapour.  An electrician working on the aircraft escaped unhurt.

 
Date13 Nov 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No.:  HE750
Operation:  Unknown
Take Off:
Crew:
Description:  Reported to have been destroyed by fire on this date.

 
Date:  24 Nov 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Master II
Serial No.:  DL475
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
W/O R C Macpherson  RNZAF
F/O C R Henderson  RAAF
Description:  T/o Chipping Warden for a dual training.  Sometime later, with the engine misfiring, the trainer touched down on Kelmscott relief Landing Ground in Oxfordshire, overshot the landing area and crashed into a hedge.  The day previous, it had been advised that Kelmscott was closed to flying, owing to the waterlogged state of the ground.  It was the first of two Masters written off at a Bomber Command OTU.
 
 
Date:  24 Nov 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No.:  NA783
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
F/S T Keenay  Killed 
Sgt R P St Leger  Killed 
F/O J H Povey  Killed 
Sgt H Daniel  Killed 
Sgt D R Puttick  Killed 
Description:  T/o 1705 Chipping Warden for a night navigation exercise.  At around 2110, the inhabitants of Litchborough, 8 miles SW of Northampton, were alerted by the sound of a low flying aircraft circling the area.  Then came the sound of a crash as one of the bombers wingtips dug into the ground.     
 
 
Date:  25 Nov 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington X
Serial No.:  LN242
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Chipping Warden
Crew:
Sgt R M High  Killed 
F/S A D Springett  Killed 
Sgt E F Isterling  Killed 
F/O G Smith  Killed 
Sgt J Heap  Killed 
Sgt J R Robinson  Killed 
Sgt J C Carlyle  Killed 
     
Mrs E M Tester  Killed 
Miss C Tester  Killed 
Mstr M Tester  Killed 
Mr S H Brooks  Injured 
Mrs Brooks   
Miss H Brooks   
Description:  T/o 2055 Chipping Warden for a night cross-country but at 300 feet the port engine cut and seconds later the bomber scythed through the tops of trees along the Welsh Road before dropping into a field, its momentum being hardly slowed as it careered through the garden wall at Manor Farm, Upper Boddington.  Search and Rescue:  Owned by Mr S. Brooks, Manor Farm (or Manor House as it is referred to in the Banbury Advertiser’s edition for 29 November 1944) was a sixteenth century building, comprising of two wings.  One of the wings was rented by LAC Roy Tester, who had been posted to Chipping Warden and, who, on the night of the accident, was on duty at the airfield.  Within seconds of the impact, the wing housing the Tester family was ablaze, and though the flames quickly spread to the remainder of the house, the owner, his wife and daughter, Hilary, escaped almost unscathed, though Mr Brooks sustained very painful burns to his right forearm as he tried to gain entry to that part of the building which had taken the full force of the crash.  Within the next few minutes, he (Mr Brooks) was joined by his nephew, Mr F T Brooks, Sgt Montague Smith, an airmen living in the village and members of the National Fire Service crews from both Brackley and Banbury.  Their efforts were to no avail and over the next three harrowing days, the remains of the two Tester children, aged three and two respectively, were recovered from the mass of debris carried into the cellar; very sadly, nothing could be found of their mother, who is remembered for her fine singing voice and cheerful willingness to, in the words of the Banbury Guardian report, place her accomplishments at the disposal of any good cause.  As recounted, her husband was on duty and the news of this terrible tragedy was conveyed to him by Upper Boddington’s Rector, the Revd W T Gibbings, whose church has been slightly damaged by bits of aircraft that had been thrown through the air.  Of its crew, F/S Springett from Worthing was buried in Banbury Cemetery, while the others were taken to their home towns.
 
 
Date:  12 Dec 1944
Unit:  12 OTU
Type:  Wellington III
Serial No.:  X3459
Operation:  Training
Take Off:  Edgehill
Crew:
Sgt H Maunsell  Injured
Description:  T/o 2042 Edgehill for night circuit training but almost immediately the starboard engine began to overspeed.  Sgt Maunsell managed to stop the motor and feather its propeller but at 2047, he crashed just short of the threshold.  A Rhodesian by birth, it is not thought that his injuries were of a serious nature.